Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was indicted last week on 21 charges stemming from tax evasion, taking bribes for Government contracts, and wire fraud. Most crimes occurred during the post Katrina scramble to rebuild the then battered New Orleans.
After the category 3 hurricane hit the coastal state of Louisiana in August 2005, a cry for government assistance came from the city as many perished waiting to be rescued from the murky waters. Ex-Mayor Nagin was commended on his forthright words towards the Bush administration and their lackadaisical response in deploying the National Guard and FEMA assistance following the hurricanes devastation.Not to mention he had a little help from a famous Chicagoan. Anyone remember this statement ->
Unfortunately once the waters subsided and rebuilding commenced, some saw it as a time to cash in on the developing land. Ex-Mayor Nagin has been reported as receiving as much as $72,000 under the table for granting a single rebuilding contract to a particular New Orleans contractor. Other bribes ranged from sums as small as $2,200 to Hawaiian vacations funded by the New Orleans City Council’s technology office vendor, Mark St. Pierre.
It seems as those waiving a purple flag of passion and love for their community are the ones looking to gain the most. After the tragic Hatian earthquake in 2010, Haiti native Wyclef Jean looked to raise money through his Yele Haiti charity campaign. He raised $1 million within days of its inception and a supposed $16 million in total. Unfortunately the once beloved charity has been surrounded by controversy as of late after audits found lump sums , some in excess of $600,000, paid to the artist and other close family members for reasons not associated with the Haiti relief effort. It’s said that only $5 million actually went to efforts involving the recovery of the island of Haiti.