Glover Facing Big Challenges From Hospital Bed

Shreveport Attorney John Settle
John Settle
by John Settle

Much like Humpty Dumpty, Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover has taken a big fall, literally and figuratively, and despite all the efforts of his loyal and embattled staff, it appears Glover will not be able to “put it together” in the sense of being effective as Shreveport Mayor for the remainder of his term, which ends in November 2014. Generally, the lame duck status of a termed out Mayor does not begin until the start of the last year in office; however a series of events are beginning to seriously bog down the Glover administration.

For starters, Glover, who has been affectionately called Big G, Giant G and now Lame G, had a serious fall on October 3, rupturing the quadricep tendons in both legs. Surgery to repair the injuries was on October 15th and Lame G remains hospitalized at Christus Schumpert. Reportedly his rehab is going slowly due to two factors, –the serious nature of this injuries and his massive weight, reported to be approximately 400 pounds.

Despite Glover’s efforts from the hospital bed to continue his mayorial duties, –particularly by skype and other electronic means in council meetings, –there is little doubt that his ability to perform his same pre-injury work load is seriously compromised. Tight lipped administration officials give little clues as to Lame G’s rehab time line; there is little doubt, however, that the big man is going to be sidelined for quite some time.

And in the meantime back at the ranch, Lame G is losing a key person from his inner circle, –assistant CAO Brian Crawford; Shreveport’s former fire chief will assume Fire Chief duties in Plano Texas effective December 1st. Crawford is the nuts and bolts financial guru for the City, –and the point man for the 2012-2013 budget presently under consideration by the council. The budget must be adopted by December 15th and there is little doubt that Crawford’s absence will be a major loss, –short term and long term.

REALLY Need Help!

Crawford is also serving as Director of the City’s Water and Sewage Department; this position has been vacant since Mike Strong’s retirement and the reorganization of departments. The now practically all black cast in the Mayor’s office is long in loyalty but short on administrative skills with the exception of CAO Dale Sibley, who can only juggle so many management balls at one time. Trying to fill Crawford’s slot with a competent administrator will be difficult, as many perceive the Glover term as a sinking ship.

Glover must also deal with the ramifications of the Council’s independent audit investigating his financial advisor, Grigsby & Associates, Inc. Grigsby was cherry picked by Lame G to effectuate debt swaps on existing City bond debt and to sell bond indentures from the City’s 2011 bond package. The audit findings, as briefed to the Council on October 13th, were grim at best and criminal at worst.

The audit detailed three major problems regarding payments made to Grigsby & Associates: the failure to maintain and provide adequate documentation of services; billing for services that may not have been compliant with the contract; and some payments not properly approved. The audit found $677,333 in payments that were for “questionable costs” and overcharges of $8,900. Needless to say, the further participation of Grigsby as Glover’s financial bond advisory is certainly up in the air, and this audit could have many more negative ripples for both Big G and the City.

And to top off the mountain of problems for Glover, the day of reckoning in the federal lawsuit filed by Willis Knighton Medical Center and Finish 3132 Coalition, LLC naming him, his city engineer, Tim Larkin, NLCOG, and Louisiana DOTD (and others) is now on the front burner. The hearing, which is to determine if the temporary restraining order issued by Judge Don Walter precluding further road construction by Larkin to tie into Flournoy Lucas Road should be made permanent, begins Monday (November 19th) and it will last for several days, if not weeks. No matter the outcome of this case, the relationship of Lame G with Tim Larkin and the up in the air status of completing the Inner Loop 3132 to the Port is further eroding public confidence in Glover and his administration.

Glover is now at the halfway point of his second term as Shreveport’s Mayor, and his last 2 years are starting with significant challenges. Glover’s goal when first elected in 2006 was to make Shreveport the next great city in the South; some politicos believe his administration, if not the City itself, is going south.