Posts filed under ‘Caddo Parish Commission’
by Marion Marks
Elio Motors of Phoenix Arizona seeks people who want to “Discover New Opportunities, Invest In The Future” according to the website. In reality, facts to date prove all they really want is to remain a conduit to take money and provide a financial & legal tool for Stuart Lichter to use the former Caddo Parish General Motors site to make a profit from Caddo citizen’s money leveraged in his contract with a parish entity. (SEC Listing of 2015 here.) Stuart Lichter and three other Directors are listed along with Paul Elio and two other officers of the corporation in the SEC filing.
Caddo Parish’s Industrial Development Board (IDB) purchased the facility, land and mineral rights is a deal to keep the property from being sold for scrap, according to (more…)
Add comment June 22, 2015 11:46 am
by Elliott Stonecipher
The malfeasance conviction of a Jackson Parish official has opened the door to possible criminal sanctions against Caddo Parish Commissioners and top administrators who have taken the same official actions.
The 2013 state district court conviction of Leslie C. Thompson, ex-Mayor of Jonesboro, has been upheld by the Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal in Shreveport. Re-sentencing was ordered, and Thompson’s appeal to the state Supreme Court has been filed.
As KNOE Television and The News-Star in Monroe, Louisiana, reported at the time of his trial, Thompson was convicted on three criminal counts, and sentenced to five years in prison, plus six years of probation and monetary restitution.
Thompson was sentenced to pay $57,793 back to the Town of Jonesboro in retirement and (more…)
June 14, 2015 2:00 pm
Caddo Commissioner Ken Epperson has a well deserved reputation for being a stubborn self-serving bully on the Caddo Commission; his latest folly is a great example of his determination to spend taxpayer dollars on efforts to promote his political career/ambitions versus the good of the whole. His proposal to spend $3.9 million dollars to connect Dawson Road to Rice Road can not be defended on any logical analytical basis.[June 4 Meeting Minutes]
But with Epperson, the surplus of Caddo Commission funds is a cookie jar that needs to be raided nonetheless. Epperson represents Caddo District 12 that encompasses much of the Jefferson Road and Greenwood area. He is haughtily proud of his commission seat– his pickup truck is adorned with Epperson Caddo Commission signs, he wears knit shirts monogrammed with his name and commission district, and he regularly holds community meetings for small audiences that feature a wide panel of elected officials, many of (more…)
June 12, 2015 6:00 am
Caddo Commission Funding & Guilt
by Marion Marks
“Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan.”
So goes a rough translation of an ancient adage. The SWAG Nation involvement is services for the juvenile justice program, on the surface, would appear to be a worthy mentoring effort if viewed by a trusting and naïve citizen. However, the harsh reality of managing government funded programs should cause alarm for all. Gerry May and KTBS zeroed in on the apparent abuse, but the system now must address citizen and legal concerns internal to the Caddo Commission.
The very entity “SWAG Nation” caused alarm bells to go off the first time I did a search through the Secretary of State records of corporate entities working in Louisiana. Initially the Caddo Commission was led to believe that this entity was a “Non-Profit” service organization started to mentor young men (more…)
April 17, 2015 10:54 am
by Marion Marks
I believe the “Can of Worms” the Hillary Clinton email server revelation exposed regarding use of non-official email accounts for State Department business emails must be addressed by the local media as it affects our local entities and business correspondence failures. Locally, in my opinion, we have done a very poor job of addressing what the law requires public officials to do.
We have a great starting point, and I believe we must have formal discussion of this topic. Here is a great article for awareness of issues, for those who may not understand the implications of public records.
Most government and board emails I receive from local public officials or entities regarding government business will have one or more parties who private email address is used. In recent public records requests [PRR], and over the last year on too many occasions, I was a party to PRR filings where the board members, government agency representatives (more…)
March 24, 2015 10:34 am
by Elliott Stonecipher
A lawsuit filed today in Louisiana First Judicial District Court in Shreveport asks a judge to “recognize and declare” that elected Caddo Parish Commissioners are prohibited from participation in “CPERS,” the Caddo Parish Employee Retirement System. The suit also seeks a judicial order for the return of all public funds, including cumulative legal interest, Commissioners have received over the years from participation in the retirement plan.
The lawsuit (here) pleads for a like declaration from the Court that no compensation to Caddo Parish Commissioners other than “their salary proper” is legal. The Commission has acted to award itself salary increases, life and health insurance benefits, and lucrative travel allowances in direct contradiction to provisions of the Home Rule Charter of Caddo Parish, the related legal research has determined.
The suit, a Petition for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief, was prepared by Whitney Pesnell of the Pesnell Law Firm. I am Plaintiff, and named defendants are the Parish of Caddo, the Caddo Parish Commission, each of the twelve elected Commissioners, administrator Dr. Woody Wilson, and (more…)
March 16, 2015 4:08 pm
In most elections incumbent candidates have a clear advantage over challengers–but this will may NOT be the case in this fall’s Caddo Commission elections. All 12 seats are up for re-election and only David Cox is termed limited after 3 four year terms. It is presumed that the remaining 11 will seek re-election; Ken Epperson has already announced his campaign at a recent fundraiser.
In the past, Commission seats were safe bets for unopposed re-election if for no other reason that the Commission members generally dodged controversial votes. The demographics of the Commission, unlike the Shreveport City Council, lends itself to more harmonious actions–6 Republican whites and 6 Democrat blacks. Additionally the Commission has enjoyed a very stable (more…)
February 27, 2015 12:00 pm
At the same time Caddo Parish Commissioners yesterday sued taxpayers to somehow keep their Caddo Parish Retirement System (CPERS) haul, Louisiana State Auditor Daryl Purpera notified the Commission of his determination that such “… appears to be unconstitutional.”
In his letter to Parish Administrator Woody Wilson (read the letter here), Purpera in no way asserts that the CPERS plan is illegal or unconstitutional, but explains why Commissioners cannot legally participate. Even though the state auditor cannot legally sue to block the Commission (the Attorney General’s office can, and should), Purpera’s letter directly states what he can legally do:
“Therefore, based upon the Constitutional Amendments cited above and the AG Opinions cited above, it appears to us that for Caddo Parish to continue to contribute public monies on behalf of Commissioners … is improper. I urge you to reconsider your position and to determine whether (Commission) Ordinances 3762 and 4343 should be repealed.
Given that under Louisiana Law, the constitution provision is presumed constitutional until finally adjudicated otherwise by the Louisiana Supreme Court, I will be assigning auditors who will review this matter (more…)
February 13, 2015 3:02 pm
by Elliott Stonecipher
Caddo Parish Commissioners unanimously voted in their Thursday meeting to seek “a permanent judicial resolution” to questions concerning the constitutionality of their participation in “CPERS,” the Caddo Parish Employees Retirement System.
Rather than depend on in-house, salaried parish attorneys to handle the task, outside counsel was hired.
It is this series of articles which publicly raised the questions courts will now – yet again – attempt to answer. In researching the matter, staff specialists for the Louisiana legislature, and others outside local government, asserted the unconstitutionality of participation in CPERS by our part-time, elected Commissioners.
Documents requested through the Louisiana Public Records Act unexpectedly also discovered that taxpayer contributions to CPERS retirement accounts had reached astonishing, incomparable levels. In 2013 and 2014, taxpayers contributed 16.75% to accounts of top-rate Commissioners and unidentified other CPERS members, (more…)
February 7, 2015 2:55 pm
by Marion Marks
Following the Little Free Library issue in Shreveport has been a folly for social media gurus as the chain of bumbles by the MPC staff has only been heightened when a non-threat appeared from copy-cat Anonymous spoofs along with law-enforcement tracking of the culprits.
The Little Free Library (LFL) concept* is a well-established institution nationwide base on the concept that libraries, book-sharing and reading are a basis for educating the public, providing cheap recreational materials and challenging the system of who controls public access and public areas. Little Free Libraries can be found generally through social media, but Google searches also take searchers to potential local venues, where available.
The Shreveport LFL first appeared in social media in February, 2013, however the origins may predate the FaceBook group page. The founders appear to be based around librarians and bibliophiles who appreciate reading, sharing books (more…)
February 5, 2015 5:14 pm