by Elliott Stonecipher
In Shreveport and any other city particularly afflicted by more or less open official malfeasance, it is certainly true that such cesspools are kept full to overflowing by both the official malfeasors and the absence of an outraged citizenry. It is just as true, though, that the citizenry cannot act against that about which it has no knowledge, or insufficient understanding.
At tomorrow’s Shreveport City Council meeting, anyone who cares to attend or watch the live broadcast on our local access channel (Channel 6) will be able to see precisely how our city’s poisoned governmental sausage is made these days. I particularly invite – well, urge – all investigative agencies to pay very special attention.
The headline of this glob of nasty city business is Mayor Cedric Glover’s political blackmail of city council members to force the re-hiring of Calvin Grigsby as the “city’s” financial adviser. In truth, Grigsby was never the “city’s” financial adviser, he was Glover’s, hired with a very lucrative contract as soon as Glover began his first term. That Grigsby has been the subject of so many investigations and regulatory actions in various places around the country has never been of any concern to Glover, and still isn’t.
How could Glover possibly pull this off as he begins his final year in office? Actually it’s simple, at least for Glover: he has threatened to cut-off any capital outlay projects in the council districts of those who do anything other than re-install Grigsby at Glover’s right and left hands with a new contract Glover has concocted. Glover uses Grigsby to go to the bond markets to provide capital outlay funds, the 2011 bond issue project funding, for example. It is critical for citizens to understand, however, that there is no – NO – requirement that any particular financial agent do that work. All that is necessary to get Shreveport’s stalled capital outlay engine running is for Glover to hire another firm to do what his guy, Grigsby, used to do. That’s all. Nothing more.
If the Council opposes Glover, those voting against him will be accused of everything from bad hair to bigotry, including holding the city back, blocking those bond issue and other capital outlay projects, and being racist for opposing Grigsby, a black man. That a black mayor, elected by the voters citywide, levels that charge will not slow our Intimidator-in-Chief down by one single breath.
Glover’s predictable storm of hogwash and public intimidation will not change anything, including the facts. If anyone cares to throw a fact or truth or ten or a hundred of each into the mix, here are a few for openers:
(1) Here is an initial article I wrote in March 2012 on the subject. (Linked articles may or may not be accessible in this version.)
(2) In this follow-up article in October 2012, the official audit report from the specially-hired external auditor is presented. For those who prefer to read that report separate from the article, here it is.
(3) Importantly, the Federal Industry Regulatory Authority (known as “FINRA“) reports that Grigsby – both by his name and as Grigsby & Associates, Inc. – is not registered as of last year. Specifically, according to City Council sources, the two FINRA identifying numbers to use for researching Grigsby’s required registration are 1123572 and 13364. In checking there, his registration is shown as having been “withdrawn or terminated” on October 8, 2012. (Enter the above numbers to access the two reports, and scroll to Page 4 in each.)
(4) Apparently matching the FINRA information, and raising even more obvious questions about why Glover is even making this attempt, the Louisiana Secretary of State shows Grigsby’s registration in Louisiana as having been “revoked.” The document shows the action was taken day before yesterday, on December 17, 2013. (Scroll to the last action taken at the bottom of the page.)
As to understanding what this is, no one need be confused. Our mayor wants to reinstate and start paying again a very close associate of his to handle important city business, an associate which the City Council, for very good reasons, has taken action to stop. If our mayor doesn’t get his way, he will refuse to commence badly needed capital outlay projects which the citizenry voted to fund two years ago. (This can’t be legal can it?)
Council members thus will choose between doing the right thing or caving in to the worst kind of political blackmail.
Such is the state of the city.
Elliott Stonecipher’s reports and commentaries are written strictly in the public interest, with no compensation of any kind solicited or accepted. Appropriate credit to Mr. Stonecipher in the sharing – unedited only, please – of his work is requested and appreciated.