Interpretation: we have immense volumes of knowledge and yet we lack the moral compass to interpret it in light of values we were taught or know to be consistent with our “better selves.”
This past weekend we were able to see the Krewe of Centaur Mardi Gras parade, thick with good citizens and parties, intent on enjoying the climate and festive atmosphere. Most came to celebrate in different ways, but most felt there was a good party atmosphere.
However, I feel the messages, both overt and unintended, sent by one of the participants was clearly, “I’m an elected official, and there’s nothing you can do to touch me as long as the enforcement officials have no stomach for prosecution of politicians!” It was as if we all being “Flipped Off.”
Elected Shreveport City Marshal, Charlie Caldwell, paraded with the Krewe in his publicly sponsored (paid for 100%) D.A.R.E. Convertible for which he has NEVER had one officer trained to teach the D.A.R.E program. Public records released by this site (even limited to the first few years) indicate that tens of thousands of public dollars have been squandered on junkets and travel for select members of the marshal’s team.
Caldwell went so far as to repeatedly allocate money for personal uses that either should heave been taxable or at least reported as a benefit to himself and others. His never-completed educational junket to Boston one summer was at total tax-payer expense. Reports from the Marshal’s office have been questionable, at best, and inaccurate, in all likelihood. Caldwell returned to Shreveport before he could complete the classes taxpayers funded because public records requests were disrupting his office, and “records need to be shredded!”
Elections this fall cannot come quickly enough to unseat this poor excuse for a public official. And, if we ever see him in another parade, we may shower him with pennies or gutter beads to demonstrate our disgust with this contemptuous behavior.Perhaps even turning our backs on him as he passes by would be a fitting tribute.
Shame on all who openly tolerate this abuse of the public’s trust, and shame on the legal community, including those in the system, who fail to speak out from their perches.