State Representative Roy Burrell has an annual “Look at Me” summer program to showcase his “leadership”; – – its called Bizcamp. Burrell’s Inner City Entrepreneur Institute (I.C.E.), a private non-profit corporation, puts on this one week educational event for approximately 30 kids. While touting how this one week session for 12 – 14 year olds will somehow save American capitalism, Burrell fails to discuss what’s in it for him. It’s simple, – – big bucks! [KTBS research ev pandas story and abuse!]
In the last 4 years I.C.E. has received grants totaling $85,000 from the Caddo Commission and $50,000 from the City of Shreveport. Burrell has also received many contributions from Shreveport businesses that obviously have been leaned on by Burrell. The total I.C.E. received from the city for 8 years, from 2005 thru 2013 (figures for 2010-11 are still unavailable), totaled $315,000! This averaged almost $40,000 a year alone from Shreveport.
Contributions to I.C.E. are tax deductible and do not count as political contributions, – -albeit there is little doubt that these dollars are paid for that purpose.
Burrell and I.C.E. have refused to respond to public records requests concerning the finances of I.C.E. and particularly Burrell’s salary. A review of federal tax returns of I.C.E. for the tax years 2009 – 2012 did reveal information that Burrell obviously did not want released. (The 2013 tax return is not due until November of this year.)
All of these returns reflect that Burrell works 40 hours a week in his capacity of I.C.E. as Executive Director. One can only wonder how he accomplishes this while maintaining his job as state legislator, especially during the three months each year that the Legislature is in session in Baton Rouge.
In 2009, Burrell’s executor director salary of $46,200 was 64% of the total income ($71,711) of I.C.E. The 2009 return also listed $3,996 for conferences, conventions and meetings and $518 for travel; obviously Burrell was the benefactor of these expenses. In 2010, Burrell’s salary of $33,600 represented 33% of the $103,201 I.C.E. contributions and grants; conferences, conventions, meetings and travel expenses were $1,364.
The 2011 tax returns reflects management fees versus salary; there’s little doubt that these were paid to Burrell. These fees of $57,032 represents 89% (yes, eighty nine percent) of the total I.C.E. income of $64,382. Conferences, conventions, meetings and travel were listed as $946. In 2012, $50,506 was paid as grant and contract expense; this was 55% of $90,731 of the total income. The tax return provides no other detail on this expense although it is presumed that Burrell was the benefactor of these moneys. Conferences, conventions, meetings and travel expenses were $532.
The 2011 and 2012 returns each reflect a $3,500 expense for “grants or assistance to others”. It is unknown who or what entity received these funds, although there is speculations that theses moneys were paid to Burrell’s best friend and business confidant Don Wimberly. Word on the streets is that Wimberly has substantially benefitted from this relationship since Burrell was elected to the Legislature.
The sums paid to Burrell from his “non-profit” organization in these 4 years (2009 – 2012) are staggering – – a total of $187,338 or an average of $46,834 per year. This total paid to Burrell represents 55% of the total I.C.E. income of $330,025 during that period. If conferences, conventions, meetings and travel expenses of $5,992 for those years are added to Burrell’s total, Burrell benefitted to the tune of $193,330 or 59% of I.C.E. total income.
In 2010 Burrell ran a lackluster race for Shreveport, and he washed out in the primary. He has repeatedly stated he will again run for mayor this year. Most political observers believe his chances of success are slim to none, – – and they openly question his rationale for even attempting such a race. If he does jump into the race, Burrell should be ready to open the I.C.E. books as well as disclose his other business dealings.