More Tales on the Abuse of Public Trust

Lest anyone think the waste of taxpayer funds is limited to Bell, California, take a look at sleepy Lincoln Parish, Louisiana where the Police Jury (Louisiana's version of the county commission) on Tuesday brazenly voted to accept the highest bid submitted for trash hauling from among the three qualified bidders in violation of the public trust and in the possible violation of Louisiana public bid laws.

The full story of this shameful incident can be found here. Lincoln Parish doesn't show up on the national radar, but neither did Bell, California before the outrageous salaries of its managers were exposed earlier this year. Looting of public funds happens in quiet, out-of-the-way places where no one is paying attention. Only this year, we have Tea Parties and everyone is paying attention.

District Three Juryman Bobby Bennett has waged an uphill battle to generate interest in this issue among his fellow Jurymen, and only recently convinced them to even advertise for bids after providing data showing that the Police Jury had been overpaying for trash hauling for several years under the same contractor who submitted the highest bid at the October meeting on Tuesday.

Mr. Bennett tells me that a letter has been sent to the Louisiana Legislative Auditor's office to inform them of the situation and request an investigation into the possible violation of Louisiana public bid laws. He says that public reaction has been overwhelmingly negative as one can imagine. Additionally, I'm told representatives of the two lower bidding firms are exploring legal options that could expose the Police Jury to additional expenditures.

These incidents, along with the recent voter fraud uncovered in Houston by concerned citizen-activists, demonstrate that business-as-usual by public officials will no longer be tolerated by citizens previously occupied with raising families and content on hiring others to conduct their business with minimal oversight. As more of these incidents are brought to light, shocked citizens will begin to discover just exactly how bad things have gotten and how much work is ahead of us to set things straight. The Tea Party movement has finally galvanized a concerned citizenry into action, but it wasn't the sort of involvement Democrats were hoping for as they deplored low voter turnout for years.

Hat tip: Walter Abbott