Archive for the ‘City of Monroe’ Category

Delta Community Donation Ok’d by I-20 Board

07/30/2015

On a 3-2 vote, the Interstate 20 Economic Development District’s Board of Directors approved a $600 thousand donation to Louisiana Delta Community College, as part of a match toward obtaining other state capital outlay monies for capital improvements and construction at the facility.

Voting yes were Chairmain Otis Chisley, Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo, and Rowena Sledge. Voting no were Johnny Bryant and Charles Pritchard.

Delta Chancellor Barbara Hanson said the money represented economic development, since the state would be putting up most of the money for the construction.

Said Hanson, “With that $600 thousand, the economic impact will be such that you will receive for the I-20 District, $8.181878 million in investment of state and other private money in the heart of the I-20 District.”

The donation had been on hold awaiting an opinion from the Louisiana Attorney General. Earlier this month, the AG agreed that the monies did represent “economic development.”

See here the opinion.

Board Member Johnny Bryant said that while the donation was laudable, he cautioned that the district is facing significant expenditures for a needed drainage project.

Said Bryant, “It’s a substantial expense. I’m concerned that this board’s going to run out of funds when we start doing Phase II, and the Nutland to Lowe’s road, and these drainage problems.”

In other business, the board approved awarding a contract to Womack & Sons Construction for Phase I of the North Service Road. The road will extend from near the intersection of Millhaven and Garrett to Fontana.

Denmon Engineering’s Mike Bonnette said the bid came in at $3.7 million, and was estimated at $4.1 million. Completion is estimated in about 300 working days.

Notable at the meeting was Monroe developer Eddie Hakim, his brother Joseph, and attorney Joe Guerriero. The Hakim’s have significant property holdings in the I-20 district.

I-20 Board Meeting Tonight

07/29/2015

The Interstate 20 Economic Development Committee Board of Directors will meet tonight (7/29), 5:00 PM, Monroe City Hall, 400 Lea Joyner Expressway, second floor.

Here is the agenda.

Mayo, Mouthpiece Parboiled in Soup Kitchen Controversy

07/29/2015

Controversial Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo and his propaganda agent, the Mayo Mouthpiece. were caught flat-footed in lies at Tuesday night’s meeting of the Monroe City Council, when it was revealed that his refusal to fund “Granny’s Kitchen” charity was fraudulent.

In a Monday presser, Mayo used as a prop Madison Goins, the son of the founder of the charity, to assert that the group doesn’t “want government in our ministry.”

A resolution listed on the council meeting agenda was to appropriate $20 thousand for the charity.

True to form The Mayo Mouthpiece rolled out the propaganda machine, giving Mayo front-page treatment for his latest fight with the city council, and penning an “editorial” praising Madison Goins for refusing government money.

But it was all built upon a tissue of lies.

Madison Goins, it turns out, has no affiliation with the organization.

Gladys Goins, a sister to Madison, read to the council last night a letter from the group’s board of directors refuting Madison and Mayo’s claims. From the document:

Unbeknownst to any of us affiliated with this organization, he (Madison Goins) held a meeting with Mayor Jamie Mayo, as well as a televised press conference. Mr. Goins is not affiliated with The United League of Churches Community Soup Kitchen.

He does not serve at any capacity, nor on any governing board. Mr. Goins’ comments and opinions are solely his and do not reflect those of the organization.

Thanks again for your support whether past, present, or future, in whatever capacity it may have been. No deed is to great or small.

See here the letter.

Mortified, Mayo tried to filibuster.

Blustered Mayo, “First of all, those funds that were requested, they’re not budgeted.”

That’s when Mayo was caught in his second lie.

District Five’s Eddie Clark pulled out a signed document from the April 14 meeting of the council, where Mayo agreed, in writing, to fund the charity.

See here the agreement.

Said Clark, “I have before me the agreement that was signed on April 14, 2015, by all the council members as well as our honorable mayor, where he states that he would support the funding for the Granny Goins Kitchen, O. K. Program, and Council of Aging.”

He added, “It’s my understanding that the Council of Aging, they’ve received their money. The O. K. Program, I believe they’re received their money, and we have people here who are hungry, and its time for them to receive their money.”

The resolution was amended to provide funding for the kitchen from the council budget, and was passed unanimously. Dr. Armstrong (District One), was absent.

Also on the agenda was a resolution to approve a liquor license for the Washington Street Jazz Club. This is the establishment that last year had its license pulled by the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC).

After some discussion, there was but one vote to approve, that of District Four’s Kenny Wilson. The other council members abstained.

New Suit Filed in Ouachita Court Coverup, Another Judge Recuses

07/24/2015

Stanley Palowski, a Monroe businessman whose civil lawsuit has sparked an Inspector General investigation of the Fourth Judicial (Morehouse, Ouachita Parishes) District Court sued the law clerk Wednesday who is accused of destroying or concealing court documents involving the businessman’s lawsuit against a former business partner, The Ouachita Citizen’s Zach Parker wrote today.

The new suit claims Allyson Campbell, a law clerk for Division C Judge Wilson Rambo, “maliciously and intentionally harmed” Palowsky in his dispute against his former business partner, W. Brandon Cork.

See here the complete Zach Parker story (subscription required).

See here the lawsuit document.

Meanwhile, another of the judges in the district, Division B’s Sharon Marchman has recused herself from involvement in the Palowski case.

Two other judges, Division F’s Wendell Manning and Rambo, had already recused themselves from the Palowsky case.

Last month, Palowski’s attorneys filed a motion requesting that all the judges in the district be thrown off the case.

See here the complete Johnny Gunter story (subscription required).

Southwest Ouachita Water has Audit Issues, in Addition to Brown Water

07/22/2015

Under fire for furnishing customers with discolored water, Southwest Ouachita Waterworks had a significant finding in its 2013 audit by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor (LLA) – “Noncompliance with Established Internal Controls Over Cash Disbursements.”

Wrote the auditor:

Criteria: The water system’s internal control over cash disbursements require that aboard member review invoices for payment and document this review by initialing the invoice.

Condition: During my test of expenses, I noted that 8 out of 40 invoices examined were not initialed by a
board member.

Effect: The failure to properly review invoices for payment could result in payments for unauthorized goods or
services.

Recommendation: I recommend that board members signing checks review and initial all invoices paid.

See here the complete document.

The 2014 audit has not been published.

Several area residents attended the 4/20/15 meeting of the Ouachita Parish Police Jury to vent about the system’s problems.

According to other area media – specifically the Mayo Mouthpiece – Southwest customers are still experiencing problems with discolored water.

Also, the Ouachita Citizen has reported that the Louisiana Public Service Commission is recommending a 29% rate increase for residential customers of Southwest.

Louisiana State Police Investigating Fourth District Court

07/21/2015

The Louisiana State Police (LSP) is now in charge of the investigation of possible payroll fraud in the Fourth Judicial (Morehouse, Ouachita Parishes) District Court, according to the Ouachita Citizen’s Johnny Gunter.

See here the story (subscription required).

KNOE-TV8 is also reporting on the story.

District Attorney Jerry Jones says the report is at the heart of the investigation of the Fourth Judicial District Court. He tells KNOE the Louisiana State Police are the primary investigators and the state’s Inspector General’s Office is supporting their efforts. Beyond that, Jones says he has no other comment.

Hold your breath waiting for the Mayo Mouthpiece – The (Monroe, LA) News Star – to report on any of this. One of the subjects of the investigation is a columnist for the Mouthpiece.

Fourth District (Ouachita) Court Coverup Update

07/15/2015

The Louisiana Inspector General is investigating the Fourth Judicial (Morehouse, Ouachita Parishes) District Court, according to The Ouachita Citizen.

See here the complete Johnny Gunter story (subscription required).

Wrote Gunter:

“The IG’s office will be investigating issues involving the Fourth Judicial District Court,” District Attorney Jerry Jones said.

Inspector General Stephen B. Street Jr. said it was the policy of his office not to comment on pending or ongoing investigations. Street told The Ouachita Citizen on July 7 that one of his investigators, Heath Humble, would work with Jones and other agencies in northern Louisiana to probe possible public corruption. Humble is relocating to northern Louisiana, Street said.

Monroe City Council Tuesday

07/13/2015

The Monroe City Council will meet Tuesday, July 14, 6:00 PM, Monroe City Hall, 400 Lea Joyner Expressway.

Here is the agenda and information packet.

Fourth District (Ouachita) Court Coverup Update

07/08/2015

Ad Hoc Judge Anne Simon of New Iberia gave an undated and unsigned copy of her ruling to a court administrator, in a lawsuit filed by the district court against The Ouachita Citizen about a week before the judge’s ruling was officially filed with the Ouachita Parish Clerk of Court’s office.

See here the complete Johnny Gunter story (subscription required).

In a related development, an August 20 hearing has been set on a local businessman’s motion to recuse all 11 Fourth Judicial District Court judges from his case in light of the district court suit against The Citizen.

See here the complete Johnny Gunter story (subscription required).

Monroe City Council Tuesday

06/22/2015

The Monroe City Council will meet Tuesday, June 23, 6:00 PM, Monroe City Hall, 400 Lea Joyner Expressway.

Here is the agenda.


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