COVINGTON- Talk of creating an Office of Inspector General in St. Tammany Parish got a boost Thursday from two area inspectors general already in action.
"There are 73 federal IG's today. The reason there are is because this works, it works, it works," said New Orleans Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux.
Quatrevaux explained to a roomful of St. Tammany citizens and elected officials why having a similar oversight office on the Northshore will also work, and is needed.
“There are so many different kinds of benefits from this for an elected official," he said. "The only downside is if an elected official has done something they shouldn't do."
The effort to bring in an inspector general on the north shore has picked up steam since questions arose about Parish Coroner Dr. Peter Galvan’s spending practices. While Quatrevaux explained the agency’s function, a deterrent and detector of wrong-doing, which saves public dollars, brand new Jefferson Parish Inspector General David McClintock explained how to get off the ground with transparency, independence, unlimited authority and funding.
"I will tell you there's a difference between what's effective and being able to deal with all the actionable information that deserves to be dealt with," he said.
Residents and their representatives were enlightened and energized by the experience.
"They're fed up with abusive leaders and individuals, some of them elected, mismanaging money or taking money, so absolutely," said resident Carl Ernst.
"The elected officials, they certainly don't want not to have the best that we can have in the parish," said St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister.
"I just hope that the citizens keep their focus on this issue because it's something that's needed to be done for a long time," said St. Tammany resident Jeannine Meads.
A bill is being crafted by a Northshore lawmaker in order to get legislative approval to move forward with an Office of Inspector General in St. Tammany Parish.