NEW ORLEANS Former Mayor Ray Nagin used Twitter to criticize his successor this week, taking issue with a plaque erected by the city and Mayor Mitch Landrieu at the often-controversial Roots of Music Cultural Garden in Armstrong Park.
'First St. Bernard gym, now this.Shameful to take credit for others work. Have fun. Lots out there,' Nagin tweeted.
The project, mired in controversy following the final months of Nagin's last term in office, features statues of musical and cultural icons such as Mahalia Jackson, Sidney Bechet, Congo Square, the French Opera House and Tootie Montana.
Nagin did commission the park improvements and the sculpture garden towards the end of his term in office.But shoddy construction work put the project behind schedule and left the park a mess for more than 18 months.
Landrieu ordered the contractor, A.M.E. Disaster Recovery Services, to stop work on the project, calling the project 'another example of a deal the Nagin administration improperly executed.'
A.M.E. is owned and operated by Burnell Moliere, a convicted felon.His company's workers damaged the park's concrete curbing, gates, light poles, and even the Louis Armstrong statue, among other problems.
After renegotiating the deal with A.M.E. and insurers, and ordering the problems fixed, the sculpture garden finally opened in November 2011, almost two years into the Landrieu administration.
The plaque in the photograph cited by Nagin lists A.M.E. as the contractor, along with the current City Council, Landrieu, and landscape architect Hamilton Anderson Associates.
Nagin's mention of the St.Bernard gym seems to refer to the recent repairs to the St. Bernard center onLafreniere St., near the former St. Bernard HousingDevelopment, now Columbia Parc and the Bayou District.
Ryan Berni, a spokesman for Landrieu, declined to comment on Nagin's tweets.