The state legislative auditor has released a scathing report on the Jefferson Parish Performing Arts Center. Parish President John Young says the audit shows why Jefferson needs an inspector general.

In his Commentary this week, Eyewitness News Political Analyst and Gambit Columnist Clancy DuBos says the audit cries out for more than that.

Clancy DuBos / Eyewitness News Political Analyst

The legislative auditor last week pulled back the curtain on a real boondoggle in Jefferson Parish. The auditor released a report on the Jefferson Parish Performing Arts Center a project that, so far, is running more than $18 million over budget.

The audit cited numerous problems with project management, including the selection of the original architect, plus possible violations of the public bid law and inadequate accounting controls. This project is so screwed up, they can't even find some of the paperwork justifying the eight change orders. Those change orders are what drove the cost of the project so far over budget.

Parish President John Young, who voted for some of those cost overruns as a council member, now says the audit proves why Jefferson needs an inspector general.

The audit proves a lot more than that. It cries out for a thorough investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office. Questions that need to be answered include:

How did a low-rated architect get selected?

Why so many change orders?

Did anybody in the administration have concerns about those change orders and if so, why weren't those concerns made public?

And that's just a start.

It's a shame that a project that could have been so good has turned out so badly. Perhaps the opening act for the new venue should be a Shakespearean tragedy. Something is definitely rotten in Jefferson.


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