DuBos: Audit of West Bank non-profit should be focus of U.S. Attorney's Office

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wwltv.com

Posted on November 5, 2013 at 7:44 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 5 at 8:00 PM

A non-profit corporation with ties to several West Bank Jefferson politicians is under fire from the Legislative Auditor. That’s the topic of this week’s Commentary by Eyewitness News Political Analyst and Gambit columnist Clancy DuBos.

Clancy DuBos / Eyewitness News Political Analyst

JEFFERSON, La. -- Yesterday, the Legislative Auditor accused a West Bank nonprofit of misspending more than a million dollars in public funds.

The nonprofit Thompson Thibodeaux Community Development Corporation has ties to several Jefferson Parish politicians, including former parish Councilman Byron Lee, current Councilman Mark Spears Jr., and former state Sen. Derrick Shepherd.

According to the auditor’s report, Thompson Thibodeaux received about $1.5 million in public money for house painting and youth mentoring programs. The audit says most of that money was not spent properly, and that much of it went instead to relatives and allies of Lee, Spears and Shepherd.

Spears and Lee issued statements vehemently denying any wrongdoing and blasting the auditor’s office. However, neither Spears nor Lee offered any evidence disproving the allegations of possible misappropriation of public money.

Copies of the audit were sent to local and federal prosecutors. If the audit is accurate, its findings are a gauntlet before Jefferson Parish District Attorney Paul Connick and new U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite. Hopefully, both of their offices will follow up.

 

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