In an article published recently in The Lens by reporter Charles Maldonado, it was reported that it appears there has been frequent collusion between New Orleans Deputy Mayor/CAO Andy Kopplin and his staff and members of the Civil Service Commission, which appears to be in direct violation of the Louisiana Public Meeting Laws. The contacts and substance of the repeated dialogues appear unethical at the very least and are most probably illegal. The allegations are well supported by emails between Mr. Kopplin, his staff and members of the Civil Service Commission with specific regard to the passing of Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s proposed revision of Civil Service entitled, “The Great Place to Work Initiative.” The extensive emailings have been made publicly available through The Advocate for review.
The Police Association of New Orleans, through its counsel, sent formal correspondence to the Inspector General, Ed Quatrevaux, to open an immediate investigation into these blatant violations of the Louisiana Public Meeting Law. The “Great Place to Work Initiative” is the subject of current litigation and this investigation could well impact that litigation.
Mr. Quatrevaux’s response, through his general counsel, was “to make your request to the appropriate entities according to that statute.” This response, quite predictably, suggests that the Office of the Inspector General cannot, or will not, investigate substantial allegations of ethical and/or criminal violations by factions of city government. Now Mr. Quatrevaux can opine about police raises, he can pontificate on issues of police resource management, and he can investigate the methods by which the police property and evidence is stored and catalogued, but he can’t investigate allegations of corruption and collusion between upper echelons of city government. Even when the media has provided compelling evidence of the violation. The possibility of criminal and administrative penalties in the Rape Squad investigation provided no impediment to the OIG in conducting that investigation, even though there are “other entities” which could have, and now are investigating both. However, he is using that excuse to avoid the uncomfortable task of investigating those that put him there. That, in itself, is a strong suggestion of corruption.
It would seem that the inspector general chooses his investigations carefully to achieve his best political advantage. Mr. Quatrevaux lacks the fortitude to conduct a proper, unjaded, unbiased investigation of the hand that feeds him. One big happy family. Still.
president, Police Association of New Orleans