A report by WWL-TV has found that the New Orleans Public Library Foundation paid over $1 million to the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra while Grammy-winning trumpeter Irvin Mayfield and his business partner Ronald Markham were on the library board.
Bob Brown, the former managing director of the New Orleans Business Council, took over as chairman of the Library Foundation when Mayfield stepped down in April. That was while WWL-TV was questioning Mayfield about the payments to his orchestra. After the station aired a series of stories in early May, Mayor Mitch Landrieu called for changes at the foundation and Markham resigned, leaving Brown to set up almost an entirely new board.
Brown said he wasn't ready to say that the $1.03 million figure is the total amount owed back to the Library Foundation, in part because he said the consultants are still trying to figure out if any of it was legitimately used to provide library services.