As the Cains go to prison, their punishment for the corruption they advanced in Louisiana’s insider-infested prison system shouldn’t be the end of the story.
The scandal should be an issue in the governor’s election in October. Nate Cain, former warden of a state prison in Cottonport, and his ex-wife, who served as the prison's business manager, were sentenced Monday to federal prison for their role in an extensive scheme during which the couple made personal purchases with public funds.
ALEXANDRIA — Three veteran employees of the state prison in Cottonport testified Tuesday that their former boss, ex-warden Nate Cain, greatly …
Nate Cain is the son of Burl Cain, longtime godfather of the political establishment in Louisiana’s prison system. While the prosecution that ensnared Nate Cain is welcome, he couldn’t have perpetrated his crimes if his bosses were making sure he stayed on the straight and narrow. The top brass, including longtime Department of Corrections Secretary Jimmy LeBlanc, should be held accountable, too.
Nate Cain, who pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud related to gun purchases made with public funds for his personal use, will serve a three-year sentence. Tonia Bandy, his ex-wife, was sentenced to eight months in federal prison for one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
U.S. District Court Judge Dee D. Drell also ordered the pair to pay more than $42,000 in restitution to the state. Sadly, the buying of flat-screen TVs and other personal spending by the younger Cains is one of many abuses by the Cain protégés in the system.
Why have a state credit card with your name on it? You can, if you are in the Cain family business, just tell employees of the Corrections Dep…
Burl Cain’s influence continues at the highest levels of the state Department of Corrections. That needs to change.
LeBlanc is another longtime associate of the elder Cain. A pattern of connections throughout the system is what allowed Burl Cain to abuse his privileges. Nepotism is rife, as the younger Cain demonstrated. And it was not as if Nate Cain's misdeeds were a secret, including the unauthorized construction of his new home on prison grounds right under the noses of his supposed superiors. Burl Cain was a business partner of LeBlanc's, among many other connections.
In spite of those lapses Gov. John Bel Edwards has kept LeBlanc, a Bobby Jindal appointee, at the head of the prison system. As the son of a sheriff, the governor has pushed — with LeBlanc’s assistance — significant reforms in state criminal law.
How long, though, will the Cain world remain a source of jobs — and perhaps corruption — on the state dime? It's a question voters should ask as campaign season gets under way.
The next big round of elections is more than a year away, but already, we're starting to see Louisiana's electoral future. It's a dreary sight.