Times-Picayune climbs the Ladder with call for transparency

Our friend Editilla at the always informative and definitely entertaining Ladder, has been hotly pursuing the relationship between the the Corps of Engineers and the American Society of Civil Engineers – chiefly because of a proposed ASCE lobbying effort the Editilla sees as a major conflict of interest.

Son of an engineer, Editilla set out to defend the honor of the profession; and, this editorial in Thursday’s Times-Picayune is a tribute to his effort. Take a read and then link to the post at the top of today’s Ladder.

The public needs to know whether the American Society of Civil Engineers undermined independent probes of Hurricane Katrina levee failures, as one researcher has charged, and it’s reassuring that the group will release the findings from its ethics inquiry.

Rich Hovey, chairman of the ASCE’s Committee on Professional Conduct, recently said that wouldn’t happen. In an e-mail to Levees.org founder Sandy Rosenthal, Mr. Hovey said the committee wouldn’t release the results or even say when the probe was complete.

David G. Mongan, the group’s president, subsequently reiterated his commitment to releasing the conduct committee’s findings. “That position has never changed,” he said in a letter to The Times-Picayune.

That’s the right position. Secrecy would ill-serve New Orleanians, whose lives and property depend on the integrity of the levees and those who are investigating their catastrophic failure.

Take a bow Editilla. Great post! I clicked every link.