Office of Inspector General report on the DMR friends and family program lends insight into the flawed appraisals obtained in the Bay Tech Building Scandal

I have a series of posts coming on the family and friends programs at both the DMR and the Bay-Waveland School District so today I begin with that preliminary US Department of the Interior Office of the Inspector General report on the problems at DMR.  The twist is that I’m going to use that report to highlight the inherently flawed purchase of the Bay Tech Building by the Bay-Waveland School Board. In this series of posts I’m completely in my field of expertise as an auditor and hopefully I’ll set off a few light bulbs.  First let’s do a quick review on the OIG report on the DMR family and friends program aka CIAP.

The DMR scandal broke on October 25 with reporting by the Sun Herald the Investigative Division of the Office of the State Auditor were at the Bolton Building in Biloxi going through Director Bill Walker’s office.  The story that came from officialdom was that investigators were following up on a somewhat routine US DOI OIG audit of the Coastal Impact Assistance Program that found major problems in how DMR was running the program.  The OIG audit, an unusual occurrence absent a major wasting of tax dollars or suspected criminal activity, was described in different terms by the folks at State Auditor’s office that claimed it was because the federal agency administering the program was changing.  I do not believe that for a second personally as I firmly believe a dime was dropped. (I’ll explain more on that next week)

In any event the folks at the various OIG offices are auditors and since I’m an auditor by trade with a bit of practical experience let’s recreate some of the events through the eyes of an auditor.

First thing we have to do is figure out exactly what in the heck were looking at because the folks at OIG are not walking encyclopedias of compliance requirements related to the thousands of federal programs out there but luckily for us we have the internet so my first stop would be “The Catalog” aka the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, specifically CFDA #15.426 Coastal Impact Assistance Program and a close second would be the enabling legislation, which contains this: Continue reading “Office of Inspector General report on the DMR friends and family program lends insight into the flawed appraisals obtained in the Bay Tech Building Scandal”

Comment bump: It always seems to circle back to Gidget

Oyster aka Mark Moseley stopped in yesterday on Nowdy’s old Booker Diggins post and left a dynamite comment that is well worth repeating as it amplifies why her black book is a holy grail of sorts in local investigative journalism circles.  On the media side Mark’s work on the topic is second to none so we should consider the implications of why Assistant U.S. Attorney Gaynell Williams evidently fell out when the subject of its release was broached and why the public was not served by covering up what happened at the Canal Street Brothel.  Here is Oyster’s comment:

Whitmergate says “it’s the ‘The Who Wanted What’…that’s the bogeyman.”

I believe this is correct. The list itself of doctors, lawyers, indian chiefs, sons of political party Presidents, judges, rich businessmen, City Councilmen, news anchors and other elites is sufficiently long and broad enough to make high level calls for a public release politically toxic. (Plus there’s the “these guys have families that will be needlessly destroyed” argument.) A decade ago Letten and Connick played hot potato with the black book issue, as I recall, and mainstream news has been silent on the matter except for the occasional Vitter-related mention.

But the deviancy– even by freaky New Orleans standards!– is where the rubbers (nyuk) hit the road. When Madam Maier had to build a dungeon inside the brothel, to slake the very particular desires of some of her highest paying, and most frequent customers… well, that raises eyebrows. I assume she had some sort of symbol code beside the name of each john to remind her (revolving) crew precisely what whip to use to get (insert bigwig name here) off. Its bad bad business not to create detailed customer profiles.

Still, that’s not unprecedented in the Crescent City. As I recall, ole’ Volz brought out a box of evidence that contained whips and shackles and other goodies from Clay Shaw’s FQ house back in the day, before Volz distanced himself from Garrison’s windmill jousting, and went on to bigger and better offices, some of which boasted a lot of up and coming legal talent.

However, sado-maso-domination predilections are one thing. Young street boys being procured and then raped in a brothel by ever-more-twisted power addicts… those are dark rumors that certainly wouldn’t, as whitmergate says, be tolerated by the public in N.O– much less the rest of the state. Sounds like blackmail material, if you catch my drift.