Monday, May 11, 2009


I feel like most people already saw this New York Times article about C. Ray Nagin's last year in office. The piece represents the first time a national news gathering organization has really alluded to the swirling e-maelstrom.

Now, however, that sense is coming to an end, after accusations arose in a civil lawsuit concerning city technology contracts. In a deposition, a former city official said he took a Hawaiian vacation with Mr. Nagin and their families in 2004 that was paid for by a company whose owner did extensive business with the city through other companies. Claims of other trips raising ethics questions were raised in later testimony.

At a news conference on April 7, the mayor defended the Hawaiian vacation. “I don’t see it as a violation of any law, any ethics rules,” he said, because he had been told that the city official — Greg Meffert, the former chief of technology for New Orleans — was paying for the trip, not the contractor.

“It’s been cleverly portrayed that there’s something wrong here, and no one has proven that yet,” Mr. Nagin said at the time. He acknowledged, however, that “there’s still a question whether this is illegal or unethical.” He declined requests for an interview.

There's certainly nothing ground-breaking about the report, it's just an interesting first. We're going to see a lot more national news attention as the last year of Nagin unravels and as our upcoming Mayoral race exposes itself as a comic tragedy clusterf*ck. I think the NYT is going to regret pulling it's regular beat guy. They're going to be paying for a lot of flights here or a lot of AP reprints.

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