A federal audit says the Jefferson Parish Housing Authority illegally paid board members nearly $107,000 and created a conflict of interest and violated federal rules by paying $91,000 to a state legislator's repair company.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development audit says the agency should repay the money and must either document or repay another $450,000. That includes $240,000 paid to four Jefferson Parish sheriff's deputies for security services, $95,000 to its attorney and $81,000 to its accounting firm.
Fifteen New Orleans-area elected officials have told Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Katherine Kimball that she should take steps to ensure that Justice Bernette Johnson succeeds her as the court's chief.
Kimball retires next year. Louisiana's Constitution says the longest serving justice must succeed her. Johnson and Justice Jeffrey Victory each stake claims to being the longest serving.
State officials say they are ready for whatever the weather might throw at them this hurricane season.
Kevin Davis, director of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said Wednesday the state is standing by should a storm threaten Louisiana. He added that he encourages citizens to review their own emergency game plans, before severe weather strikes.
The Civil Service Commission has narrowly agreed to a Jindal administration plan to hire a private company to manage a state employee health insurance plan.
The panel voted 3-2 Wednesday to allow Blue Cross/Blue Shield to run an insurance plan in the Office of Group Benefits that covers more than 62,000 employees and their dependents. The outsourcing will take effect Jan. 1.
The move will eliminate 177 state jobs — 121 of which are currently filled.
State officials say a stinky smell reported from Bayou Manchac last week stems from stagnant swamp water in Spanish Lake that heavy rains pushed into the bayou.
Rodney Mallett, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality spokesman, tells The Advocate in an email that inspectors reached that conclusion by tracking the flow of the water, visual observations and some field parameters.
Mallett said the stagnated water washed through Alligator Bayou to Bayou Manchac.
DEQ officials say the same phenomenon has occurred a few times a year for the past three to four years.
A Slidell bar accused of playing songs without paying a standard music licensing is being sued for copyright infringement.
The Times-Picayune reports Broadcast Music Inc., a nonprofit composers' rights organization, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New Orleans against Tooloula's Bar.
Federal law mandates that writers and publishers of music are entitled to be paid for the public performance of their music. Bars and other businesses usually pay an annual fee to groups such as BMI for a blanket license to their songs.
A friend of imprisoned rapper Torence "Lil Boosie" Hatch and a former Dixon Correctional Institute guard have pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to smuggle drugs into Dixon for Hatch while he was jailed there.
As part of negotiated plea agreements, state District Judge Mike Erwin put Walnita Decuir on active supervised probation for five years and Joshua Wilson on unsupervised probation for six months.