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The unveiling of the Mardi Gras Fountain was celebrated this year in typical New Orleans style. The cost of $2.4 million was paid by the Orleans Levee Board, the state agency whose main job is to protect the levees surrounding New Orleans — the same levees that failed after Katrina hit.
"They misspent the money," says Billy Nungesser, a former top Republican official who was briefly president of the Levee Board. "Any dollar they wasted was a dollar that could have went in the levees."
Nungesser says he lost his job because he targeted wasteful spending.
"A cesspool of politics, that’s all it was," says Nungesser. "[Its purpose was to] provide jobs for people."
In fact, NBC News has uncovered a pattern of what critics call questionable spending practices by the Levee Board — a board which, at one point, was accused by a state inspector general of "a long-standing and continuing disregard of the public interest."
Full Story: MSNBC
Originally posted by BitRaiser
No single example of corruption can suprise me at this point.
Originally posted by Ambient Sound
$2 Million water fountain. Nice... For a small fraction of that they could have just paid someone to stand out there and throw water in the air all day. It would have made just about as much sense.
Originally posted by djohnsto77
This is a shocking example of the corruption that seems to permeate all levels of government in New Orleans. Why did they waste money on things totally unrelated to flood control when that was their primary purpose?
Earlier this year, the levee board did complete a $2.5 million restoration project. After months of delays, officials rolled away fencing to reveal the restored 1962 Mardi Gras fountain in a four-acre park featuring a new 600-foot plaza between famous Lakeshore Drive and the sea wall.