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Senior officials in Louisiana's emergency planning agency already were awaiting trial over allegations stemming from a federal investigation into waste, mismanagement and missing funds when Hurricane Katrina struck.
And federal auditors are still trying to track as much as $60 million in unaccounted for funds that were funneled to the state from the Federal Emergency Management Agency dating back to 1998.
In March, FEMA demanded that Louisiana repay $30.4 million to the federal government.
About $2.8 million of the refund sought by FEMA went to consultant fees. Most of that money went to Aegis Innovative Systems, a Baton Rouge firm hired by many parishes to administer the flood buyout program. Aegis owners include Mark Howard, a former official at the Louisiana agency.
State Sen. Reggie Dupre said it appeared that parishes employing Aegis were especially successful in winning money from the state emergency preparedness agency.
"It smells like a horrible brother-in-law deal to me, " he said in a phone interview.
An Aegis attorney did not respond to a request for comment.
I found the following story which should be of interest to anyone paying attention to the Katrina mess. It would be more appropriate in ATSNN, but as I just found out, only selected personnel can post those stories.