PPG receives Federal subpoenaApr 5th, 2011 | By William Dilella | Category: news
The Office of the Parish President confirmed they have received a subpoena from federal investigators via a press release.
No official disclosures have been made on the contents of the subpoena. However, the investigation stems from an audit and prior requests for contracts or any supporting documents detailing contractors on FEMA projects. Specifically for the work done after President Nungesser took office. The projects at the source of the audit were authorized during the State of Emergency following Katrina.
When contacted for specific information on what was being sought, investigators refused to comment, as the case was ongoing.
The official statement from President Nungesser’s office, composed by Parish Attorney Michael Mullins, states that the office is working to comply with the subpoena. But Mullins’ statement, a total of three sentences long, does not disclose any further information, as the subpoena is “private as a matter of law.”
At the crux of the debate from the prior audit is whether the Parish President was within his rights when making decisions about FEMA projects, and if it was ethical to move forward without consulting other parish officials or the parish council for approval.
According to the Parish Code of Ordinances, specifically the articles detailing “Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness,” the Parish President must establish an agency for emergency preparedness for the area. And in the absence of a Homeland Security representative, the code authorizes the Parish President the power to use parish equipment, supplies, and facilities “to the maximum extent practicable.”
The article concludes that “Nothing in this section shall be construed to diminish or otherwise affect the authority of the parish president set forth in the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance of Disaster Act… nor shall it be construed to prevent the parish president from serving as the director of the department of homeland security.”
The state of emergency was instituted in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina by the previous parish president, Benny Rousselle. When Nungesser then took office in 2007, he sought to have the state of emergency extended. It was approved and lasted until [August 2008].