Thursday, December 15, 2005

All the King's Horses and All the King's Men

It turns out that NOLA levees were inspected very little. Instead, levee commissioners would "normally meet and get some beignets and coffee in the morning" and then "go do the tourist and you have a nice lunch somewhere or whatever." In a partial deposition by a senate panel on Thursday, former Orleans Levee Board president, James P Huey told investigators "When you say inspections - and I don't really know and I couldn't even answer to tell you - how do you inspect levees other than if you see seepage?"

In October, Huey resigned over questions about no-bid contracts given to members of his wife's family. Huey is no stranger to scandal. In 1997, Huey authorized the hiring of private detectives to discredit Robert Namer, a right-wing radio talk show host, in order to discredit him and stop his on-air tirades against the Levee Board.

This comes days after officials the US Army Corps of Engineers expressed relief that the flood wall construction did match the design, which was built in the early 1990s. Their reward for a job well done? A new $13 million museum using funds for Katrina relief. The man responsible for the museum is Thad Cochran, a Republican senator from Mississippi and the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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