Friday, June 22, 2012

Voldemort 2.0

Well...I've pretty much been scooped by City Business's Ben Myers:

Gambling-funded nonprofit pays Bajoie's relative, former aide

I was waiting to speak to Sharon DeLong before I posted but Myers had apparently already ran circles around me.  I guess that is the result of actually getting paid to do the job.  I had to work in my real life for the past week and couldn't follow up on it but I'm glad City Business did.

When I spoke to the state legislative auditor's office, the way it was explained to me was that even though the annual 100k was appropriated by the state treasury from 2007 to 2010, the New Orleans Urban Tourism Hospitality Training and Economic Development Foundation did not receive the accrued 300k + in funds because the entity had failed to meet the contract requirements to receive the cash.

That would explain this:
The state transferred $306,251 from the fund to its Medicaid program last year.
So 2011 is the first year the entity actually met the requirements and received the 100k.  Their audit is due within the month but it's a general overview of the entity and most likely won't be that revealing.

This is the budget that was submitted to the state legislative office for 2011.

Most notable is the list of job descriptions for the contracted employees:

So out of the $97,482.17 that the entity received, $83,900 is going to pay the five contractors for services.  That's 86% of the organization's budget that is directed to contractors' salaries.


I didn't want to publish anything until I gave DeLong the benefit of the doubt and tried to find out exactly what the entity does.  After reading Myers' article, I still don't know what they do.  I don't understand where the "hospitality training" comes in and why it is even a necessary service to private industries in the city.

I could not find a phone number for the entity or DeLong but I was able to reach Charles F. Webb, the accountant.  He gave me a phone number to reach DeLong on behalf of the entity, 504-589-1860.  That is no longer a working number.  There is no website or contact information for the entity that I can find and their actual location is a bigger mystery:
The organization, which operates the Milan-Broadmoor Senior Center Program, is housed in the city-owned Allie Mae Williams service campus in Central City between Jackson Avenue and Philip Street. The lease arrangement calls for the tourism foundation to rent 1,000 feet of space at 2020 Jackson Ave. for $800 per month from July 2011 to this month. 
Copies of checks show the tourism foundation paid at least $4,800 in rent in from August to March. Two vacant, city-owned properties are located at that address, in back of the complex. The foundation lists the address as its official domicile in a contract with the state treasury but a different address, DeLong’s home on Magnolia Street, in state corporation records.  
I had already pointed out that the Magnolia address was an empty residential property.

All in all...this stinks pretty badly.  I still would like to get in contact with DeLong and find out exactly what the entity's mission statement is.  Right now it looks like a whole lot of nothing for 100k in public money.  I would also like to find out if the entity receives funding from other sources, private or public.

The entire rent scenario reeks of a classic Jeffersonian con-profit.

I think we have lot to be worried about with Mayor Landrieu's hand-picked handmaiden, Diana Bajoie.


Anonymous said...

Something that was overlooked: (whole statute here:

And of course (though this should be obvious):

That’s the wrong number for DeLong. It should be this one: (504) 529-1860. Also the number of the 12th Ward Save Our Community Organization, of which DeLong is/was once listed as a Director of:$FILE/00000390.pdf

(Some really interesting things 12th Ward SOCO has gotten a vending permit for as of late, although I am not quite sure how it’s related)

Anonymous said...

some times you get the scoop , sometimes you don't.

the only time i've heard you get hat tips in local media was gambit and wist.

that being said , you are lighting a fire under peoples asses and making our city a better place.

thank you for your passion and work.


Jason Brad Berry said...

"(Some really interesting things 12th Ward SOCO has gotten a vending permit for as of late, although I am not quite sure how it’s related)

Anon 1....Medicaid/Medicare scam?

Jason Brad Berry said...


Hang on....light bulb just went off.

I think I am beginning to see the bigger picture. I am admittedly an amateur at this but I think I see the pattern.

Don't know who you are Anon 1 but I would be happy to speak with you offline if you're so inclined.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1 here ...

Wish I could say I knew more, but I don't. I'm just an amateur myself with decent Google skills.

Some of what SOCO does looks legitimate ( but all of the players involved are the same ones from the Bajoie/Tourism conprofit.

There's a tangled web of old/new Central City organizations tied to the 2101 Philip St address and especially the 2020 Jackson Ave address with a lot of the same names (DeLong, Somerville, Batiste, etc). Also that 1860 phone #. Hard for me to decipher what's going on.

As for the vendor permit, that strikes me as bizarre but I've got nothing more to go on.

I intend to keep digging when I've got the time. Hope you'll do the same.

jeffrey said...

From the CityBiz story comes this golden bit of golden gold.

Laners-Somerville said she no longer works for the foundation and declined to explain what her duties included.

'I know you know the definition of administrative duties,' Laners-Somerville said. 'Whatever you want it to mean is what it means.'

It sure does.

Jason Brad Berry said...

What's even better is her job description as listed in the budget submitted to the legislative auditor's office: the facility where the program is housed...

Where the fuck is that? CC's coffee house or Zea's? I do a lot of work at CC's as well, can I get check for manning a non-profit out of there?

Anonymous said...

The mystery as to why Diane "the Banjo" and her friends managing the non-profit NWUTHT&EDF failed to qualify and receive the $306,000 in grants allocated directly to them by the La.legis from 2007-2010 is simple.

My theory is they, as well as others, were scared shitless because of the investigation, prosecution and media heat brought in response to the Dollar Bill Jefferson scandal.

Incompetence among such Masters of Federal Grants is not supportable based on past competent abilities to secure such grants and pretty believable. But laying low while the heat surrounding Dollar Bill cooled is plausible.

As the heat in the kitchen cooled they have now slowing begun again cooking up their non-profit menu and ingesting more grants recently, that is until you and City Business have exposed the BS toxic ingredients in their meals.