Saturday, September 17, 2005

LA Times: Louisiana Officials Indicted Before Katrina Hit

The Los Angeles Times, which may be many things but definitely does not count among them membership in the "Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy," had this report today on the state agencies in Louisiana responsible for disaster recovery. The first few paragraphs follow:

WASHINGTON — 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.

The problems are particularly worrisome, federal officials said, because they involve the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, the agency that will administer much of the billions in federal aid anticipated for victims of Katrina.