- Elliott Stonecipher
Sunday, June 18, 2017 … 2:28 P.M. …
Very soon, I am told, we will learn who President Donald Trump has chosen to become United States Attorney in our Western District of Louisiana.
No single political or governmental thing of which I am aware is nearly as important to Shreveport and Caddo Parish as this appointment. Not one.
Our federal district, one of three in Louisiana, includes 42 parishes which cover two-thirds of the state’s land mass, in which just under 50% of our Louisiana population lives.
It is easy for me to believe that no such U. S. federal district, of which there are ninety-four, more desperately needs a remarkable federal (criminal) prosecutor than does ours.
That is a statement of just how endangered our city and parish are by systemic public corruption.
Here, in Caddo Parish, elected parish commissioners can knowingly vote themselves unquestionably illegal salary and other benefits, and when caught, use our taxpayer money to hire lawyers to defend their “right” to steal from us … with critical backing from within our state courts.
Here, in Shreveport, citizens are so abused and dishonored that even the money we specifically vote to go to projects we choose in bond elections is diverted by elected officials to different projects, for purely personal reasons, if not gain.
Here, in Caddo Parish, federal money meant to dull the damage of poverty among children in our public school system is skimmed to benefit supposed sponsors of those programs, including some churches.
Here in Shreveport, federal highway projects reaching back six decades can be killed by a tiny number of city and parish public officials to benefit themselves and reap huge profits for a lone profiteer.
Here in Shreveport and Caddo Parish, no such corruption warrants criminal investigation.
Thus, public confidence is shattered, and even the delivery of basic government services is now beginning to fail.
Taxes rise, accelerating already damaging levels of population out-migration.
The “rule of law” thus becomes a sad and painful reference to a good-governmental staple lost to us.
As so many elected officials thus serve themselves, good and honest people eschew elected office.
News providers are routinely, too often successfully, lobbied by corruption apologists to remain silent.
Yes, I can attest, corruption is actively covered-up here.
Almost no one here knows, for example, about the federal sting some years ago – “Operation Blighted Officials” – involving “Cifer 5000,” a fake garbage can cleaning company.
When the smoke cleared, a good list of Louisiana officials were indicted, with several convicted and imprisoned.
Had it not been for an excellent journalist and friend of mine in Baton Rouge, I might never have learned about it.
The fact is, our then-Mayor Cedric Glover was a witness who testified on February 10, 2012, in one of the related trials – apparently in Marksville, Louisiana – conducted by Shreveport-based U. S. District Judge Maury Hicks.
I am among those who seriously doubt that Glover was a mere witness, but regardless of that, the entire sting and its prosecution came and went over several years with apparently no “news” of it here … including our own mayor’s role.
Regardless that corrupt officials run virtually no risk for being corrupt, citizens who stick their necks out in opposition to this crime wave are routinely and openly ridiculed and denounced by community “leaders.”
Yes, it is, at a minimum, a social / cultural sin here, punishable in many unsavory ways, to write about corrupt officials and the social, political and legal cover provided them by these honchos.
Such well demonstrates why outsiders, especially federal officials, are the key to stomping out public corruption here. They are far less likely to give a hoot-in-hell about a corrupt official’s handlers and sponsors here, or in Baton Rouge, or in D. C.
We desperately need a dedicated U. S. Attorney – an outsider and anti-corruption crusader – to save us … from various categories of ourselves.
© 2017 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED