Corruption Risk Report Card
Rank among 50 states: 15th

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The story behind the score

A state with a colorful history of corruption has tried to clean up its act. But despite a series of new laws, oversight issues remain. Read more from SII State Reporter Mark Ballard.

Latest state news for Louisiana

State integrity news for Louisiana, from the New Orleans Times-Picayune:

Gov. Bobby Jindal and former Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard each received $40,000 in campaign contributions from companies that the Louisiana Board of Ethics now alleges are "straw man entities" used to launder illegal donations from the embattled River Birch landfill's parent company. Jindal's campaign reported receiving $5,000 contributions from six River Birch-linked firms on the same day in April 2007.

The $30,000 haul would violate a $5,000 cap on donations from one company if all the money ultimately came from River Birch Inc., as the Board of Ethics asserts in a lawsuit against the alleged shell companies.

Read the rest of the story at the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

By Barry Erwin, Council for a Better Louisiana

One of the first things Buddy Roemer did when he became governor of Louisiana in 1988 was create the Office of Inspector General. He figured, correctly, that the state needed an independent watchdog agency to weed out corruption and misuse of state funds.

Four years later, when former Governor Edwin Edwards and former Klansman David Duke knocked him out of the runoff for re-election, Roemer fought to maintain the office. He got Edwards to promise that if elected he would keep the Office of Inspector General alive. That surprised a lot of people, since Edwards himself had been the target of various federal investigations and later went to jail. But Edwards kept his word, and continued to fund the inspector general position.

Given that history, it caught almost everybody off guard when a couple of weeks ago the Louisiana House of Representatives agreed to an amendment to the 2013 state budget bill that completely eliminated funding for the Office of Inspector General. That’s not a good thing.

State integrity news for Louisiana, from The Advocate:

If there is one bargain in the state budget, we think it’s the less than $2 million a year spent on an office targeting public corruption and fraud. It makes no sense for the Legislature to economize by eliminating the funding for the Office of Inspector-General in state government.

The House of Representatives deleted the funding for the office, a signal that officeholders may be unhappy about investigations by Inspector-General Stephen Street, a veteran prosecutor.

Read the rest of the story at The Advocate.

State integrity news for Louisiana, from The Town Talk

Any candidate running for the Louisiana Legislature or for statewide office should complete ethics training, says Rep. Stuart Bishop, R-Lafayette.The Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved Bishop's House Bill 365 and sent it to the full Senate for final approval.

"I don't see a problem with people knowing what they're getting into," said Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans.

Read the rest of the story at The Town Talk.

State integrity news for Louisiana, from The Advocate:

House Bill 942 would allow the Ethics Board — which prosecutes cases of alleged ethics violations — to challenge decisions of the Ethics Adjudicatory Board, which decides cases when questions of interpretations of law are involved.

The Ethics Board wants the appeal right, but not an amendment added by a House committee that would require it to pay attorney fees and court costs of the other party if they lose appeals.

Read the rest of the story at The Advocate.

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