Friday, March 7 2014 9:24 PM EST2014-03-08 02:24:48 GMT
There's a new effort underway to combat bullying. This time it comes in the form of a bill that Louisiana state lawmakers could soon consider down in Baton Rouge. And it comes from a Shreveport state representative. HouseMore >>
There's a new effort underway to combat bullying. This time it comes in the form of a bill that Louisiana state lawmakers could soon consider down in Baton Rouge. And it comes from a Shreveport state representative.
over $70,000 a year given to members of the East Baton Rouge Metro Council is
money that is supposed to be spent with your best interest in mind. The I-Team
continues its investigation into how they spend your money.
members personally spend hundreds of thousands of your dollars each year on all
sorts of things. The majority of the 12 members spent some of your money on
what you might expect; stuff like office supplies and meetings. However, there
are also the expensive trips and things like a $200 gift for singer R. Kelly.
said when council members use their budgets to make donations or for gifts,
they are basically buying votes down the road. On his way out the door,
outgoing Councilman Smokie Bourgeois used your money to make a $7,000 donation
to the Camelot College Scholarship Fund. One of the directors listed at the school
worked as a consultant for Bourgeois during his campaign.
John Delgado beat Bourgeois and said he's troubled by picking and spending the
public's tax money just on certain groups or people.
we are specifying, this particular group gets a $7,000 expenditure of public
funds, we need to be real careful as to how that's done," Delgado said. "As
you're going out the door, giving the money, yeah, that could raise some questions
Councilman Bones Addison at first gave $25,000 of your money away to a summer
program for students, and then added in another $10,000.
using council budgets for donations are one thing, a lot of your money is going
toward travel. One of the more well traveled council members is C. Denise Marcelle,
who represents District 7. You paid to send her on several trips to Washington,
DC, but also on a trip to Ceasars' Palace in Las Vegas, Miami, FL, and St. Martin
of all of the trips was to attend conferences; mainly what's called "The
National Bar Association Conference." It's an association of African American
lawyers and judges. Marcelle is not an attorney, but works privately as a legal
assistant. She was questioned if her attending the bar association conferences
really benefit the city or perhaps help out her own personal career.
write the law on a local level, but I'm interested in all of the things about
the law," said Marcelle. "So, I love to go to those types of conventions."
different expense reports obtained by the I-Team, Councilwoman Marcelle tried
to get reimbursed for rentals cars used on her trips. They were denied because
the councilwoman admitted she wanted to use them for "sightseeing tours." This
includes the $1,400 conference trip to St. Martin and a personal sightseeing
trip with the president of St. Martin.
visit the president of St. Martin's home. We rode around the city. She showed
me things that were undeveloped areas and how she was planning on developing it
and that's what that was about. So, I wasn't specific in saying I was at so and
so's, but I did go to her house and I'm sure that you could find that out as
well," Marcelle explained.
was the president of St. Martin at the time?" Greg asked.
cannot remember her name, but she was the first woman president of St. Martin,"
majority of the budgets the I-Team looked through were for what many have
called legitimate expenses. We'll let you be the judge on this last one. Councilwoman
Marcelle spent $256 of your money for the key to the city for rap and R&B
singer R. Kelly. Marcelle made the presentation at R. Kelly's Valentine's Day concert
in Baton Rouge.
the best use of tax payer's money to go there and recognize R. Kelly at his
Valentine's Day concert?" Greg asked.
the reason I chose to do that is because he's a great artist," Marcelle
you see how people see that you're personally invested in it, so you spend tax payers'
money to get it done?" Greg followed up.
no I don't see that because it's an allowable expense of who you want to
recognize. And, I don't think anybody should handle me any differently or any
other councilmember for whatever they choose to do," she said.
don't see where an R. Kelly concert presentation would kind of throw people
off?" Greg asked.
I don't. Again, I see it as economic development," Marcelle responded.
Friday, March 7 2014 4:52 PM EST2014-03-07 21:52:54 GMT
Girls who play with Barbie dolls see fewer career options for themselves than boys, according to an Oregon State University study. The research was supported by funding from the OSU College of LiberalMore >>
Girls who play with Barbie dolls see fewer career options for themselves than boys, according to an Oregon State University study.More >>