How Mitch Landrieu is “Cleaning Up” New Orleans City Hall

Mitch Landrieu was sworn in as mayor of New Orleans on Monday and already, constituents have reason to believe that he will be unable to make good on promises he issued to clean up City Hall and bring ethical leadership to the office of mayor.

Exhibit A: Landrieu appointed his sister-in-law, Aimee Quirk, to a top position as his economic adviser to remedy the city’s fragile financial situation. One commenter on the Times-Picayune’s website said it best: “Try opening your mind to the word ‘Nepotism.’ It never ceases to amaze me how that which is clearly illegal in most all states in this great country, and for very good reasons, but in Louisiana it’s just Standard Operating Procedure.”

Exhibit B: Next on the list of controversial decisions for the new mayor? Landrieu appointed Dr. Joia Crear-Perry to become the head of the city’s Health Department. This wouldn’t be notable except for the fact that the woman cannot practice medicine in the state of Louisiana. In fact, she hasn’t been able to practice medicine for nearly a year (since July 2009). The reason?

The state licensing board suspended her license July 31 because Crear-Perry, an obstetrician and gynecologist, did not disclose, as required, that a New Orleans hospital had suspended her privileges and because she did not abide by the board’s terms when it suspended her license in 2008.

I’m sorry… WHAT?! This doctor hasn’t been able to practice since her license was suspended in 2008. Now it’s revoked. Oh, and in the past few years, she’s been under investigations by various hospitals and review boards.

Clearly, Mitch Landrieu can’t be that stupid to hire a woman with a shady professional history to run the health care system for one of America’s most impoverished cities, where so many rely upon public medical resources to survive? Throw in the melodrama that is the ongoing Charity Hospital saga and it would be only wise for Mitch Landrieu to pick a community veteran with the professional background to maintain integrity for the agency.

Why would Mitch Landrieu make such a risky appointment? Probably because Crear-Perry served on Landrieu’s task force for health care. Or maybe it was because her husband, Andre Perry, was the co-chairman of Landrieu’s education task force.

Exhibit C: Finally, the most recent of Mitch Landrieu’s outrageous decisions for his fledgling administration: the new mayor wants U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, notorious for reckless talk and crazy judicial stances, to vet the New Orleans Police Department.

Wonderful. Let’s get the federal government involved, the same federal government that couldn’t manage to deliver water bottles to folks stranded during Hurricane Katrina. This federal consent decree issued by Landrieu would allow the federal government to completely control the internal affairs of the New Orleans Police Department. While there’s no arguing that the NOPD have some serious problems, I doubt that federalizing operations in a city as unique as New Orleans would be a good fix so much as a scapegoat.

When will Mitch Landrieu stop riding the wave of being the “anti-Nagin” and start being held accountable for this corrupt and reckless behavior?

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