Friday, January 29, 2010

Is Louisiana continuing to pay Indicted and Convicted Reservoir Felons millions ?

Is Louisiana continuing to pay Indicted and Convicted Felons millions of dollars while facing budget shortfalls and a struggling economy ?

Michael L. Thompson a convicted felon and Reservoir Consultant Contractor was convicted of a Federal Crime on Jan 20, 2010 involving corruption at Poverty Point Reservoir.

Thompson is usually paid $100,000 dollars a year per Reservoir under previous contracts with D.O.T.D and political subdivisions of Washington, Allen, and many other Parish Reservoir Commissions.

The WPRC says, "Thompson's contract was terminated in 2008 at his request", but official documents from the Washington Parish Reservoir Commission is not currently available. Why would they want to keep this information a secret for over a year ?

There seems to be no official documentation available from Allen or any other Reservoir Commissions that Thompson is no longer being paid. State D.O.T.D responsible for paying Thompson seems to be uninterested in confirming or denying if Thompson continues to be paid.
It seems the Sunshine Law's light has dimmed, and Reservoir information is a dark secret.

Mike Thompson is the Brother of Sen. Francis C. Thompson Creator of Reservoirs in many Parishes and Legislation (ACT 523 in 2001) allowing sale of Land taken by Eminent Domain at Reservoirs. Legislator Developer Sen. Francis Thompson is selling Lakefront lots as CYPRESS COVE AT POVERTY POINT LLC.

Mike Thompson and Reservoir Engineer Terry Denmon of Denmon Engineering face more Federal Indictments of corruption involving Property and mail fraud at Poverty Point Reservoir. Denmon Engineering also continues to receive millions from Reservoirs in La.

Why did Sen. Nevers promote Thompson as man for the job in Washington Parish ?
Was Sen. Nevers and Commission misled by the Thompsons, or have other reasons for his selection ?
Does the relentless pursuit by the Washington Parish Reservoir Commission for a permit involve other reasons ?
Should the State continue to spend millions for Unwanted and Unneeded Reservoirs ?

Indicted - Convicted felons should not continue to be paid by Reservoir Commissions or the State.

Authority to debar or suspend - Causes include the following:
Conviction under state or federal statutes of embezzlement, theft, or any other offense indicating a lack of business integrity or business honesty which currently, seriously, and directly affects responsibility as a state contractor.

To stop paying Thompson would be a lengthy process requiring notification and a right to appeal.

However, Under R.S. 39:1554E Political subdivisions may choose to opt into all or part of the Law and continue to pay Thompson.

I contacted the State D.O.T.D Concerning Contracts and Distribution of funds to Reservoir Consultant Mike Thompson on January 22, 2010. I have not received a reply to deny or confirm that Thompson continues to be paid. After Thompson's Sentencing on May 24 will the state mail his checks to Federal Prison ?

In light of recent developments, and as a show of good faith Sen. Nevers and other Legislators creating Reservoirs should stop wasting State Money, dissolve the Reservoir Commissions and repeal Legislation creating the Reservoirs.

A complete Investigation and Audit of all Reservoirs and Commissions the Thompsons were involved with is needed.

I want to know, Is the State still paying "Indicted and Convicted Felons" millions of dollars to run a Reservoir scam ?

Letter to Editor of Era Leader

James Moore


Monday, January 25, 2010

Washington Parish reservoir official found guilty in case involving another reservoir

The Daily News
-- Published/Last Modified on Monday, January 25, 2010 8:52 AM CST

MONROE (AP) - Mike Thompson, the former executive director of Poverty Point Reservoir District, has been found guilty of extorting state resources for his personal benefit.

Thompson also serves as a paid consultant to the Washington Parish Reservoir District - formed by the Louisiana Legislature in 2003 to build a reservoir in Washington Parish. The Washington Parish Reservoir Commission voted to maintain its working arrangement with Thompson following his indictments. It’s unclear how Thompson’s conviction will affect his job with the local reservoir project.

A jury deliberated for nearly four hours Wednesday before convicting Thompson on one count of violating the Hobbs Act, a law created to combat racketeering and frequently used in cases involving public corruption.

The act carries a fine, a maximum sentence of 20 years or both.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 24.

Joe Cleveland, a former district handyman, testified that he did work for Thompson that was billed to the state-funded reservoir district.

The alleged work included installing appliances, building sidewalks, sheds and fences.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Reservoir Commission members not required to disclose personal finances : Ethics board

The Daily News - By Jacob Brooks - Published/Last Modified on Monday, January 11, 2010 9:21 AM

The Washington Parish Reservoir Commission members do not have to file annual personal financial disclosure statements, the Louisiana Ethics Board decided last month.

In a letter from the board to E.B. "Ted" Dittmer II, the board concluded that reservoir commission members are not subject to a state law that "requires financial disclosure for each member and designee of a board or commission which has the authority to expend, disburse or invest $10,000 or more of funds in a fiscal year."

While the commission has been allocated more than $3 million in state funds in the past, any expenses have to be approved at a higher level, according to wording in the letter to Dittmer.
"Prior to entering into contracts, the Commission must obtain permission from the Louisiana Department of Transportation to enter into the contract. Then, the Commission must submit another request for funds to pay for the contractual services. You (Dittmer) stated that the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has the authority to deny the release of funds as requested by the Washington Parish Reservoir Commission," according to the letter.

Further, it read: "Although the Washington Parish Reservoir Commission was created by statute, based on the facts provided, it does not appear the Commission has the authority to expend $10,000 or more in funds. Therefore, the Commission members are not required to file annual personal financial disclosure statements."

Dittmer, the attorney for the Washington Parish Reservoir Commission, said he had filed a request seeking the Ethics Board’s opinion on the matter after being asked to do so by Commission President Huey Pierce.


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