Almost three years after Aaron Broussard resigned the parish presidency in a corruption scandal, Jefferson Parish’s Inspector General search is focusing on four finalists with current experience in government oversight. The inspector general board has decided to interview:
- David Holmgren of Lorton, Va., the U.S. Treasury Department’s Deputy Inspector General for inspections and evaluations at the Internal Revenue Service. A retired Air Force officer, Holmgren also has worked as inspector general for the Office of Naval Intelligence and Navy Installations Command.
- David McClintock of Arnold, Md., a lawyer, Baltimore’s Inspector General for the past three years and previously assistant police chief in Maryland for Prince George’s and Montgomery counties.
- Nicholas Schuler Jr. of Chicago, a lawyer, Deputy Inspector General at the Chicago Board of Education and former city of Chicago assistant inspector general and police officer.
- Howard Schwartz of Mandeville, New Orleans’ first assistant Inspector General for criminal investigations for the past 1 1/2 years and previously a No. 2 executive in the New Orleans FBI office.
They were chosen Monday evening by the Ethics and Compliance Commission, a five-member panel nominated by Parish President John Young and confirmed by the Parish Council. The commission will hire and supervise the Inspector General, an arrangement designed to make the watchdog position independent of the administration and council.
The commission received 39 applications for Inspector General from throughout the United States and several foreign countries, but three of the hopefuls were disqualified because they missed the deadline, Chairman Carroll Suggs said.
“This was an arduous task,” Suggs of the winnowing.
The selection of finalists made for a big breakthrough in a process that began in early 2010, when outraged residents and public officials began calling for an Inspector General amid the corruption scandal that brought down Broussard’s administration. Broussard and four co-defendants have since pleaded guilty to criminal charges.
The commission plans to interview the finalists in public Jan. 9, probably at the Airport Hilton Hotel. Suggs said she will work on reference and background checks, and commissioners said they want to prepare a set of common questions for the finalists.
Even after an Inspector General is hired, however, much work will remain before the person begins evaluating the government, Suggs said. Office space must be secured and equipped, and a staff hired.
It took New Orleans’ first Inspector General, Robert Cerasoli, 16 months on the job before he issued his first report.
Please view the original article, written by Drew Broach at The Times-Picayune website.