Sterling Colomb, the founder of the local Colomb Foundation and one of three dozen Louisiana non-governmental organizations in the cross hairs of state Treasurer John Kennedy for alleged failures to account for how they spent millions in state grants, is pushing back against the treasurer and suggests Kennedy is engaging in politically motivated grandstanding.
“I made the deadline. He’s running for governor; he’s just trying to put his name out there,” Colomb tells The Ind, insisting that his foundation accounted for how it spent $300,000 in state grant money way back in 2008. The money, Colomb says, was used to purchase land and build the foundation’s office, which doubles as an event center. “That stuff’s been turned in already; this is the second time around,” Colomb says. “We got audited in 2008 and turned all that stuff in. If our audit was good I don’t know why we wouldn’t turn it in. The thing about Kennedy, he moved so much he probably can’t find nothing. He moved his office about three times so it’s probably caught up in them boxes somewhere.”
Kennedy fingered the Colomb Foundation and dozens of other nonprofit organizations, giving the NGOs a Sept. 4 deadline to submit documentation showing how they spent the state grant money. Kennedy’s office confirmed for The Ind’s sister publication, ABiz, that Colomb’s foundation did indeed turn in a box of materials on the day of the deadline. Deputy Treasurer Jason Redmond said last week that the Colomb Foundation has been granted an extension while treasury staff inspects the material. NGOs that didn’t meet the deadline have been turned over to the Office of Debt Recovery.
“Everything we said we were going to do with the grant we did. In that box we have check stubs, receipts and pictures. It’s on the up and up on my end as far as I know,” Colomb says, who disputes Redmond’s claim that the Colomb Foundation never submitted documentation to Treasury.
Colomb also takes exception with claims that his foundation was contacted by Kennedy’s office and asked to submit proof of proper expenditures. “He’s talking about sending out certified letters. He has no proof anybody signed for them. He says he called. He has no log book to say he had called,” Colomb insists. “I received no certified letter. I received no phone call.”
The foundation was created in 2003 in the memory of Colomb’s wife, who died of breast cancer, and his adoptive daughter, who was murdered by the South Louisiana serial killer in November 2002. He is clearly agitated by suggestions that he’s run anything but an above-board foundation that focuses on breast cancer awareness, teen empowerment and women’s safety. And he says the term “witch hunt” falls short, in his view, of what’s going on in Baton Rouge.
“All these nonprofits, all of them were black,” Colomb says. “It’s not a witch hunt. I’d call it something else but I’d rather not say.”
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NOV 25 Here's a link to the petition that has been created to save Zeus, a family dog who is targeted for death by the learned fathers of the Avoyelles Parish village of Moreauville. They passed an ordinance based on nothing that outlaws pit bulls and Rotweillers. As of Tuesday morning, the petition had more than 230,000 signatures - a number that's a wee bit higher than the village population of 929.
NOV 25 Blogger Tom Aswell is writing about the latest in a federal lawsuit against Du Pont that claims the chemical company's Ascension Parish plant has been leaking toxic fumes on a regular basis for years without reporting it. The company is asking the court to prevent the plaintiff from talking about a fatal toxic leak that happened in Texas, Tom writes.
NOV 25 Louisiana Democrats are limping, but don't count them out, Jeremy Alford writes in this post on LaPolitics. They've come back before; but the one thing the D's can't do is just twiddle their thumbs while waiting for the pendulum to swing left, Alford opines. They need to rebuild and rebrand, he says.
NOV 25 Blogger Mike Deshotels offers this primer on predatory charter schools and how they operate, specifically in Louisiana. They're not just profiting from our tax dollars, they're using children and shortchanging them to do so, Deshotels says.
NOV 25 Blogger Rod Dreher is writing about the increasing number of retail establishments who are open on Thanksgiving in this post. He's got a list of stores that will be open and a list of stores that won't.
NOV 25 Edwin Edwards took off the gloves on Monday, this post on WAFB tells us. At a Press Club appearance, he wondered how his 6th Congressional District opponent, Garret Graves, could be an expert in all the areas in which he claims to be - when he has no college degree in anything. (Five years - FIVE YEARS - in college, but no degree. Huh?)
NOV 25 This story in the LSU Reveille assures students that the Jindal administration's removal of millions from the TOPS fund won't affect students. Oh, ah. K. Is that like the raid on the OGB wasn't going to affect state employees? Who is the adviser for this paper?
NOV 25 Apparently the Jindal administration can't handle old folks, either. This post on The Advocate outlines a legislative auditor's report critical of the administration's handling (or not handling) of the state agency that oversees services for the elderly.
NOV 24 Blogger Bob Mann is blogging about race and the Senate campaign in this post. Sure, everybody knows that Mary Landrieu doesn't do too well with white folks, but how come the GOP can't get arrested in the black community? Bob is asking.
NOV 24 The GOP has a boogie-man for anybody thinking about voting for Mary Landrieu: President Obama. But the Dems have one for Bill Cassidy, too, Melinda Deslatte writes in this AP post on The Reading Eagle -- and his name is Governor Jindal.
NOV 24 Columnist Stephanie Grace is writing about Bobby Jindal's continuing refusal to accept federal funding for the expansion of Medicaid. It's purely an attempt to benefit him politically, meaning the decision is "cruel, short-sighted and remarkably self-centered." Well, yeah. Have you met him?
NOV 24 Because of a town ordinance, the police will come to a disabled girl's home this week to take away her service dog and kill him. Sound like a bad Lifetime movie? Nope - it's real life in Moreauville, blogger Lamar White Jr. tells us in this post. The dog's crime? Being born a pit bull. What's the reason for this ordinance? Well, the town fathers are a little vague on that one. Maybe Obama?
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