In March of 2013, after three years as the Baltimore City Inspector General, I accepted the offer of the Jefferson Parish Ethics and Compliance Commission to be the first Inspector General of Jefferson Parish. The decision to do so was based on my firm belief that Inspectors General can make a substantial difference in municipal government through efforts to fight against corruption; enhance transparency, and increase effectiveness and efficiency.

In over 25 years of service as a police officer, lawyer and inspector general in local government; I have seen corrupt, wasteful and abusive actions and policies in many forms. Conversely, I have come to realize that most government employees provide an honest full days work and care deeply about ensuring they are good stewards of the public’s trust. Therefore; the Office of Inspector General is committed to identifying and eliminating the bad actors and inefficient policies as it is to supporting exemplary employees of government and pursuit of good governance at its best.

In forming the new Office of Inspector General, Jefferson Parish took great lengths to insure that the Inspector General is both autonomous and independent. The result is a model that I am confident is effectively insulated from political influence. To ensure this independence, the Parish established an Ethics and Compliance Commission that consists of five Commissioners who are appointed from lists of nominees submitted by the presidents or chancellors of Tulane University, Loyola University of the South, Xavier University, University of New Orleans, and Delgado Community College. The Ethics and Compliance Commission serves as an effective buffer between the Inspector General and Jefferson Parish government.

The Parish Charter states that the Office of Inspector General shall assist in improving operations and deterring and identifying, fraud, waste, abuse, and illegal acts and to provide increased accountability of parish government, its departments, agencies, special districts and entities receiving funds through the parish, in order to preserve public trust. With this goal, the Office of Inspector General has been vested with substantial powers and a broad scope of authority to permit inquiry into every corner of Parish Government. However, I view our relationship with the public, the business community, and Parish staff as the most important factor in our success.

Corruption and fraud have unfortunately left many with a negative impression of government in Jefferson Parish. By working together; being willing to address institutionalized systems; increasing transparency and embracing meaningful debate we can root out fraud, waste and abuse; improve Parish services and become a more effective and efficient government. We need your help to accomplish these goals. If you see or experience corruption, in any form, involving Jefferson Parish Government or contractors doing business with the Parish, I am personally requesting that you tell us.

Silence perpetuates the status quo. If your co-workers or supervisors are using their positions improperly, or for personal gain, they are part of the problem. If companies or individuals are attempting to gain an unfair advantage in gaining Parish work, they too are part of the problem. You have the power to change things and I ask that you be part of the solution and report evidence of corruption to us.

David McClintock

Inspector General

 
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