- Elliott Stonecipher
Friday, September 20, 2019 … 1:15 P.M.
Most Shreveporters who care even a bit about the spiral-down in City government are closely following the off-the-rails selection of our Police Chief.
For all the embarrassment attached to that meltdown of one of the most basic services a government can provide – public safety – more of that embarrassment can be expected before, during, and likely after next Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
Meanwhile, over at the scandal-plagued Department of Water & Sewer more scandal is being alleged which most directly involves former Deputy Director Jeffery Anderson.
Various sources have detailed to me how Anderson was terminated from his position after being identified as having illegally taken “over two-hundred-thousand” dollars in public funds.
According to these sources, Anderson acted in combination with a Department contractor to pad invoices on work done in the City’s recent “Champion Lake manhole” emergency.
A second contractor is identified as having reported the alleged scheme to Department officials.
In speaking to Jeffery Anderson, he strongly denied the charges. He describes being given a termination letter, and was told only that the Department “wanted to go in a different direction.”
Importantly, an allegation late last month concerning three other Department employees, ultimately charged with felony theft (SEE Link #1, below), was never reported to law enforcement by anyone in the Department, notably including its Director, Barbara Featherston.
Rather, the City’s Internal Auditor reported it, resulting in an investigation by the Caddo-Shreveport Financial Crimes Task Force. (SEE Link #2, below)
In fact, therefore, this allegation is literally no more than that … an allegation … albeit a very serious one. Law enforcement, to my knowledge, has not been asked to investigate.
I have attempted to reach Director Barbara Featherston by email and phone for comment. She has yet to respond.
Deepening the significance of this allegation and its resulting turmoil is the importance of Mr. Anderson in the City’s three class-action lawsuits now underway before Caddo District Judge Mike Pitman.
Directly involved sources are categorical in their identification of Anderson as DOWAS’ top Departmental source of data and related expertise at issue in that litigation.
Does Anderson’s termination actually trace to the litigation rather than a theft of public funds, or could it be both? We have no answer, of course, but we do know the timing of Anderson’s termination based on Featherston wanting to take the Department “in another direction” raises such doubt.
Therefore, Featherston should immediately report the alleged theft to the Shreveport Police Department, Caddo Sheriff’s Department and / or the Financial Crimes Task Force.
… developing …
© 2019 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
1. KTBS News, August 23, 2019:
2. Caddo-Shreveport Financial Crimes Task Force: