Corruption Cases Spike in New Orleans

UPI, October 4, 2007

The Federal Bureau of Investigation says the number of public corruption cases in New Orleans has more than quintupled.

The FBI attributed the rise in cases to a federal initiative targeting corruption in post-Katrina New Orleans and a billboard campaign that urges locals to come forward with information about public corruption, USA Today reported Thursday.

Howard Schwartz, supervisory special agent for public corruption in the FBI’s New Orleans’ office, said 171 people in the New Orleans area were indicted on public corruption charges, including bribery and fraud, between 2003 and the middle of September 2007. He said more than 80 percent of those indicted were convicted or pleaded guilty to the charges.

Schwartz said most of the indicted were public officials, including police officers, city councilmen and a former school board president.

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