BLAST FROM THE PAST: Questions remain about (GRAVES) potential conflict
Questions remain about (GRAVES) potential conflict
JEREMY ALFORD Capitol Correspondent
Published: Sunday, February 3, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
BATON ROUGE – Should the son of an executive who does work for the state and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers be appointed to a position that oversees coastal affairs?
The administration of Gov. Bobby Jindal answered in the affirmative this week.
A legal opinion written by Jimmy Faircloth, the governor’s executive counsel, outlines how the arrangement can work without conflict, but interviews conducted with various players on Jindal’s team have done little to explain how the situation finally came into the sunshine.
The father of Garret Graves, Jindal’s senior coastal advisor, is the owner of an engineering firm that is among the top contract holders in Louisiana with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
By law, Garret Graves also serves as chairman of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, whose primary partner is the corps.
To be more specific, Evans-Graves Engineers, which has offices in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, made $47 million last year from corps contracts alone, according to USAspending.gov, a fiscal accountability Web site supported by the federal government. The engineering firm also confirmed the tally.