A closer look

The state of affairs at Recreation District 2-3 continues to unraveled in its nature, and is not likely to change soon.

The long-serving members of the district’s board — a majority of the group — have demonstrably flouted state laws for years in terms of how their records were kept and meetings conducted. This has been seen as an academic matter by people in a position to see that the law is followed. They are citizen volunteers who give of their time and energy in public service, so far as authorities are concerned.

So far we have one weak indication that the Louisiana Board of Ethics may be looking into one aspect of board business, as reported in an article that appears in today’s paper.

But in reviewing public record requests made to the board we see a disturbing set of facts. The failure of the board to follow the law in the past continues to haunt questions in the present.

We repeatedly see authorized board activity, such as assignment of field management to individual board members rather than paid field managers, that was never approved by the board itself, at least not in writing.

The minutes of the 2-3 leave a very murky legacy.

With District 2-3 continuing as a major element in the construction of Terrebonne’s Field of Dreams sports park, and the potential that other issues will arise in the future, we think it is time for a proper investigation to determine if the laws of this state were consistently violated, if violation has continued, and what if anything should be done about it.

The District Attorney of the 32nd Judicial District has the right to order an investigation of District 2-3, convene a grand jury to examine the actions of District 2-3, and for a report to be issued with the results of those findings.

If the District Attorney is constrained from doing this, perhaps because of any number of conflicts, then the question should be punted to the Louisiana Attorney General without delay. Public confidence has been shaken. The public has a right to an authoritative determination of what has been done that is good or bad.

The members of the District 2-3 board, who have worked hard over the years to maintain that district and now find themselves in an uncomfortable spotlight, have the right as well for a clear determination and public utterance of well-being if indeed it is determined that they have done no wrong.

An independent examination is in any event warranted, and we ask District Attorney Joe Waitz Jr. to set the wheels in motion for some final determinations.