Attaboys & Oh Boys for Sept. 14

Oh Boy!

To the apparent lack of oversight by a state agency and its then-director with federal funds designated for helping the Mississippi Gulf Coast rebuild after Hurricane Katrina. Robert Latham has said he knew little as state emergency management director about problems with a program to fortify Coast homes that could leave taxpayers on the hook for $30 million. After a federal audit found problems in the program, FEMA has halted the most recent payment to reimburse the state. However Lee Smithson, the new MEMA director, said he “absolutely” questions Latham’s claim that he didn’t know of major problems with the Coastal Retrofit Program. Additionally, an Office of Inspector General’s report shows state officials became aware of problems nearly two years ago. We think Latham and the rest of MEMA should have been on top of this long before it became part of a federal audit’s focus.

Clarion Ledger