Lately, we have started to consider a number of terms the “I” in IG stands for: Insolent, Impudent, Impertinent, Illogical, Immoral, Illegal, Inappropriate, Incorrect, Insulting, Irrational…
Wait, has the “I” button on the keyboard jammed?
No, good…Ill-chosen, Improper, Inapposite, Inapt, Incompatible, Ill-mannered, Incongruent, Inconsistent, Irrelevant, Immaterial and Invalid.
That’s only because IG Ed Quatrevaux certainly appears to be shaping up as the “General” of any and all of those descriptors.
The latest antic—attempting to call out the Independent Police Monitor’s Office (IPMO) for not turning over its reports, findings and information to his office—the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). If anyone has a right to be Indignant, Incensed, Infuriated, Irate and Irritated, it’s the people of New Orleans.
According to media reports, in a letter to City Councilwoman Susan Guidry, Quatrevaux questions the contents of IPMO reports written by police monitor Susan Hutson. He is further concerned that Hutson believes that her office does not answer to his. For her part, Hutson had a few concerns of her own, claiming that the OIG’s office has tried to commandeer IPMO investigations and reports in the past with political motivation.
Well, kudos to Hutson for having the presence of mind to stand up to Quatrevaux and tell him to mind his own ever-loving business (our words, not hers, but we bet she was thinking it).
So now ol’ Ed wants clarification (code for he wants a rubber stamp for his brazen, cheeky and erroneous position) from the New Orleans City Council on whether the Independent Police Monitor’s Office answers to him.
Of course, we know that these legislative leaders are paid good money to employ ardent efforts to resolve daunting issues like the one above. But at The Tribune, we are thinking if we solve this problem for them, they could busy themselves with some other important work for the people of New Orleans. So, let us take a stab at it: Uh…Hell, no, Ed!
Hutson was hired in 2010 to fill a position specifically created by a vote of the people of New Orleans to look into complaints and concerns regarding the NOPD. That is how and why the IPMO was created. But wait, that’s the same way the OIG was created—a vote of the people to change the city charter to establish the office. To suggest that Hutson must answer to Quatrevaux is akin to saying city councilmembers must answer to the mayor. They could and should work together for good of the people of this city, but to suggest that the IPMO kowtows to the OIG is wide off the mark. Uh, Inaccurate.
The office Hutson leads is called Independent Police Monitor. Now, this is no attempt to suggest that the office has worked magic since its creation. Yes, there is likely room for improvement, but Ed Quatrevaux and the OIG are in not in any position to oversee another office created by the people of New Orleans to act independently on their behalf in matters related to police conduct. Still not sure we’re on the side of right with this one. Well, with the help of Merriam Webster on-line, we will even define “independent”, especially for Ed, as he seems not to understand what that “I” word means.
“Independent: not dependent: as a (1) : not subject to control by others : self-governing (2) : not affiliated with a larger controlling unit <an independent bookstore>
b (1) : not requiring or relying on something else : not contingent <an independent conclusion> (2) : not looking to others for one’s opinions or for guidance in conduct (3) : not bound by or committed to a political party.”
At the end of the day, Quatrevaux ought to answer to the same people Huston does—the people of New Orleans whose electoral power and hard earned money turned tax dollars created and sustain their offices. Instead, he is more concerned with broadening his power.
And it’s all a crying shame because if city government would just be about TCB, we wouldn’t need the OIG or the IPMO. And for Pete’s sake would someone in City Hall with some G-U-T-S rein Quatrevaux in ASAP.