by Rachel Sawicki
State Rep. Mike Smith and State Sen. Laura Sturgeon plan to sponsor a bill authorizing the creation of an Inspector General’s Office. A similar bill was introduced last session, but languished in committee.
Sturgeon says an inspector general’s office would cost about $1 million per year, which she argues is a good investment to bolster the public’s trust in government.
Stephen Street has been the Louisiana State Inspector General since 2008. He says an IG typically has jurisdiction over the attorney general, governor, lieutenant governor, state treasurer, all departments, boards and commissions, public colleges and universities, and anyone that does business with any of those entities.
“The IG is in a spot where they’re going to wade into the toxic cases that no one else will touch,” Street says. “And certainly the ones that elected officials run from because they’re guaranteed to infuriate people, because sometimes the case is hit and you’ve got folks on both sides of it. And no matter where you land, you’re going to upset folks. that’s just the way it is.”