Question in New Orleans: How to watch the watchdog?

Question in New Orleans: How to watch the watchdog?

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – A government ethics panel in New Orleans is looking for ways to provide better oversight over a city government watchdog post following the ouster of the last man to hold the job.

The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reports that Inspector General Derry Harper resigned under pressure last month. His departure came amid complaints about low productivity and absenteeism.

Ethics Review Board Chair Michael Cowan told the City Council on Tuesday that the board now is faced with balancing greater oversight of the watchdog office with the need for it to remain independent of political influence.

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“Nothing like this has happened before, and clearly we need to look at what kind of line of sight the Ethics Review Board has to the operations of the office without interfering with their operations,” Cowan said. “We’re considering all possibilities.”

The Inspector General’s Office in New Orleans was created in 2006 amid numerous reforms that followed sluggish state, local

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