This weekend, three confidants of former New Orleans mayor Marc Morial pleaded guilty to a string of corruption charges stemming from an energy contract awarded to Johnson Controls Incorporated during the final year of Morial’s second term. The three men were all considered part of Mayor Morial’s inner circle. From the Times-Picayune:
The City Hall case centers on a massive energy-management contract quietly awarded by Morial to Johnson Controls Inc., a national firm, toward the end of Morial’s eight-year tenure in office. Federal prosecutors portrayed Barré, DeCay, Walker and Johnson Controls project manager Terry Songy as the chief architects of a criminal conspiracy that skimmed more than $1 million from the deal.
Songy, who has been cooperating with the government for more than two years, has already pleaded guilty to two felony counts. Barré, a 7th Ward restaurateur, has been portrayed by prosecutors as the mastermind of the scheme.
DeCay told Johnson Controls that he wanted some of the contract to cover renovations at the Municipal Auditorium and the Theatre of the Performing Arts, where Barré was the exclusive concessionaire and a partner in the management contract, according to prosectution documents.
In 2005, Morial’s uncle was accused of defrauding the transit authority of nearly $500,000.