Further Traffic Court Shenanigans- Street Smarts
Another Traffic Court story can be found here.
Jackson Avenue, where the traffic cam runs wild, has a very skinny but real strip of neutral ground, so the 25 mile speed limit is intentionally low, and should be 35 mph. The fact that the speed limit is lower with a cam, shows the shenanigans perfectly
Try as I might with Google Maps, I cannot get the web map to show Jackson, so you must use your cursor to move the map over to Jackson, then blow up the shot until you can see the narrow grass strip that we call neutral ground.
I was on Henry Clay Avenue today below St. Charles Avenue, and it’s a wide street in very good shape. I think it may be concrete instead of asphalt. In spite of the great diving conditions, the speed limit is 25, and the speeding camera nets a ton of tickets.
Traffic Court is in more trouble than I can can figure. The City Council and the top state prosecutor Jim Letten is all over this unethical section of city government. Head Administrative Judge Robert Jones paid his campaign manager $1.3 million over 1 year. This campaign manager is an accountant who inputted fine income into the proper accounts. How much jail time do you think the Chief Judge and the accountant will garner?
New Orleans Traffic Court judges were easy to persuade when their contract accountant wanted more money — in just more than two years, Vandale Thomas got the court to increase his contract from $75,000 to $132,000. But those figures don’t begin to reveal the total story of Mr. Thomas’ compensation. He was paid nearly $1.3 million for doing work that, according to court staffers, consisted in large part of simple data entry.
Mr. Thomas was fired last month after a report by Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux revealed that he had been paid more than $600,000 in 2010. Times-Picayune reporter John Simerman found that Mr. Thomas received $421,175 in 2009, $620,520 in 2010 and $222,940 through October of this year.
Chief Administrative Judge Robert Jones called the payments “obscene,” and they are. But the fact that no one did anything to rein in the spending is an outrage, and one that must be laid at the feet of Traffic Court. It’s also partly the city’s responsibility since some of his work was for the online ticket payment system, which Traffic Court handles for the city.