Friday, 15 May 2015 14:13
Mayfield, NOJO, New Orleans Libraries and all that FBI jazz
Written by 

mayfieldIt still is hard to fathom what happened with the New Orleans Public Library Foundation. How did the leadership of the foundation get awarded to Irvin Mayfield, a musician with no expertise in libraries and no degree in library science? Well, it was another boneheaded move by the former Mayor of New Orleans Ray Nagin, the true “Master of Disaster.” Nagin now sits in federal prison for a variety of corrupt activities, but his decision to place Mayfield at the position of foundation president will rank as another one of his many mistakes while in office. 


During 2012-13, Mayfield directed $863,000 of the foundation’s money to the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO). During this period, Mayfield was leading the foundation and the jazz orchestra and created this financial arrangement. At the same time, Mayfield and Ronald Markham, a library foundation board member, were collecting a six figure salaries from NOJO. 

While Mayfield and Markham are still associated with NOJO, both have resigned from the library foundation board. An ill-advised effort to build a mini-library within the headquarters of NOJO has been shelved, at least for the time being. 

Obviously, new library foundation board President Bob Brown is facing a major task in investigating the activities of Mayfield and his associates. The internal investigation will not be the only one involving the library foundation as the FBI has now launched a probe into the questionable relationship with NOJO. 

What is especially troubling is that Mayfield remains the Artistic Director of NOJO and Markham is still the group’s President and CEO. While promising to return the foundation’s $863,000 donation, NOJO’s spokeswoman still maintains the group wants to have a relationship with the city’s libraries. 

After the revelations involving this scandal, it will be a much better idea for the libraries of New Orleans to cut all ties with NOJO. Many foundation donors are quite angry that their funds were misdirected to NOJO, which pays six figure salaries to Mayfield and Markham. The mission of the library foundation should be solely focused on helping maintain a crumbling library system. 

The library system was in such need of repair that city officials were able to force through a tripling of the property millage to direct more funds to the libraries of New Orleans. If the foundation had been doing its job, instead of playing jazz, the conditions of city libraries might have been much better. 

Along with Mayfield and Markham, all members of the library foundation who approved the NOJO donations deserve plenty of blame. They are accessories to this horrific fiscal “crime.” It remains to be seen if it is an actual crime or just an appalling lack of judgment. 

Congratulations to WWL-TV for uncovering this sordid mess; however, the station should have aired the report prior to the library millage election. This may have influenced the vote, but withholding the information prevented voters from having complete information on the library system as they cast their ballots.

Going forward the library foundation should be completely restructured with an entirely new board. It will take quite a while for the group to rebuild trust with donors who were abused by musicians masquerading as library advocates. 

Jeff Crouere

Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. For more information, visit his web site at Ringside Politics.

Visit Jeff Crouere's Google Plus Page

Visit Bayoubuzz's Google Page

Website: www.ringsidepolitics.com
Login to post comments
  • Cat Fights on the Hot Cement Confederate New Orleans statues
  • Ex-Saints, Bears, Bills, NFL Exec, Jim W. Miller discusses NFL Draft tomorrow
  • Trump's new plan; Curtains on tax returns release; 40% say Trump-Russia; Probing Obama admin
  • Watch Louisiana Governor Edwards talk about CAT Tax failure

catRarely, have I seen few issues that have generated as much raw heat, tension, and passion than the Confederate monuments controversy. 

Just as existed during the real civil war, where brothers battled brothers, social media is the battleground, particularly Facebook, pitting friend against friend.

On one side of the tense divide, there are those who are protecting the New Orleans civil war era monuments.  Burnt in effigy, forever, is the symbol of Mayor Mitch Landrieu for up-ending what the monument protectors consider to be the loving civil society of New Orleans.

Lately, events have turned somewhat militaristic.

Some protectors of the Confederate monuments have been staying vigilant, in person and online, even surveilling during the wee hours of the morning, waiting for the next Mayor Landrieu attack. On Sunday morning, with protections of snipers, masked workers and a dumbstruck audience, the worst of all of the monuments was cut and carried., the Liberty Monument. 

Read More

miller nfl live2 5It’s D-Day or Draft Day tomorrow in the NFL.

More specifically, Thursday represents the first day of the NFL draft 2017.

Read More


trump curtainsThe major President Trump news of the day focuses upon taxes, not only the tax cuts he is proposing but his own taxes, which he obviously, refuses to unveil.


Read More

edwards play money 1

At a press conference today, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said the CAT Tax did not pass the House Ways and Means Committee.  The Governor, in addressing the media said that "the fate of that bill was decided long before we unveiled it".

Read More


Sen. Appel talks budget, economy


Dead Pelican

Optimized-DeadPelican2 1 1