CW Formal Response To STPED Formal Response: Points For Clarification

STP St Tammany Parish GovernmentI responded to Mr. Shea via e-mail (see Don Shea Formal Response), explaining that I would be happy to run his response, but I did have a few points that I needed clarified. I sent the following list of questions:

1. Do any of these non-related organizations discussed pay excise tax? (see Conflict of Interest)

2. Are there mechanisms in place to prevent cross-pollination with regard to board membership of organizations?

3. I am still confused as to how the situation of private organizations influencing public organizations does not constitute a “hierarchy or reporting relationship”, as you phrased. Can you please clarify?

4. If these organizations are truly autonomous, why does cross-pollination of board members exist?

5. The NBC website mentions “formal research” with regard to industries best suited to this area. Can you please provide the institution/organization/group that conducted the research, and who was polled?

I received a phone call from Mr. Shea in response to my email. He initially stated that he would not respond to my questions, saying that it was “a colossal waste of time”. Upon further conversation, he explained that he was unaware of what a excise tax was, and that he felt the reference to ‘cross pollination’ was misplaced – this wasn’t biology. He went on to mention another article published on my personal Facebook account, in which I referred to his response as ‘heavy handed’. His response, he stated, was initiated by my allegations. I stopped him there, and asked, “What allegations did I make?” His tone dropped slightly and said that he didn’t know where I was going with this, but he didn’t like it. And that is one point on which we can both agree, Mr. Shea, because I Don’t Like It Either.

As Director of Economic Development for St. Tammany, Don Shea is a public servant.  He has an obligation to respond reasonably and professionally to questions that are asked reasonably and professionally.