BR mayor loses grant power; Sheriff, Ascension Parish pick up slack
BATON ROUGE- Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden is now powerless over $4 million in crime-fighting grant money.
The sheriff is instead in charge of where the money goes. The state says that's because the mayor didn't follow the rules, despite being given several deadlines and assistance to get the paper work for two grants completed.
Part of the hang up was a new requirement that called for the sheriff to also sign off on the grant's spending plan. The mayor argued the state didn't have the authority to add that requirement. The back-and-forth over the issue has been on-going since July. The final deadline for complying was Wednesday.
The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness not only changed who was in charge of the money, but prevents the Mayor's Office of Homeland Security of Emergency Preparedness from applying to manage grants for the parish, or the region, for two years.
Instead, the sheriff will handle law enforcement-related grants for East Baton Rouge, and Ascension Parish's Office of Emergency Preparedness will manage grants that apply to the region.
Both say this outcome wasn't intended, but they'll get the job done.
The sheriff says he will sit down soon will all agencies in the parish, and will invite MOHSEP, to talk about how to spend the money now that it's approved.