CATS board unwilling to interview after Metro Council decision to investigate
BATON ROUGE - WBRZ was set to speak with the president of the CATS board about the Metro Council's new investigation, but he canceled before the interview.
Wednesday night, the Metro Council voted unanimously to form a special committee to investigate the bus system board following multiple stories by WBRZ's Investigative Unit.
"I think the board needs to be examined from the top all the way down to each and every member," Councilman Aaron Moak said.
District 4 Councilman Aaron Moak is one of the six who will be on this special committee investigating the CATS board.
He says he knew the Metro Council needed to intervene after the way the CATS board handled certain operational matters.
"The things that have gone on, as far as operations and the handling of the CEO and all. It became time that the council needed to step in and take a look at the board and each member and see where we have deficiencies and what's not working together and what's not working to move CATS forward," he said.
WBRZ reached out to the CATS board president, Kahli Cohran, who initially agreed to do an in-person interview before changing his mind and declining. Instead, he sent this statement:
"PERSONALLY, I UNDERSTAND THE METRO COUNCIL IS CHARGED WITH APPOINTING MEMBERS TO THE COMMISSION. I CAN APPRECIATE THEIR CONCERNS AND DESIRE TO ENSURE ACCOUNTABILITY, WHICH IS WHY I HAVE EXTENDED MEETING INVITES ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS TO THE COUNCIL MEMBERS EXPRESSING CONCERNS. I AM HOPEFUL THAT THIS PLATFORM WILL PROVIDE THE DESIRED CLARITY TO THE CONCERNS EXPRESSED."
WBRZ asked Councilman Moak if he's in favor of the CATS board as it is right now, and he responded no.
"Board members can be removed, replaced, reappointed," he said.
But he was clear — the Metro Council is not trying to run the CATS organization.
"We're not going to take over and run directly through this committee, run CATS. Most of it's going to focus on the operation that the board members have done previously and where they're going and so on, and the future vision of CATS," Moak explained.
Cohran says his board fully intends to cooperate with the investigation.
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