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Port Commission revisits Globalplex issueLEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / September 2, 1998LAPLACE – The South Louisiana Port Commission revamped its resolution Thursday, hiring a special attorney to help complete the Bay Star Enterprises audit.

Back on June 10, the port commission hired Baton Rouge attorney Stephen M. Irving to handle the Bay Star audit and allowed him to sub-contractwith the law firm of Kean Miller of Baton Rouge.

But Executive Director Gary LaGrange said additional language was needed for the resolution to meet requirements set down by the state Attorney General’s office to show cause for the special expense.

The attorneys will report to commission president Brandt Dufrene and treasurer Gregory Lier. Cost for the service is not to exceed $50,000,according to the resolution.

The effect of this was to add the following paragraph to the resolution: “Whereas, the South Louisiana Port Commission believes there is a real necessity to retain outside legal counsel with the experience in the fields referenced herein and with the capabilities of dealing with the related large and complicated investigation as required by Louisiana Revised Statute 42:263.”Gov. Foster’s press secretary Marseanne Goldsby said Monday aninvestigative report from Inspector General Bill Lynch is still under review and “when it is ready, we will let you know.”According to that report, Globalplex and Bay Star Enterprises were involved in illegal loans, unauthorized payments, improper record-keeping and other supposed malfeasance.

A South Louisiana port commissioner and the ex-manager of Globalplex are under state scrutiny, through both the Inspector General’s office and Louisiana State Police.

According to recommendations made in Inspector General Bill Lynch’s report, Commissioner E.J. Martin of LaPlace, an appointment of Gov.Foster, and Bay Star Enterprises President Marvin Harvey would only get a mild reprimand.

A Louisiana State Police investigation is also under way, with the aim of bringing criminal indictments, according to a confidential source within the port office.

All this stemmed from attempts by the South Louisiana Port Commission to carry out a proper audit of Bay Star Enterprises’ management of Globalplex.

Harvey, who was removed as the Globalplex manager in January, has been reportedly uncooperative with the state legislative auditors and all investigators into the matter, the draft report stated. Harvey, however,said he has provided everything asked of him.

Martin was removed as president of the port commission on July 28, 1997.

He remains on the commission, but was not present at Thursday’s meeting.

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