News alert: CATS CEO to ask for ethics investigation into board member who resigns

Montrell McCaleb resigned from the CATS board of directors this afternoon amid allegations that $1,500 of the public transit system’s funds were used earlier this year to pay for his personal cell phone and satellite TV bills. CATS Interim CEO Bob Mirabito confirms he is sending letters Friday to the State Ethics Board, East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney and Louisiana Legislative Auditor, notifying them of the incident and requesting an investigation into it. Mirabito says the incident was first brought to the attention of staff and board chairman Isaiah Marshall in May. “We recovered the funds from the bank and Isaiah and our attorney began an investigation to find out how this might have occurred,” Mirabito tells Daily Report, adding there was sufficient evidence to warrant notifying state and local authorities. Mirabito says he will also ask for an audit of the entire CATS operation, noting that CATS board members do not have access to board funds. McCaleb could not be reached for comment. This latest controversy caps a week in which CATS has been under fire for its handling of a $1.5 million management contract award. Mirabito says the issue with the funds is completely unrelated to the RFP controversy that has dominated the news. —Stephanie Riegel

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