Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What's in Their Wallets, Part III

Posted By on Wed, Aug 20, 2008 at 4:12 PM

Fran Lawless, director of the Mayor’s Office of Health Policy and AIDS Funding, said that her office’s “monitoring visit” to local HIV/AIDS agency, N’R Peace, was not in retaliation for their executive director talking to Gambit Weekly for this week’s story, “What’s in Their Wallets?

     Lawless, in an email sent through the Mayor’s Office of Communication, writes that the “monitoring visit” also wasn’t retribution for any statements that Demitre Blutcher, N’R Peace’s executive director, made at Monday’s meeting of the New Orleans Regional AIDS Planning Council. At the meeting, according to Lawless, Blutcher said her agency hadn’t received any payments from the city this year. Lawless’ email response states:

    

"It is unfortunate that Ms. Blutcher viewed this visit as some form of retribution for my response to her misstatement in last night’s Planning Council Meeting.  Ms. Blutcher stated that she had not received payment from the City of New Orleans in five months.  I asked that she refrain from making inaccurate statements because I know that she received payments in late May.  As always these payments were made as reimbursements for fees expended, and are based upon accurate, timely invoicing from the vendor.”

    

     Blutcher responds that the payment she received this May was for the last fiscal year, 2007-2008.

     “When I made the statement (at the planning meeting) about not being reimbursed, it was for this fiscal year, 2008-2009. I said ‘Fran, how can I get reimbursed when I don’t have a contract?’”

     As of last week, the city had not executed any contracts for the current fiscal year to fund local HIV/AIDS agencies through the federal government’s Part A Ryan White program. The fiscal year began in March, five months ago.

     

 

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