By John Solomon
How the government's punishing of the exposure of official wrongdoing can linger for years
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
More than 3,000 lots flooded by Hurricane Katrina and bought with federal money in an emergency bailout sit idle across New Orleans — a multimillion-dollar drain on federal, state and city coffers that lends itself to no easy solution.
"Right now nobody on those 3,000-plus properties is contributing. It's costing the city and state government to maintain them. Police got to go out there, run kids out of there, drug-users," said Errol Williams, the tax assessor in New Orleans. "That's a cost to the city. If they sell one, it comes back on the tax rolls, I'm happy."