Mayor Broome responds to BRAVE contracts controversy

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome says her office is reviewing all contracts related to the BRAVE program and will provide a "comprehensive report" within one week.

The mayor's office has come under fire since the 9News Investigators filed a record requests last week related to contracts being issued to Arthur "Silky Slim" Reed and others.

Reed was awarded a $9,800 contract using BRAVE funding to teach teens to respect police. Last week, he publicly said he believed the man who shot police in Baton Rouge last year delivered "justice." The contract was cancelled after WAFB's records request was filed and he was not paid.

Since then, several other contracts have emerged involving people being paid using BRAVE funds for tasks that some believe deviate from the mission of BRAVE. The BRAVE program was implemented to reduce crime in certain high-crime zip codes in Baton Rouge.

"I think public interest is extremely important and I support public engagement and transparency," Broome said in a written statement late Monday. "I or the chief administrative officer will continue to do what I stated last week, which is to review every contract that comes through the Office of the Mayor-President to ensure quality, cost-effective services for the people of East Baton Rouge Parish. In addition, I have directed my administration to prepare a comprehensive report related to BRAVE contracts, projects, and funding. We will provide a status report to the media no later than Monday, August 7."

Earlier Monday, EBR metro councilman Buddy Amoroso asked the Louisiana Legislative Auditor and the State Inspector General to investigate the contracts for any possible wrongdoing.

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