Florida's Okaloosa County was one of the local governments that received part of the $745 million BP paid in the wake of last year's Gulf of Mexico oil spill. And $560,000 of that money was spent on a pair of rock concerts featuring Kenny Loggins, the Doobie Brothers and Lynryrd Skynyrd, according to an Associated Press report that details what local officials did with their BP oil spending spree money. "Much of which had little to do with the cleanup," concludes a very skeptical AP report.
The AP reviewed some $550 million worth of expenditures and found that "more than $400 million went toward clear needs like corralling the oil, propping up tourism and covering overtime. Much of the remaining chunk consists of equally justifiable expenses, but it is also riddled with millions of dollars' worth of contracts and purchases with no clear connection to the spill."
But then were purchases like an iPad for the president of Louisiana's Lafourche Parish Charlotte Randolph who said "she needed it in addition to her parish-paid Blackberry to communicate with staff and other officials during the crisis. But she didn't buy the iPad until Aug. 26, a month and a half after the well was capped and several weeks after the federal government said much of the oil had been skimmed, burned off, dispersed or dissolved." Many other local officials purchased new SUVs and at least one new Dell Computer with the cash.
The Loggins, Doobie Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd shows were put on to help promote Okaloosa's "oil-free beaches," but they were hardly charity acts. The three acts collected $300,000 and another $260,000 went towards expenses to put on the shows. Still, no arguing here: it looks like it was a pretty decent beach party.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.