If you had money to invest in a project chances are you'd spend some time studying the potential for success and the potential for failure. If you were using other people's money, namely the Louisiana taxpayer's money,  you'd think you'd really do your homework before spending millions of dollars.

A recent state audit of a now scrapped sugar mill in Jeff Davis Parish shows that former Secretary of Agriculture , the late Bob Odom, did not exercise due diligence and that his shoddy brand of fiscal responsibility has cost you and I over 70 million dollars.

Odom touted the syrup mill as a profit center for the parish and the state. He told constituents that it would produce jobs and help area farmers. That was not the case. The project was scrapped after only two months of operation and resulted in a net loss of over 70 million dollars to the state according to Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera.

"This arrangement was bad from the beginning because there were no studies done that showed it would be profitable,and anytime you enter into a business venture like this, a study to make sure that you're going to make money is an important thing to do and that wasn't done."

Purpera's remarks were reported by the Louisiana Radio Network on Monday. He went on to say that current Agriculture Commissioner, Dr. Mike Strain, made a wise choice in scuttling the operation and selling it for 5.7 million dollars to recoup at least some of the state's 77 million dollar investment.


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