It’s a good question,--and one that the Port Commissioners as well as the Shreveport voters are asking. The general public plus several Commissioners were surprised, no shocked, to read in the September 6 edition of the Shreveport Times that Executive Port Director Eric England was one of thirteen people who attended a public briefing and “said they funded the website and belong to the Shreveport for Pelicans support group.” The endorsement by England reportedly angered several of the Port Commissioners.
Eric England is one of the highest, if not the highest, paid public employee in Northwest Louisiana. Presumably he reports to the 9 Port Commissioners who are appointed by Bossier City, Bossier Parish, Caddo Parish and the city of Shreveport. The minutes of the Port Board meeting do not reflect that the Port Board has endorsed the sports complex at Cross Bayou nor authorized England in his capacity of Executive Director to appear on behalf of the Port as was reported in the Times article.
In response to a public records request, the Port advised that no Port moneys were expended for the PR campaign. Two of the 9 Board Commissioners are long time financial supporters of Shreveport Mayor Tyler: Secretary-treasurer Roy Griggs and President Sam Gregorio. Griggs was also of the supporters at the Slam Dunk press conference and he is named sponsor in a recent fundraiser for Tyler.