Lee Zurik Investigation: Governor Jindal wants probe of 'Dirty Deeds'

Gov. Bobby Jindal, attending at a ceremony at the Port of New Orleans on Friday, May 11, 2012
Gov. Bobby Jindal, attending at a ceremony at the Port of New Orleans on Friday, May 11, 2012

Governor Bobby Jindal says the state's Attorney General needs to look at the findings from a series of FOX 8 investigative reports entitled "Dirty Deeds".

We caught up with the governor Friday in New Orleans after a news conference at the port.  Gov. Jindal says he has been following our six-part series into questionably obtained oil leases from the 1930's. The former governors awarded the leases, then received a share of royalty interest in them.

"When people have elected or appointed office, their obligation is to serve us, not themselves," the governor told FOX 8 News.   "When people abuse that office, when they use those offices to serve themselves, we have an obligation to zealously protect the state's interests."

More than 70 years after Governors O.K. Allen and James Noe awarded those leases, their descendants still benefit off the deal, costing taxpayers in Louisiana hundreds of millions of dollars.

This week, the State Mineral Board asked the Attorney General to investigate and see if the state had a way to get out of the leases.  Remember the governor appoints all Mineral Board members.

"The Natural Resources board has asked the AG's office to look into this," Gov. Jindal said.  "I know the House of Representatives have introduced a resolution, asking the AG to look into this… I think that's absolutely appropriate.  It doesn't matter when these actions took place, whether it was a year ago or over 50 years ago, it's important that we protect the state's interests."

These leases could cost the state more than $30 million dollars.  They have made descendants of Huey Long, James Noe and O.K. Allen rich.  The leases themselves were handed out about 35 years before Gov. Jindal was born.

"It's absolutely appropriate for the AG's office to look into this and see what the state can do to make sure we're protecting the state of Louisiana, even today, so many years after these leases were given out," Jindal insisted.