NEW ORLEANS -- A few weeks ago, when Irvin Mayfield’s New Orleans Jazz Orchestra formally agreed to pay back $1.1 million in public library donations, the Jazz Orchestra considered the matter “closed.”Ha ha. Y'all remember Jim Bernazzani, right? He sort of peaked about eight years ago when he tried to use his position as the head of the local FBI office as a springboard to a political career. That didn't work out so well for Jim. Instead he retired from law enforcement and skipped politics altogether once he figured out you can grift just as easily in the non-profit sector. Especially in this city where Mayfield and friends are really just the tip of the iceberg.
But WWL-TV has learned the Public Library Foundation is now demanding payback of an additional $150,000 that Mayfield directed from the library charity to his Jazz Orchestra, this time routed through a third nonprofit where Mayfield also sat on the board.The third nonprofit, the Youth Rescue Initiative, is run by Jim Bernazzani, the former head of the FBI field office in New Orleans. The centerpieces of the Youth Rescue Initiative are called Illumination Centers, described by the nonprofit’s website as “safe havens for at-risk youth to learn and develop computer skills.”
Former mayor, and Mayfield patron, Ray Nagin once gave an inspiring interview about his motivation for getting into