Veronica Toussaint White (born 1963 in Louisiana) former Director of Sanitation for the City of New Orleans from 2003 to 2010. White held that position under appointment by mayor Ray Nagin. White was replaced by mayor-elect Mitch Landrieu on April 22, 2010.
White is author of a book, published in March 2009 and titled How to Maximize FEMA Funding after a Natural Disaster. A few days after publication of the 80-page book, the Times-Picayune's Michelle Krupa, noting the book's $35 list price, described the book as bearing supportive statements by certain state and city officials; the publisher, DEW Enterprises, was established in 2008 by White's husband. On 2009 April 10 the Times-Picayune accorded Krupa the unusual step of reviewing the book in a front-page article; the review, generally positive with respect to the book's utility, conveys that the book,
- which is divided into pre- and post-disaster sections, reads like a basic how-to manual for municipal officials anywhere in the country who might find themselves enmeshed in a major recovery effort of any sort.
White, who holds the degree of MPH (master of public health) from Tulane University School of Medicine, also serves as adjunct instructor of public health at her undergraduate alma mater Dillard University.
In 2008, White became newsworthy in the New Orleans area because of a feud between her and New Orleans City Councilwoman Stacy Head, most directly over garbage-collection fees and services. The feud morphed into a controversy over confidentiality of e-mail messages when White sought, via attorney Tracie Washington, to divulge the contents of e-mails in the internet accounts of four members of the City Council—an effort which resulted in seizure of White's computers by the FBI. Nagin criticized "deviation from procedure" on White's part but otherwise defended her. When Washington's brief (prior to a court injunction) internet display of e-mails from councilwomen Stacy Head and Shelley Stephenson Midura indicated that Head and Midura might have personal reasons for wanting to shield their City Council e-mail accounts from disclosure, the Times-Picayune editorialized in support of Washington. Nagin supported the efforts of City Attorney Penya Moses-Fields, siding with White, to get the Council's e-mails revealed, which move was denied by Civil District Judge Lloyd Medley, whose decision was overturned on appeal. In a separate suit District Judge Madeleine Landrieu instructed Nagin to deliver to City Council attorneys the e-mail traffic sought by WWL-TV, WDSU-TV, the Times-Picayune and other news organizations so that the City Council attorneys could remove sensitive information which is not definable as a public record. As the courts considered the appeals, WDSU reported it had obtained "tens of thousands" of the emails in question and published many of them on air and online. Another station—WGNO—announced it had received a handful of those files. Finally, Fox affiliate WVUE said it, too, had obtained some of the documents. The various e-mail controversies and the related lawsuits became quite convoluted, even within the political context of Louisiana.
After being notified of intent to release her from city employment by incoming mayor Mitch Landrieu, with 4 days left in her tenure with Nagin's administration, White resurfaced in the news by way of allegations from the city's inspector general Ed Quatrevaux regarding thousands of dollars of travel expenses claimed by White.
- Peoplesearch information on Veronica Toussaint White.
- "Veronica White Biography". Archived from the original on 2010-01-04.
- Laureen Lentz, Sanitation survey on recycling extended on New Orleans Metblogs.com, 2008 March 17 (accessed 2009 March 25).
- (New Orleans: DEW Enterprises, March 2009), ISBN 978-0-9823392-0-6. Reviewed by Barnes & Noble, Disaster management: Preparing for the worst (accessed 2009 March 25); reviewed by Kevin Allman, Veronica White writes a book, Gambit (New Orleans), 2009 March 24 (accessed 2009 March 25); reviewed by James Gill, Procedure, guidance, practice and rules, Times-Picayune, 2009 March 25, Saint Tammany Edition, p. B5. The book was also listed on Amazon.com.
- Michelle Krupa, Sanitation chief publishes book of FEMA wisdom: City, state officials contribute endorsements of $35 volume, Times-Picayune, 2009 May 25 (blog version = Amid e-mail controversy, Nagin Sanitation Chief Veronica White publishes book of FEMA wisdom).
- Michelle Krupa, "White blasts FEMA in her recovery book" in Times-Picayune, 2009 April 10, Saint Tammany Edition, pp. A1, A14 (web version = White trashes FEMA in her recovery book). The quotation appears on p. A14.
- Dillard University listing of Veronica T. White (accessed 2009 March 25).
- Blogs about Veronica White web site; Veronica White, New Orleans City Council, and garbage contracts web site on NOLA.com; David Hammer, New Orleans City Councilwoman Stacy Head accuses sanitation director of lying about garbage contract, Times-Picayune, 2008 November 12 (accessed 2009 March 25); David Hammer, Feds take possession of Veronica White's computers, Times-Picayune, 2009 March 13 (accessed 2009 March 25); Bayou Saint John Moldy City web site, accessed 2009 March 25; Veronica White tracking site on Outside.in; WDSU-TV New Orleans Channel 6 NBC 2009 March 20 report Council Has Power To Remove Veronica White; WGNO-TV New Orleans Channel 26 ABC report Veronica White's Computers Seized. Ironically for Nagin, this e-mail controversy followed on the heels of an earlier e-mail controversy, after WWL-TV New Orleans Channel 4 (CBS) sued the mayor's office in an attempt to gain 6 months of e-mails as a public record. (Becky Bohrer, "Spotlight on New Orleans transparency" in Daily Star [Hammond, Louisiana], 2009 March 31, p. 4A, same as Spotlight on transparency in New Orleans).
- Ray Nagin, interviewed by Norman Robinson, Nagin: Veronica White's Job Is Safe, WDSU-TV, 2009 March 19 (accessed 2009 March 25); James Gill, Nagin doing abysmal job of explaining why White's actions in e-mail scandal were above board, Times-Picayune (New Orleans), 2009 March 25.
- "Council's faux transparency" editorial, Times-Picayune, 2009 May 15, Saint Tammany Edition, p. B6 (web version = City Council and its lawyers trying to keep legitimate public records under wraps"). A cogent feature of the e-mails which Washington revealed involved uncomplimentary statements by Head and Midura about fellow Councilwoman Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson.
- Frank Donze, "Appeals court gives e-mail to attorney" in Times-Picayune, 2009 May 13, Saint Tammany Edition, pp. A1, A6.
- Frank Donze & Michelle Krupa, "Head hunters miss the mark in recall attempt" in Times-Picayune, 2009 May 09, Saint Tammany Edition, p. B3.
- See the article on Stacy Head.
- David Hammer, N.O. sanitation chief's spending questioned in Times-Picayune, 2010 April 29, Saint Tammany Edition, p. B3 (accessed 2010 April 29).
- Sunshine Review on the New Orleans Sanitation Department
- New Orleans City Council Argues Over Trash Pickup, WWL-TV New Orleans Channel 4 (CBS) on YouTube
- Stacy Head - Veronica White altercation, New Orleans City Council video on YouTube