January 17, 2018

Irvin Mayfield, Ronald Markham Charged in NOPL Fund Mismanagement

Irvin Mayfield, a jazz trumpet virtuoso and at one time a leading figure in the city’s library community before being dogged by scandal, pleaded not guilty in federal court on January 4 to charges listed in a 19-count indictment that alleged he used $1.4 million of New Orleans Public Library (NOPL) money for personal gain. Acting U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced the indictments in December 2017, and also appeared in court to represent the Eastern District of Louisiana.

New Orleans Library Foundation Board Members Resign in Funding Scandal

Only days after a definitive victory at the polls, the New Orleans library landscape was making news again—but this time it was the Foundation, not the library itself, and the news was not good. On May 5, an investigative report by correspondent David Hammer for local New Orleans station WWL-TV revealed that between 2012 and 2013 Irvin Mayfield and Ronald Markham, who then served on the board of the New Orleans Public Library (NOPL) Foundation as chair and president, respectively, gave the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO) at least $863,000 in funding originally made to the NOPL Foundation. At that time both Mayfield and Markham were also drawing annual salaries of $100,000 apiece from the nonprofit NOJO, Mayfield as its founder and artistic director and Markham as president and CEO.