Nagin's deal with retailer raises concerns

March 23, 2008 at 9:48 PM

NEW ORLEANS, March 23 (UPI) -- New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's ties to Home Depot are being questioned because of a deal the mayor's company reached with the retailer.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported Sunday that the city, among other things, gave Home Depot a long-term property tax reduction.

Scrutiny is being given to an agreement that Stone Age LLC, a granite and marble business founded in early 2005 by the mayor and his two sons, has with Home Depot to cut and install all granite countertops purchased at four of the retailer's stores.

Home Depot officials said their company's interaction with Stone Age was "absolutely no different than how we deal with anyone else," the newspaper reported.

"We review a number of things. We're looking at their capacity to provide the work, their proof of financial stability, we ask for references from customers, that sort of thing," said company spokesman Stephen Holmes. "We do background checks for anyone that's going to be at a job site or in a customer's home."

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