On Friday, April 19, 2024, FBI Director Christopher Wray presented the Metropolitan Crime Commission (MCC) with the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA) for its service to the people of the Greater New Orleans area. Receiving the award on behalf of the MCC, was Michelle Foster. Foster serves as Vice President of the organization that has fought corruption in Southeast Louisiana for more than a half-century.

The FBI established the DCLA in 1990 to publicly acknowledge the achievements of those working to make a difference in their communities through the promotion of education and the prevention of crime and violence. Each year, one person or organization from each of the FBI’s 56 field offices is chosen to receive this prestigious award.

“Our success as both a law enforcement and an intelligence agency hinges on our ability to foster and maintain genuine partnerships with people in all communities,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “People like this year’s Leadership Award recipients not only identify what others need, but they are willing to roll up their sleeves and provide services. They are building bridges and relationships while putting in the work to have hard conversations and find common purpose. They do it out of kindness and compassion with a sincere belief that justice – in its many forms – requires all of us to do the right thing in the right way.”

Special Agent in Charge Lyonel Myrthil of the New Orleans Division was on hand to commend the MCC at the award ceremony. “In a town where corruption is a virtual spectator sport, the Metropolitan Crime Commission has served as a steadfast and loyal partner in helping to bring illegal activity to light and hold the appropriate people accountable,” said Myrthil. “The fact the MCC has been able to maintain its integrity and value as a reliable source for law enforcement and the community for more than 70 years, is a testament to the dedication of the people who serve the organization.”

“On behalf of the board and staff of the Metropolitan Crime Commission (MCC), I want to convey how humbled and honored we are to receive this award,” said MCC Vice President Foster. “However, this recognition is truly a testament to the courage of the citizens who come forward to report criminal and corrupt activities to the MCC and the unwavering commitment of law enforcement and prosecutors to hold these lawbreakers accountable. I especially want to thank FBI New Orleans Special Agent in Charge Lyonel Myrthil, the special agents, and the staff of the New Orleans Field Office for their partnership and exemplary work to address crime and corruption throughout Louisiana.”

The New Orleans Metropolitan Crime Commission was created seventy-two years ago as a non-profit, privately funded, citizens’ organization dedicated to exposing corruption and to being a conduit for the public to report wrongdoing. The MCC then passes that information along to appropriate law enforcement. The MCC’s work doesn’t stop there. They diligently follow those cases through the criminal justice system as well.

In 2023 alone, the MCC provided FBI New Orleans with information that directly led to five individual indictments, two guilty pleas, and sentencings of nineteen others involved in various corruption and fraud schemes. Since 2020, information provided by the MCC led to the convictions or guilty pleas of dozens of individuals in a sprawling conspiracy of staged automobile accidents, wherein defendants defrauded insurance companies and trucking companies.

The MCC regularly advises the FBI on crime reporting and public corruption trends. The organization regularly publishes crime data research including arrest, conviction, and case refusal rates at the local district attorney’s offices to educate the public.

Director Wray hosted the 2023 DCLA winners in a special ceremony at FBI Headquarters today, emphasizing the importance of community partnerships in keeping our shared communities safe. These partnerships—as exemplified by the breadth of the work by the DCLA recipients—have led to a host of crime prevention programs that protect the most vulnerable in our communities, educate families and businesses about cyber threats, and work to reduce violent crime in our neighborhoods. Learn more about the Director’s Community Leadership Award program (, the FBI’s general outreach efforts, and the New Orleans Field Office online (