Yo Rafael Welcome to Slabbed. Perdigao rats out Sholes

We have a Jamie Perdigao update. Before we link a large pdf of his detailed complaint to the Metropolitan Crime Comission we’ll step back a few days to a Times Picayune story I missed while traveling.

In a status conference held Friday, U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon, who had been weighing Perdigao’s request for an evidentiary hearing on his claims, ruled that no hearing was necessary. Fallon also denied the request to recuse Letten’s office at the status conference.

Fallon has yet to issue a written ruling, although he intends to, according to a minute entry in the court file.

Perdigao’s attorney, Bill Wessel, said he has not decided what his next step will be.

Letten declined to comment on Fallon’s ruling.

The question of whether to hold a hearing had been vigorously opposed by Letten’s office, which presented a document showing that the office had already recused itself from certain parts of the case. Perdigao’s allegations regarding the Edwards case were referred to the Justice Department’s public integrity section, the document indicates.

The problem, Letten’s office said in a recent motion, was that Perdigao’s tips were “hearsay malice” unsupported by any evidence.

Mr Perdigao evidently thinks he has “evidence” beyond the “hearsay malice” variety, at least as it concerns misconduct on part of Traffic Court Judge Ronald Sholes:

We recently filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of James Perdigao (Civ. Action No. 083570, U.S.D.C.-E.D.La) in which Mr. Perdigao alleges, inter alia, certain wrongful and improper “fixing” oftraffic tickets by Hon. Ronald Sholes, Section D of New Orleans Traffic Court. On behalf of Mr. Perdigao, this letter is to request that your office investigate this matter and take appropriate action.

We are enclosing documentation of several traffic tickets which we believe were improperly handled by Judge Sholes while he was serving as a part-time traffic court judge and also as a lawyer for the firm of Adams and Reese. Additional information and documentation is available upon request.

We should also note that this information was turned over by Mr. Perdigao to the U.S. Attorney’s office approximately three years ago, but the U.S. Attorney’s office took no action, despite the fact that Mickey Torregano, the former secretary for Section D and the recipient of many of the enclosed fax transmissions, had recently been convicted in connection with the U.S. Attorney office’s investigation into corruption at New Orleans Traffic Court. In addition, U.S. Attorney Letten apparently stated in a press conference that the federal investigation of traffic court had not implicated any judges.

Furthermore, as detailed in Mr. Perdigao’s federal lawsuit, management of Adams and Reese repeatedly took the position that there was no evidence of affirmative misconduct on the part of Judge Sholes throughout the investigations of New Orleans Traffic Court even though the management of Adams and Reese were well aware of Mr. Sholes’ conduct. We believe that these documents as well as a number of others in our possession confirm that Adams and Reese management was aware of Judge Sholes’ conduct.

Here is a very large pdf of the complaint Mr Perdigao’s lawyer Robert Matthews sent to the Metropolitan Crime Comission (minus the copies of the tickets which contained personal info we don’t feel comfortable posting). Now we wait and see what Rafael Goyeneche does with it.

52 thoughts on “Yo Rafael Welcome to Slabbed. Perdigao rats out Sholes”

  1. Maybe I’m jaded, but deals in traffic court don’t seem like that much of a shocker. How about all the deals cops get from each other – you almost never see a cop as a defendant in traffic court, and a lot of them drive like jerks.

  2. “Deals in traffic court might not seem like that much of a shocker”, but according to a February 24, 2005, gov’t press release found at http://neworleans.fbi.gov/dojpressrel/2005/no022405a.htm ,
    “MICKEY TORREGANO of New Orleans, was indicted today for Misprision of a Felony in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 4. If convicted, MICKEY TORREGANO could face a maximum sentence of three (3) years incarceration, up to $250,000 fine and up to one (1) year of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.
    … TORREGANO was employed for the past six (6) years as a secretary for a Judge in Section D of Traffic Court for Orleans Parish. According to the indictment, MICKEY TORREGANO knew about employees at Orleans Parish Traffic Court dismissing tickets, in violation of the federal computer fraud statute, and helped conceal that information in violation of federal law.”
    Connect the dots.

  3. Sally, I checked the link this morning, it worked but it’s a big document. If you still are having problems, let us know

  4. Wow and welcome to slabbed A.O….I gather you pulled the document down and saw every fax from A&R was sent to Mickey. So, the dots connect there but Sholes isn’t mentioned in the indictment.?

  5. I got the document up. WOW WOW WOW WOW WEEEEEEEEE!!!! I will be looking at it awhile. WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

  6. Chuck Adams and his very, very, very big Pandora’s can of worms. How could he have opened the lid. Letten and the firm couldn’t get the lid back on. The fall guy rises.

  7. In an article found at
    http://www.nola.com/timespic/stories/index.ssf?/base/library-148/1212211496309420.xml&coll=1&thispage=3 , it is reported that Ron Sholes said that “he hadn’t read the [Perdigao RICO suit against Adams and Reese] suit, but he denied the assertions it makes.”

    According to that same article, Sholes also “said if Perdigao knows of any wrongdoing, he should report it to the U.S. attorney … Sholes also noted that a sprawling federal investigation of Traffic Court … had not implicated any judges. In fact, Sholes added, Letten went out of his way to say at a news conference that the government had found no evidence of any wrongdoing by a judge.”

    Of course, Perdigao says he did provide information to the U. S. Attorney’s office as far back as 2005, and, on the face of it, the materials provided by Perdigao to the Metropolitan Crime Commission would certainly seem both to implicate Sholes and to indicate that Adams and Reese used Sholes to get dismissed “tickets received by members of the firm as well as its clients” (as reported in the above cited article).

    Did Letten go “out of his way to say at a news conference that the government had found no evidence of any wrongdoing by a judge”?

    According to this February 25, 2005, report (see http://nobulletin.blogspot.com/2005/02/this-weeks-scandal.html ):
    “U.S. Attorney Jim Letten says the investigation is continuing and there will likely be more indictments in the ticket fixing scandal. Letten won’t confirm or deny whether any judges were involved in the alleged wrongdoing.
    Speaking to reporters, Letten asked, ‘You’ve asked are there judges involved?’ ‘I mean, number one, we can’t say, we can’t speculate about this and we don’t want to cause any speculation about who’s involved.'”

    Are there later statements by Letten that actually exonerated judges such as Sholes?

    And, if Letten did make such statements, did he also explain why he had no use for the materials provided by Perdigao?

    On the other hand, if Letten never actually made any statements that exonerated judges such as Sholes, has Letten ever justified his purposeful ignoring of the traffic ticket information supplied by Perdigao? Will Letten assert that Perdigao supplied no such information?

    Or does his refusal to deal with the Perdigao-provided materials fall within the conveniently broad scope of his prosecutorial “discretion” – a “discretion” the breadth and depth of which is never opened for public view and which never has to be publicly examined, argued, and justified if Letten so proclaims?

    In any event, the materials provided by Perdigao should be sufficient to dismiss immediately the notion that Perdigao’s claims are nothing but “the ravings of a desperate man” as “some of Perdigao’s targets” say on page 2 of the T-P article cited above.

    Will Adams and Reese also now join in the attempts to repress, to keep out of the public view, whatever other information Perdigao might have?

  8. This reminds me of the video of the police punching the man on Bourban Street. “You don’t see what you see.” Letten was Adams and Reese bound but not anymore.

  9. Thanks A.O. for the additional background…Sally is that a guess that Letten was A & R bound or had you heard from someone else. btw, just wondering why you think Chuck Adams would open this can of worms?

  10. Because he has floppy ears and a long tail. Chuck Adams called the feds when the invoice wasn’t in the system. Who invites the feds into your firm.

  11. Who invites the feds into your firm? someone who doesn’t have a clue, maybe? if that’s the case, wonder what the reaction was from those with more than a clue?

  12. After the feds are in your firm, you don’t get to manage the situation do you. Everybody goes dumb. Chuck Adams’ response to the Perdigao situation — Adams and Reese continues to cooperate with the federal investigation — well, not any more. Why would anybody call the feds into your firm — that will cause clients to pull their business immediately.

  13. Why would Chuck Adams open this can of worms? The answer, even if everything turns out OK for Adams and Reese, is miscalculation. It is not yet apparent that the Feds have done any investigation into Adams and Reese because of anything Perdigao has claimed. Quite to the contrary, based on part of Perdigao’s recusal filings, it would appear that the Feds might have been revealing something about Perdigao’s possible defenses to Adams and Reese. The thing to wonder about in that case is whether those defenses depend on Adams and Reese operations about which Adams and Reese may now have been warned.

  14. Letten said the claims were investigated — which they weren’t. They were only disclosed to Adams and Reese for their benefit.

  15. The point I am making about Chuck Adams calling the feds into the firm when he discovered that an invoice was not in the firm computer is that even if Chuck Adams had the erroneous belief that Perdigao was stealing, as a managing partner in the firm, you investigate the situation within the firm. You don’t call the feds to investigate it.

  16. That seems logical, Sally, so why would he? If it was just one invoice, he wouldn’t have any idea of the total amount.

  17. Blind arrogance and delight in accusing Perdigao. The total extent of the scheme was unknown until after the feds were called. If he wasn’t so blindly arrogant, he would have been able to know that if something is fishy with the gaming client’s invoices, he needed to get to the bottom of what was going on. He would have been cut off from the situation immediately. Because of his blind arrogance, he could not figure out that he was looking at a skimming scheme to move assets.

  18. Pardon me for sounding off. I think this blog has gotten me just a bit outraged. It is undeniably evident that Judge Sholes was directing his secretary, Mickey, to make the tickets go away in his traffic court. Judge Sholes is too privileged to be charged, so the person he is directing, Mickey, is the one to “fall” and bear the charges. This is the same thing that is happening to Perdigao. It is outrageous.

  19. If my questions gave you that impression, Sally, they were not intended to. I think the evidence on the traffic court speaks for itself. I was trying to understand why the firm called the feds in over a single misdirected invoice – an entirely different matter – and I think you and A.O. addressed that.

    It was definitely unusual that Mickey worked in traffic court D and the judge that was indicted was in traffic court C.

    “Sound off” any time – otherwise none of us can clarify comments/questions.

  20. Sally in NOLA it’s called business as usual no? This thread has attracted a good bit of attention. Surely there are others who also find this outragious.

    Sunshine has a way of helping in these situations. We’ll see.

    sop

  21. I gave myself the impression that I was sounding off.

    Anyway you look at it, Chuck Adams was a fool to call the feds into the firm. Why did he do it?

    Chuck Adams thought Perdigao was cheating him out of fees. Chuck Adams got doped up by his own greed. Chuck Adams couldn’t think further than somebody was taking something from him.

    But even if he thought that, never call the feds into your firm until you have already considered all consequences to the firm. Chuck Adams couldn’t see that far because he was blinded by his own arrogance.

  22. Mickey was charged with “misprision” – the subject of one of a recent post here.

    Sop, if it’s “business as usual” it raises an interesting point about “misprision” – the crime is failure to report a known felony to a judge or other authority in a reasonable amount of time.

    If it’s “business as usual” then is it a stretch to think it is a “known felony”? Asuming it is known to be a felony, just what judge or authority would you report it to when everyone seems to either be doing it or knowing that it’s done.

    However, once Mickey and others were indicted, then whoever was sending those faxes for Sholes and all those who had their ticket “fixed” knew it was a felony.

    active concealment of a known felony rather than merely failing to report it.

    See United States v. Johnson, 546 F.2d 1225 (5th Cir. 1977) at 1227 (“The mere failure to report a felony is not sufficient to constitute a violation of 18 U.S.C.A.

  23. I still haven’t been able to collect my thoughts on all the names I saw on the attached documentation. I am horrified just to know they are horrified. And those documents were from a short interim of time. Imagine how many are wiping their brow.

  24. Last week I had a client from Louisiana get a ticket on the way to my office. When he asked me how to fix it he was surprised at the answer – you can’t.

    I’ve never experienced the pleasure of dealing with Traffic Court in NOLA though I’ve had those who have describe the experience as most unpleasant unless you are simply paying the fine.

    Having Judge Sholes on staff certainly appears a nice convenience for clients and friends of A&R.

    The MCC strikes me as fairly dogged in their pursuit of public corruption and as those who looked at the MCC complaint know it isdetailed and verifiable. I don’t see how Goyeneche can ignore it.

    The bigger question is how Letten can ignore this, especially since smaller fish were convicted of felonies.

    sop

  25. In response to the first reply on this article by user “Traffic Court,” my seven year-old daughter was killed by a drunk driver. Is it ok that Judge Sholes fixes ten DWI’s because the offenders have connections to a big law firm?

    My daughter would be 17 now, and every time I hear about a DWI getting fixed or covered up, I am still outraged. We depend on our elected and appointed officials to enforce the law. It is a shame that people like Letton and Sholes have only their own best interests in mind.

    Sincerely,

    A Grieving Father

  26. Hey Bobby J, are you listening or is your version of ethics reform just window dressing for your 2016 presidential run?

    Don’t you think maybe you should look into some of this stuff?

  27. After reviewing the documents attached to the complaint, there appear to be a number of A&R attorneys who, AT LEAST, should be disciplined by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel for their role in this scandalous situation.

    As far as Bobby Jindal, he’s a spineless politician. He doesn’t stand a chance of being president – not once everyone becomes familiar with his exorcism activities in college.

  28. Did you see the site on Obama’s relatives. Oh, my goodness. What makes you think an exorcist isn’t needed in these circumstances.

  29. Well, first of all, Jindal is no excorcist. He couldn’t cast out demons any more than he can cast out corrupt politicians. He’s of the same ilk.

  30. I saw that. This is an aside but I did want to comment that Chuck Adams is not the original Adams of Adams and Reese. Someone tell the story about the founder that is from Possum Trot because I can’t remember it. Tell me the names of the founders. I know the firm is over 50 years old now. Chuck Adams merged with the firm from Jackson, MS. So, he is not Charles P. Adams “himself” as the linked article stated.

  31. Can’t tell you the names of the founders, Sally, but I did know Chuck Adams was not a founding member of the firm – don’t know if he’s related or not.

    I just had a minute to look over the article but at a glance it seemed to be a PR piece. Soon as I get State Farm post done, I’ll give it another read and come back here with some thoughts.

    As always, I’m interested in yours.

  32. Back after a closer read, Sally. In one sense it’s a good overview but it’s still has the feel of a PR piece. I was a little surprised to see the photo of Bernie Ebbers, for example, because my understanding of that allegation is it’s not related to Bernie personally but the firm’s handling of a related matter.

  33. Perdigao filed a motion for and extension of time to comply with the Eastern District’s RICO standing order.

    The defendants immediately filed an opposition based mainly on the issue that client confidentiality has been breached by the filing of the suit.

    The defendants also filed a motion to dismiss the RICO suit, again, chiefly citing the violation of client confidentiality.

  34. Well, NAAS, if it breaches client confidentiality then doesn’t that mean it’s true? Otherwise, you’d think clients – and lawyers – would be falling all over themselves and saying they had nothing related to any of this to hide wouldn’t you?

  35. The defendants’ brief says just the opposite. They say they don’t need to address the claims against them because the violation of client confidences is of paramount concern to the legal profession.

  36. From the brief:

    “The Complaint is grotesquely unlawful because the Louisiana Rules of Professional Conduct for lawyers prohibit disclosure of any client information when lawyers try to enrich themselves by suing non-clients. If Perdigao

  37. NAAS, we can look up the document and post it tomorrow – the best I can do tonight is use edit to put the text in your comments in block quotes. Great stuff – as Sally would say “wow”.

    How can the firm accuse him of stealing funds from clients and then turn around a claim privilege? Makes no sense. Is that why you’re saying it doesn’t apply, Sally?

    You two have a prediction on how the judge will rule on this?

  38. Founders of Adams and Reese

    St. Clair Adams, Jr. (1906-1963)
    Office: New Orleans, Louisiana

    W. Ford Reese (1917-1971)
    Office: New Orleans, Louisiana

  39. From Reuters News Service. The ball is about to get rolling:

    “NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) – The sister of indicted Democratic Rep. William Jefferson pleaded guilty to concealing a crime on Wednesday, the fourth relative of the Louisiana lawmaker to become entangled in the family’s legal troubles.

    Brenda Jefferson, 52, helped defraud several nonprofit organizations by concealing and failing to report the activities of two of her siblings, Betty Jefferson and Mose Jefferson, and her niece, Angela Coleman, according to court documents………….”

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