Stupid is as stupid does: Scientific Integrity at LSU gets a black eye

Nowdy wasn’t lying yesterday when she said I was slabbed with work. I’m also slabbed by a nasty virus that has been going around since January but not so much that the significance of Ivor van Heerden’s dismissal from LSU was lost on me when I saw the news very early this morning.  I also knew when I saw it that Editilla would be all over it and indeed it headlines today’s New Orleans News Ladder which is where we begin:

This is a Bad News Corps Victory. This bad scene probably has as much to do with Dr. van Heerden’s Storm Surge Modeling running afoul of Gerald Galloway’s, the Storm Surge Modeling Business, FEMA Flood Zone Mapping and undue ASCECORPS influence in National Flood Control Policy.

I wish I could say it was just as simple as a bad news victory for the USACE but there is more as I discovered late this morning when a reader emailed me additional background:

van Heerden was responsible for the pre-Katrina animation of Hurricane Pam, which was largely ignored by the government and the insurance industry. Every time he speaks, he (rightfully) embarrasses someone who did not do their jobs.

Although van Heerden did not become an expert for hire in Katrina litigation, other members of the L.S.U. engineering department and geology/meteorology/climatology departments did for State Farm.  This was a “too cute” move by State Farm to try and lend LSU credibilty to its bs defenses.

Evidently it didn’t take too long for enterprising lawyers to make these guys look like fools in depositions. From a PR standpoint the fact these taxpayer paid college professors were working against the very people who paid their salaries was a disaster, kind of like the Allstate Challenge at the 2007 BCS National Championship game in NOLA when former LSU kicker David Browndike was booed off the field at halftime. The readers email concluded: Continue reading “Stupid is as stupid does: Scientific Integrity at LSU gets a black eye”

SLABBED Daily – April 10 (Louisiana Gumbo)

A short post doesn’t do justice to this story; so, please follow the link and read Ivor van Heerden, who pointed fingers in Hurricane Katrina levee failures, fired by LSU

Ivor van Heerden, the outspoken coastal scientist who led the state’s independent Team Louisiana investigation into Hurricane Katrina levee failures, has been notified by Louisiana State University that he will be terminated as a research professor in May 2010…

…The decision has been brewing ever since van Heerden agreed to head the forensic investigation team in the days after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in August 2005, he said. Within days of the team’s formation, van Heerden was frequently quoted in national newspaper and television reports, and most of his comments were highly critical of the Army Corps of Engineers’ levee and floodwall construction policies and designs…

Once again, we learn the right side of a hurricane is the wrong side to be on!

Next up is Veronica White, NOLA Sanitation director amd permanently angry bitch with a penchant for causing trouble. Had we not been hit with a flurry of news concerning State Farm getitng it’s ass kicked from stem to stern in the courtroom of late we’d be all over Ms White and her racially charged saga of hacked city council emails. Like Rossie, Ms White is not afraid to beclown herself as the Times Picayune reports: Continue reading “SLABBED Daily – April 10 (Louisiana Gumbo)”

Dancing with the Stars – USA does no Tango with Delaughter

The dance developed in response to many cultural elements, such as the crowding of the venue…

Delaughter made his move in a set of six motions.  Yesterday the government responded with five:

GOVERNMENT’S COMBINED MEMORANDUM OF AUTHORITIES AND RESPONSE TO DEFENDANT DELAUGHTER’S MOTION TO DISMISS COUNT ONE FOR FAILURE TO CHARGE AN OFFENSE

GOVERNMENT’S COMBINED MEMORANDUM OF AUTHORITIES AND RESPONSE TO DEFENDANT DELAUGHTER’S MOTION TO DISMISS COUNTS TWO, THREE AND FOUR FOR FAILURE TO CHARGE AN OFFENSE

GOVERNMENT’S RESPONSE TO DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR BILL OF PARTICULARS

RESPONSE IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT DELAUGHTER’S MOTION FOR PRETRIAL HEARING CONCERNING CO-CONSPIRATORS’ STATEMENTS

GOVERNMENT’S RESPONSE AND MEMORANDUM INOPPOSITION TO THE MOTION OF DEFENDANT TO PRODUCE GRAND JURY MINUTES

Had to hang my dancing shoes up for the day; and, the last word I had from Sop suggests he had one too many chocolate bunnies.  However, one or both of us will be here later.

of loose lips and sinking ships Part 2 – Balducci’s extraordinary cooperation continues

Balducci’s extraordinary cooperation began when his attempt to bribe Judge Lackey was recorded by the FBI – a bribe that had nothing to do with Dick Scruggs; yet, everything to do with his conviction.

pages-from-wilson-v-scruggs-balducci-handwritten-answer21
Balducci's "extraordinary cooperation" filed yesterday in Wilson v Scruggs

His continued cooperation was assured by the absence of related charges and the terms of his Plea Agreement:

VIOLATIONS OF THIS AGREEMENT. If defendant violates this agreement, all statements made pursuant hereto will all be admissible against defendant who hereby waives the provisions of Rule II(f) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and Rule 410 of the Federal Rules of Evidence. Defendant may also, in that event, be prosecuted for all federal offenses, including perjury and false statements relating to this plea agreement.

The timely and extraordinary cooperation Balducci provided yesterday adds to the written record in Wilson v Scruggs and the government’s related case, USA v Delaughter. h/t Y’all.

Justice is better than chivalry, if we cannot have both – so send Judge Owen some flowers and release Paul Minor

A member of this court has previously denied release pending appeal.

That the gentlemen on the Fifth Circuit Panel denied Paul Minor’s appeal for release as a courtesy is a bit too Middle Ages for my taste – particularly since Judge Patrica Owen is to Minor what her fellow Judge, Edith Jones, is to causation theory – a woman of ill repute.

In Court denies bond for imprisoned attorney, the Sun Herald tells the story.

Paul Minor, one of Mississippi’s most successful civil lawsuit attorneys before being sent to prison for corruption, was denied an emergency request Thursday to be released so he could be with his dying wife…

Minor has asked the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to throw out the conviction, claiming the trial judge allowed improper jury instructions…

The three-judge panel of 5th Circuit judges denied the request for bond, pointing out that another member of the court had rejected a similar request in the past. That judge, Priscilla Owen, has since recused herself from the case.

Obviously, “recusal” means “sit in chair behind Panel and whine”. Continue reading “Justice is better than chivalry, if we cannot have both – so send Judge Owen some flowers and release Paul Minor”