Slabbed goes behind the ‘green door’ and takes a peek at the Jefferson Parish corruption hive: Adams & Reese welcome back to Slabbed

I was actually tickled that a commenter mentioned former Mississippi Insurance Commissioner George Dale yesterday on my profile of Lafayette Insurance Company as it loosely fits with other information that has come to light in the unfolding Jefferson Parish corruption scandal. The intersection of course is the lobbying arm of law firm Adams and Reese which has a penchant for hiring crooked former pols to lobby for their big business clients. As the title implies we’ve blogged a good bit on Adams and Reese through time, especially the saga of former A&R partner Jamie Perdigao who is now in prison serving time for embezzling almost $30MM from his partners there without being caught for years. Our archival posts on this topic can be found generally here with some notable posts here, here and here

The web of relationships that fostered the cesspool that is Jefferson Parish government cuts across the legal profession, as everyone will eventually learn as some of the best lawyers both trial and corporate form the rats nest on top of the Parish treasury. This post focuses on our old friends at A&R as one of their lobbyist, former Jefferson Parish President Tim Coulon, has repeatedly surfaced in connection with the doubling dealing that centered around former Parish CAO Tim Whitmer and his insurance brokerage Lagniappe Industries. We’ll let Paul Murphy at WWL kick start things: 

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Federal investigators are now reviewing subpoenaed documents from the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District, also known as the Superdome Commission.

They requested LSED contracts and insurance agreements from 2004 to 2008. That’s during a time when former Jefferson Parish President Tim Coulon served as chairman of the board and was on the payroll at Lagniappe Industries, owned by former parish Chief Administrative Officer Tim Whitmer. 

Documents reveal that Whitmer’s firm had a business relationship with more than a dozen parish vendors, including Sizeler Architecture. According to public records requested by WWLTV, Sizeler also held contracts with the LSED. 

Sizeler was part of a joint venture that designed repairs to the Superdome in late 2005 after Hurricane Katrina. In April 2007 the company also did the preliminary design work on a Hornets training facility next to the New Orleans Arena. And in July 2007, Sizeler worked on projects to bring the Superdome into compliance with the Americans with Disability Act.

These boards provide plenty of avenues for corruption but a day job they do not make. And where did Coulon work? Adams and Reese of course: 

Adams and Reese, the largest law firm in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi, announces that Tim P. Coulon, outgoing President of Jefferson Parish, will join the firm’s governmental relations division, effective January 6, 2004. Also joining the firm is his son, Christopher “Chris” Coulon, president of The Coulon Group, a statewide lobbying firm in Louisiana. 

We only thought we smelled the stench coming from A&R’s NOLA office with the Perdigao saga. Let’s review the list of non-lawyer pols hired by Adams and Reece over the past few years besides the double dealing Coulon family: George Dale, Robert Wooley, and Marc Morial to name a few.

I took a bit of heat in the blogosphere from a couple of Mississippi based bloggers that had little idea of the lay of the land in the magical and mystic locale known as N’Awlins beyond the locations of a few good eateries. I’m not interested in revisiting those old battles but I always said our blogging on Jamie Perdigao would wear well with time. I’ll end this post with a link to an old Gordon Russell article on the Perdigao RICO suit against A&R and I’ll let our readers decide for themselves who was full of it because it wasn’t Jamie Perdigao.

The firm sought a similar arrangement with Coulon after he left the presidency of Jefferson Parish, the suit says. As with Morial, the suit claims the firm saw the politician as a vehicle for currying favor with Jefferson Parish and contractors who worked with the parish.

“Almost immediately upon Tim Coulon’s arrival at the firm in 2004, he began violating the state’s anti-corruption statute and his contract with the firm by assisting firm clients with transactions and other matters before Jefferson Parish,” the suit says.

Coulon strongly denied the charge and called the lawsuit a “sign of a desperate man.”

Mr Coulon, it nows looks like Mr Perdigao has some company among his old friends at Adams and Reese in the desperation department. Could it be that Jim Letten has finally pulled his fingers out of his ears and is listening to what Mr Perdigao has to say?

sop

4 thoughts on “Slabbed goes behind the ‘green door’ and takes a peek at the Jefferson Parish corruption hive: Adams & Reese welcome back to Slabbed”

  1. Well, you were “right”, SOP. Now its “really” getting interesting, and I will “stay tuned” to SLABBED. Two quick points: I always thought that the Perdiago RICO, etc. allegations had “legs”, but the suit was dismiaased, as I recall, and went “nowhere”. I wonder if it might not be “resurrected” in some form or another. Although I can’t afford television on my $150 per week “allowance” from my 83 year old Mother, I still receive “the Times-Pick-Your-Nose”, and listen to the radio. The 6-to-zip vote of the Jefferson Parish Council yesterday, with John Young abstaining, was a shock to me, because the way I was “reading” public opinion prior to the vote was that the public was outraged. But that didn’t stand in the way of the Council’s “thumbing its nose” at the voters of Jefferson parish. The Council’s brazenness just suprised me. That’s all.

  2. Why thank you Ashton I appreciate that. You may remember a while back I sent you an email where I quoted Sun Tzu and Nathan Bedford Forrest. You can bet your sweet bippy we’ll be there first with the most. :-)

    The events haven’t yet sunk in on the Jeff Parish council. In today’s day and age of the internet media access no longer has a gate keeper, the residents know it and many of them in the know are spilling everything they know. No one likes living in a cesspool but one need look no farther than the crushing of Jamie Perdigao (he did help matters) and what happened to you to understand that speaking out can be hazardous to ones health.

    Simply put the gate has been breached and long suffering residents smell blood. The public should demand all the trash be taken out, especially the brains behind the institutionalized corruption.

    sop

  3. This story also points out the social disserve people like Alan Lange do in life. Wasn’t he one of the internet “blogs” who tried to bury this mess? Why would he do such a thing. He has a dog in the fight so to say and this of course reveals how he profits off his blog. I think he owes his readers an explaination of why he defended these crooks. I expect he will never address the issue.

    Will he ever examine his own business model? Let us see. Public servants who have all engage in sideline business ventures which profit off government. Mmm. That is the model used in Jefferson Parish. If those guys had a blog they would also have a business which profits off the companies they report upon. Do we know of anyone like that on the net?

    http://www.linkedin.com/in/alanlange
    Alan Lange

  4. I disagree Steve. Alan did not blog on this until it was resolved. We afforded him the opportunity then to highlight the case and he declined. His blog his call.

    I know he gets under the skin of some people on the left. He makes no bones he is a GOP guy all the way. Is he familar with Chuck Adams? You betcha he is. I also think Alan is sincere in his beliefs. I speak for Nowdy and Bam Bam when I say that.

    I included that link because I needed a good way to make a point. On this topic, the opinions of others never really mattered to me as our sources on Perdigao could not be better placed. If we didn’t prove that with our blogging on the A&R traffic court and Ronald Sholes then nothing ever will.

    I’ve got more coming on this because it gets way better. I got another great tip but like the one that lead to this post it has gone off in a different direction, one I think our Louisiana based readers will both connect and understand. Meantime Nowdy has some new stuff on the False Claims Act Cases.

    sop

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