Folks as the details of yet more dead weight on the Parish’s payroll come to light, this time courtesy of Fox 8 news reporter Val Bracy, (Fox 8 and the T-P’s coverage of this political corruption scandal clearly stands above the rest to this point) I am reminded of that old Yogi Berra quote, it’s “deja vu all over again.” (Click here to see why). This time the non-paralegal, paralegal is New Orleans sportscaster turned sports writer Ken Trahan who was getting paid $18,000 by the taxpayers to do little to nothing:
Ken Trahan is best known as a radio sports commentator and for the work he did with Aaron Broussard on the Saints Hall of Fame Museum.
And according to Jefferson Parish records he was also a paralegal in the Parish Attorney’s Office.
Trahan was paid about $18,000 a year for a 20-hour week in 2008 and ’09 although he doesn’t show up on the parish attorney’s 2009 organizational charts.
According to the parish, Trahan resigned a few days after FOX 8 inquired about his paralegal credentials. Jefferson Parish does not have any on record.
Reached by phone Monday, Trahan said, despite the parish documents, he never worked as a paralegal, only in the Public Information Office.
Although, last week, the Public Information Officer said Trahan did odd jobs in her office, like writing articles and press releases, while he worked primarily for the parish attorney.
“Obviously it’s suspicious. It’s something that has to be looked into,” says Rafael Goyeneche of the Metropolitan Crime Commission.
Do these sudden resignations coming on the heels of other sudden resignations along with the continued revelations of living ghosts on the Parish’s payroll remind anyone else of the cockroach theory? Surely Ken Trahan knows that collecting a government paycheck while doing no work is big fat no no but he is hardly alone in this as we continue with Val’s report:
Jefferson Parish Constable Antoine “Tony” Thomassie is a similar case.
He shows up on a list of paralegals the parish turned over to FOX 8, but he’s not on the Parish Attorney’s organizational chart either.
Also reached by phone, Thomassie said that last year he was looking for some extra income so he met with Broussard and Parish Attorney Tom Wilkinson.
Thomassie says they told him he would work in the Code Enforcement Department but hold the title of paralegal.
“Could there possibly be an innocent explanation, sure. Could there be something more sinister, sure. What we’re seeing right now in Jefferson parish is a variety of different smelly, unusual circumstances,” says Goyeneche.
Raphael is spot on in his analysis as the story then circles back to the original do nothing on the Parish’s payroll, Aaron Broussard’s ex-wife Karen:
Broussard’s ex-wife holds the title of paralegal supervisor, although for the last six years she’s been working in the Security Department. That’s what the parish told us earlier this month when we first reported he story, but now there seems to be some confusion as to Karen Parker’s current employment status.
As of last week, the parish’s Finance Director claimed Parker was still being paid about $65,000 a year.
But Deputy Parish Attorney Peggy Barton says she doesn’t have any records pertaining to Parker’s employment. The head of the Security Department now says the same thing, although two weeks ago he said Parker did work in his department.
After FOX 8’s report on Parker, parish official Bert Smith said her employment status was being investigated.
As of January 26th, Parker was still employed, although she has been removed from the Parish Attorney’s organizational chart.
Rest assured there is more to come as the rumors of coming indictments begin to heat up.