just in case hell really does freeze over – a mention of USA v Minor, Van Heerden v LSU and a strange Louisiana ruling in Katrina litigation

Some thought hell would have to freeze over for the Who Dat’s to win a Super Bowl – but they did and, lo and behold, snow may cover what looked like the gates to hell after Katrina.

Just in case hell really does freeze over.  USA v Minor co-defendant,  John Whitfield filed a Motion for Release Pending Resentencing and Appeal the very day SLABBED reported the Government’s opposition to the requested release of Minor co-defendant former Coast judge Wes Teel.

Both co-defendants are requesting release on the same general basis – the 5th Circuit’s recent decision reversing part of their bribery convictions and the pending USSC decision on the constitutionality of the honest services statute, the likely-to-be-tossed basis for the remaining portions of their sentences.

The news of the day, so to speak, is Paul Minor is the only defendant that has not filed a motion for release pending appeal with Judge Wingate.  In light of these apparently very significant developments, why not?  Minor has hasn’t hesitated to file for a lawful get out of jail free card in the past.  If his case is as strong as he keeps saying it is, why does he appear fearful now?

Could Minor’s behavior be another indication that hell may indeed freeze over?

Over at the Ladder, Editilla’s update on Ivor van Heerden’s wrongful dismissal lawsuit included the story appearing in the NYT.  A recently posted update to the update calls van Heerden’s case a whistleblower lawsuit! Continue reading “just in case hell really does freeze over – a mention of USA v Minor, Van Heerden v LSU and a strange Louisiana ruling in Katrina litigation”

After last night’s Saint victory parade, Drew stopped in for a chant

Not only are our boys world champs they love mixing with the fans. The mutual love literally oozes from the video.

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There is a Broussard in the woodpile part deux: The Times Picayune carries water for DA Connick and misses a chance for Jazz. Slabbed passes out the Razz.

Over the two plus years Nowdy and I have done this blog I’ve had occasion to take employees of news organizations out to the woodshed from time to time for sloppy reporting. Notice I did not use the term journalist or journalism as such implies a level of professionalism which is invariably missing when I bring the wood. With few exceptions my poison missives are directed at the national financial media, which in reality is a collection of well read parrots and whores such as AP reporter Ieva Augstums or Reuter’s Kevin Drawbaugh (The brothel over at CNBC is another post). After reading my poison posts invariably I’ll get an email from a real journalist with the question along the lines did you email them for clarification before you ripped them? While I don’t normally waste valuable finger time with financial reporters that should know better I will go out of my way for the  local press and that brings us to today’s topic of Craig Codina, a serial drunk driver that I introduced to the Slabbed nation early this month where I profiled the politics of drunk driving in Jefferson Parish and identified the unqualified political hack responsible in former Parish President Aaron Broussard’s daughter in law Norma. And it is with Craig Codina’s recent plea to his 4th drunk driving offense, the one that finally killed an innocent motorists that we’ll visit with next. Times Picayune employee Michelle Hunter filed the story:

Craig Codina, a multiple DWI offender from Destrehan, pleaded guilty Monday to vehicular homicide and third-offense DWI in connection with two separate Metairie car crashes.

Codina, 26, also pleaded guilty to first-degree negligent injuring before Judge Conn Regan in Gretna’s 24th Judicial District Court, according to Trooper Melissa Matey, spokeswoman for the State Police.

The homicide and negligent injuring charges stem from an Aug. 1 wreck on Airline Drive in Metairie that killed Sandra Stevens, 30, of New Orleans, and severely injured Santos Garcia, 28.

Codina pleaded guilty to third-offense DWI as well as careless operation of a motor vehicle in connection with an October 2008 accident on Causeway Boulevard in which he crashed into the back of a vehicle driven by a teenager. She was not injured.

Despite the fact that the August fatal wreck was Codina’s fourth arrested for driving while intoxicated, he was booked only with second-offense DWI for both that crash and the Causeway Boulevard wreck.

That’s because the Jefferson Parish district attorney’s office was erroneously informed that Codina’s first conviction in St. Charles Parish in 2001 was for underage DWI, which can’t be used to enhance penalties for subsequent offenses.

The mistake came to light after a Times-Picayune article in August about Codina’s record. Codina actually pleaded guilty to first-offense DWI in 2001. Prosecutors upgraded the charge in the October 2008 crash to felony third-offense DWI, after learning about his past record.

Regan sentenced Codina on Monday to 30 days in parish prison for the careless operation charge. Neither Codina, nor his attorney, David Motter, could be reached for comment Thursday.

Codina and his attorney David Motter were not the only folks unavailable for comment as I sent Ms Hunter an e-mail seeking clarification of the paragraphs I highlighted above: Continue reading “There is a Broussard in the woodpile part deux: The Times Picayune carries water for DA Connick and misses a chance for Jazz. Slabbed passes out the Razz.”

the good neighbor doesn’t want to play in the McIntosh neighborhood – Part 3: Rigsby sisters designate experts and disclose expert testimony

At your request, we have provided a report that we prepared regarding the Mucha Property at 2558 South Shore Drive, which is located less than 400 feet from the McIntosh house...

As can be seen from my Special Inspection report of the Mucha house, we concluded that the structure of the Mucha house was destroyed by wind before the storm surge of Hurricane Katrina arrived. The Mucha house was subjected to these conditions during the landfall of Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005 …

Mr. Mucha…stated that he saw the garage blow apart before 9:00 AM on August 29, 2005. This garage landed in the street in front of the house.

The disclosures of the Rigsbys’ expert witnesses  included the post-Katrina engineer’s report on the Mucha residence prepared by John A Fowler PE, President of Fowler Engineering.

There is over 1,000 feet of unobstructed open marsh behind the house which leaves a very large unobstructed path with for wind to come across the marsh from the south and southeast during a storm and damage the house. This is probably the reason why the Mucha house was destroyed by wind and some of the neighbors’ houses were not. The neighbors’ houses did not have an unobstructed path between their house and Hurricane Katrina as the Mucha’s did. With the Mucha’s house standing for some period of time before it was totally destroyed during Hurricane Katrina, it shielded the other houses in the neighborhood. The other houses in the neighborhood are also at varying angles to one another and shield each other, but this is not the case with the Mucha’s house.

With engineering reports like this replaced with one claiming flood damage, State Farm was unable to keep the whistleblowing Risby sisters down on the Farm.

Little wonder, then,  State Farm filed a Motion for Protective Order to limit the Rigsbys’ discovery to the McIntosh property only. After all, State Farm’s Protective Orders are Dispositive Motions in disguise –  a very thin disguise in the Rigsby qui tam after the Company’s local counsel Robert Galloway tossed his reputation for integrity to the wind in his Reply to the Rigsbys’ Response in Opposition to State Farm’s attempt to conceal evidence of the alleged fraud: Continue reading “the good neighbor doesn’t want to play in the McIntosh neighborhood – Part 3: Rigsby sisters designate experts and disclose expert testimony”