Informed Sources: Another high profile resignation forthcoming in Jefferson Parish. Let’s revisit those pesky internal auditors and lay bare the BS

The banter on the predicted resignation is toward the end of the show. Glynn Boyd of WGNO-TV makes the prediction. I have uploaded the picture of who I think is the next rat to jump ship along with two links that partially explains why below the fold. I also revisit the firing of the internal audit staff one month before Tim Whitmer formed Lagnaippe Industries. 

Tom Wilkinson. Photo from Fox 8 (www.fox8live.com).

Here is link #1 and link #2. Unrelated to my guess on Wilkinson is a snippet from link #1, a Paul Rioux story from late January 2010 which reveals an inconsistency in the “official story” on why the Jefferson Parish Internal Auditors were let go which also explains why I thought (and continue to think) the firings were purposeful

As Jefferson Parish’s post-Hurricane Katrina boom in sales tax collections started going bust a year ago, then-Parish President Aaron Broussard began reining in parish spending but gave Parish Attorney Tom Wilkinson a $39,200 raise, according to parish payroll records. 

Sales tax boom after Katrina? You betcha there was. By November 2005 I had spent and paid taxes on around $100,000 worth of purchases in Harrison County on items like 2 new cars and furniture. I’ll add the City of Gulfport also experienced a sales tax boom in the aftermath of Katrina.

Did something similar occur in Jefferson Parish? You betcha it did:

Jefferson Parish automobile sales for November doubled the retail sales in November 2004, the Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association said today.There were 6,061 automobiles sold in Jefferson Parish last month compared with 3,044 sold in November 2004, said Bob Israel, LADA executive vice president.

Now lets circle back to that Mark Waller story we profiled last month on the excuse given for why the internal auditors were let go: 

Interim Parish President Steve Theriot revealed this week that he learned the Broussard administration had abandoned the job. The revelation surprised some members of the Jefferson Parish Council, although Council Chairman John Young said he remembers the move as a cost-saving measure in the uncertain days after Hurricane Katrina

But what about the actual numbers? A picture or in this case 2 are worth a thousand words and luckily for us Jefferson Parish itself provides them in their annual State of the Parish report which I have embedded courtesy of Scribd. The 2005 graph is on pdf page 18 while the 2006 graph is on pdf page 25. 

[scribd id=27171392 key=key-2omyvb4y13i70ix6vw2s] 

[scribd id=27171385 key=key-24cbcaqwe8171lnr63br] 

I don’t want to sound like an ass (and I really do not enjoy banging on the local media) but is Slabbed the only people covering this that knows how to use google? No question the Parish council was asleep at the switch but John Young is either exceptionally dumb or he thinks the people looking at this are buying in to his bullshit lock, stock and barrel. Note that by October 2005 Sales Tax collections not only reverted to normal by November had begun to skyrocket. There is a reason those people were fired and it wasn’t because revenues were uncertain.

Slabbed reports you decide.

sop

21 thoughts on “Informed Sources: Another high profile resignation forthcoming in Jefferson Parish. Let’s revisit those pesky internal auditors and lay bare the BS”

  1. Supposedly Mumphrey and Lawson are out some time soon, or already. Maybe Bonano too, but it’s hard to imagine since he’s supposed to head the emergency preparations before hurricane season. Also supposedly Cappella may not run for parish president and will return to his law practice (yeah, let’s see that client list), that’s more scuttlebutt, but who knows if that’s true.

    As for Bonano – Of course if there was no emergency preparation that would still be better than Broussard’s plan of evacuating pump workers and building dams.

    So $5 mill extra in sales tax revenues, and $15 mill extra in total revenues, are those the right numbers for 2005-06? And yet no money for the auditors? Sure.

    As for the local media: well JP has MORE people than Orleans did before the storm too, but (except for one station, Boyd’s) they can’t seem to be interested. Look at Informed Sources, 98% of the show was dedicated to Orleans and meanwhile all hell is breaking loose just down and to the west of the Pontchartrain Expressway.

    Broussard has had some “In” with the TP for quite a while, or at least it sure looks that way.

    *****************************************

    Another thing those PPT’s show is that the population had returned to normal, and yet look at the election returns in 2007 vs 4 years earlier in 2003: The President’s election had apx. 111,000 votes total; 40,000 more votes than the Young At-Large vote and 13,000 more votes than the Capella At-Large vote. That’s quite a gap.

    4 years earlier in the 2003 election, the president’s race had 120,000 total votes, only 4,000 and 5,000 more votes than the total votes in the two At-Large races.

    So somehow even though JP was at nearly full population, and even though the state of LA had not stricken people off the rolls (as we know from Orleans) JP had 9,000+ FEWER VOTES, and the difference from the At-Large Races grew from THREE to TEN times what it was just 4 years before. Admittedly the 2003 At Large races were much more serious competitions. And yet we also know that over in Alario, Shepherd, and Byron Lee territory, on the West Bank, Broussard won that area by 70% whereas he won only 45% on the East Bank. (Yeah, yeah, differences in effects of the flooding, but still a huge difference).

    It just sems wildly incredible that with a near-normal population, with an electorate energized over Broussard’s post storm behavior and his withdrawal of the pump workers (gee, gotta love those bs self-serving multi-million dollar ‘safe house’ slides, eh?), the turnout for the president’s election actually WENT DOWN by 9,000 votes????

    Speaking of the media (rf. Richard Angelico): Someone should call this lady some time:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_Bernecker

    http://www.viswiki.com/en/Susan_Bernecker

  2. Sorry, I don’t mean to go off on a tangent, but it’s amazing what research turns up in this woodpile:

    Hey, this is the JP Supervisor of Elections, Brian Freese:

    http://www.nola.com/elections/index.ssf/2007/11/ballot_in_jeff_makes_history.html

    (“For information please contact Brian Freese, Elections Department Supervisor, at…. .”)

    http://www.jpclerkofcourt.us/elections/PollCommissioners.asp

    And guess what he was before that? Why he WAS THE HEAD OF JEDCO. Check out how closely his agenda matches with Broussard’s in that presentation, but there’s more:

    “The first and foremost is the Churchill Business and Technology Park we are trying to put together on the *****West Bank.”

    “The Nims Center, which is part of the University of New Orleans, is an outstanding digital media facility that has a significant phased approach to enhancing operations. We see that as an eventual opportunity to network with our new technology park on the ****West Bank.”

    “Jefferson Edge is an expression of business interests coming together with the public sector in a collective way to improve the ability of the community to market itself. For the business park on the ****West Bank, the Edge has dedicated a portion of its funding to them.

    Beyond that, we hope to propose to the Edge investors a program of services and marketing that is multifaceted and does a good job of community branding. Any community should look at itself as a ************huge billion-dollar brand that is a unique and dynamic matrix of people and things.”

    http://www.allbusiness.com/north-america/united-states-louisiana/888110-1.html

    Crazy, or what?

  3. Brian Freese’s brother, Doug Freese, was an assistant DA with Paul Conick’s office for years. This is interesting stuff revealed by Telemachus’ research, but having known Brian Freese for decades, I am convinced he is a straight-shooter and not of the same ilk as Broussard, Lawson, et al. But, one never knows with JP politics.

    For the majority of Brian’s adult life, he was a supervisor in the 24th JDC clerk of court’s sattellite office in Elmwood. If Brian got dicked up in Broussard’s agenda, I would think it is because he was doing what he was asked . . . although I think he might have gone to high school with Tommy Cappella.

  4. On Friday night I got a call from my childhood batture buddy, Pelican d’Brief. An academic historical anthropologist turned Washington DC journalist, Pelican sounded as though he was gasping for breath as he repeatedly urged me to read the hearing transcript of the November 17th Congressional Judiciary Committee relative to the impeachment of Federal Judge Tom Porteous. Well I did, and in some ways, I wished I hadn’t. I was restless throughout the night, ruminating in particular, over the testimony of Joseph Mole. Throughout most of the day Saturday I kept wondering if there would be any story on this blog that I could segue the post which I am writing now. Call it a coincidence, fate, karma or whatever, but this slabbed is a wavelength for my need to communicate this story.

    The fact that Tom Wilkinson will resign was a fait accompli upon the resignation of Tim Whitmer. The fact that Tom Wilkinson is physically still present in the Office of the Parish Attorney, a position I might add he defiled, is another matter all together. I could expound on a litany of transgressions committed by Tom Wilkinson as Parish Attorney, from the unethical, to the incompetent, to the corrupt; but it his participation in the LIFEMARK-LILJEBERG case (St. Jude/Kenner Regional/Liljeberg Hospital) that may be the most odious. In truth and in fact most all the participating lawyers involved in this sordid and convoluted debacle, both at the trial of this case, together with the lawyers conducting the Congressional Hearings, should be disbarred. And I too will predict: that there will be another Wilkinson resigning, his brother, Federal Magistrate Jay Wilkinson.

    The testimony elicited from Mr. Mole is proof positive that our legal system is in a spiraling state of decadence and its participants degenerate. Each time I read and re-read pages 169 through 179, a feeling of anomie overwhelms me. At issue here is the hiring of Porteous’ personal friends by both sides; their sole objective being to influence the court in such a way as to corrupt the outcome of the case. It is this despicable conduct by the lawyers that concerns me, not the merits of the case. I can only conclude that these lawyers seem to believe this was a personality trial weighing on who had the best and closest friend of the Judge; not a trial determinative of the evidence.

    I will take the liberty of summarizing Mr. Mole’s testimony, in it’s pertinent parts from pages 169, 170, 174, 175, 176 and 178. Mr. Mole tells us that it is “FORBIDDEN” to have ex parte contact with a Federal Judge during the course of the trial; he is absolute in his conviction. However we read on pages 174-175, that Mr. Mole’s convictions are at odds with his goal to find his “cameo lawyer”, a friend of the Judge. Mr. Mole proceeds to have an ex parte conversation with his former law partner, Jay Wilkinson, who is not only a sitting Federal Magistrate but the very same Magistrate that has been assigned to the case he is trying ! Federal Magistrate Jay Wilkinson appears to be more than willing to help a friend in need; and, consequently refers him to his brother, Tom Wilkinson, who he proudly relates, is the Parish Attorney for Jefferson Parish. Tom Wilkinson recommends Don Gardner, a lawyer friend of his, who he knows to be well acquainted with Judge Porteous. Mr. Mole is elated and is more than happy to retain Mr. Gardner’s appearance at trial in consideration of $100,000 dollars. We also are told by Mr. Mole (pg.178) that Mr. Gardner would receive an additional $100,000 if Judge Porteous recused himself. By the time we read of Mr. Mole’s knowledge of Mr. Gardner’s numerous ex parte social engagements with his friend Judge Porteus (pg.176), he has unveiled himself to the reader as the reprobate he is. He is his name; a sleazy, slimy mole. An immoral man with pliant ethical standards. And this is the testimony not only heard by the Committee lawyers but transcribed into the Congressional Record; testimony not only self contradictory, but one of delusional hypocrisy The Government’s conduct in this matter is so egregious to our sense of justice, one feels at a loss in this quagmire of indecency. So if they believed Mr. Mole sufficiently to take down Porteous then they must also believe Mr.Mole sufficiently to take down the Wilkinsons, Parish Attorney Tom and Federal Magistrate Jay.

    It has subsequently come to light that Tom Wilkinson received from Mr. Gardner, a “referral” fee in the amount of $30,000 dollars. And to think all he had to do is what his brother, the Federal Magistrate Jay Wilkinson asked, to accomodate his friend. One could almost assume from all these ex parte meetings Magistrate Wilkinson has been entertaining, that he has substituted open court proceedings with closed door meetings in his office. To put it more succinctly, these lawyers together with a Federal Magistrate conspired in a scheme to influence the outcome of a trial.

    So I ask myself, in dismay: Where is the Louisiana State Bar ? Can’t someone there read? Where is the US Attorney ? Isn’t a wrinkled robe obvious to him anymore ? Unfortunately we know where the House Judiciary Committee was: acting in some realm of the surreal; where ethical boundaries are suspended to serve their need to prevail no matter how perverse their conduct has become. And not to forget, the Times Picayune, whose reporter present at these proceedings made no mention of Tom and Jay Wilkinson’s complicity with Mr. Mole’s questionable behavior in his article published in the November 19th issue of the paper. Mr. Alpert, who penned the story, and like the other principals in this drama, is ethically challenged to say the least.

    The citizens of Jefferson Parish have endured more than enough shame and humiliation by impeachment proceedings of Porteous, who should never have been appointed in the first place. The pervasive corruption now being revealed by the continuing Federal investigations are a continuing source of embarrassment and concern for the very foundation of our governmental structure. The resignation of both Tom Wilkinson and Jay Wilkinson would be a welcoming sign that the citizens of Jefferson Parish are deserving of an occasional ray of light, serving as a beacon of hope, piercing through these burdening clouds of political corruption engulfing us.

  5. You guys are the best. Nowdy and I have job security as bloggers well into this decade with the info y’all are posting.

    Also consider this an open invitation to submit guest posts for publication on these topics.

    I’m working on part 1 of my promised post on the connections to Gauthier. Richard Rainey gets an A+ today.

    sop

  6. Thanks Whitmergate. Any chance you can link, or provide one of the moderators, with the Congressional testimony?

    It’s nothing short of shocking that the testimony about Mag. Wilkinson received no media coverage. But one thing you are correct about, Plattsmeier better get on the stick. Which reminds me of the conduct of one of Chuck’s former assitants in the Bayou Sorrell class action litigation.

  7. I would have commented sooner, but I was too busy alerting as many concerned individuals of the comments of the esteemed Whitmergate , who has obviously done his homework on the doings of our public servants that seem to be the most horrific examples of the ethical majority on display. Please continue the informative direction of your comments, you have my interest and attention.

  8. Katrina litigation couldn’t possibly escape all of this “influence” with all the money at stake in those cases. Anyone see anything suggesting a connection?

  9. Having read the Congressional testimony, I might have missed one thing to which whitmergate refers. I don’t see anything in the transcript where Mole says he spoke to Mag. Jay Wilkinson about a “cameo lawyer.” He appears only to admit having spoken to Tom Wilkinson.

    But, whitmergate is dead-on about Mole’s transgressions. Because the Congressional members were lobbing sweetheart cabbage-balls at Mole, his ego got the better of him and he freely admitted to trying to influence justice by paying an unqualified lawyer $100,000 to use his personal relatonship with Porteous to affect the outcome of the case. In essence, Mole and his client did the same thing the Liljebergs and their lawyers did.

    The most offensive part is where Mole testifies that he did so, even knowing it was wrong, because he thought the client might fire him if he refused. In other words, he did not stand his ethical ground, but caved because of the money. He should be disciplined severely, if not disbarred.

  10. The use of the term “cameo lawyer” is my descriptive term of hiring a lawyer just to show up because of their personal relationship with a judge. The testimony on page 175 describes how Mr. Mole was referred to Tom Wilkinson by his brother Jay. I will be careful in the future not to use quotation marks for literary license when critiquing actual testimony. Thank you for your comment.

  11. Nowdy, I don’t know that Mole was given immunity. Levenson, Amato and Creely definitely were.

    Whitmergate, it was not so much the “cameo lawyer” quote, but I did not see where Jay Wilkinson referred Mole to Tom Wilkinson. Mole appeared to be careful only to make the association that Jay was his (Mole’s) former law partner and that Tom is Jay’s brother. I might have missed it, but I did not see a reference to a specific converstion between Jay Wilkinson and Mole about this issue. I’m not saying it did, or did not, happen; I just did not see the reference. Other than that (and maybe I just missed it) your analysis is great.

  12. Let’s add 1+1 : he has an ex parte conversation with the Federal Magistrate in the case he is litigating, his x law partner, Jay Wilkinson; then says he’s talking to Tom Wilkinson about Don Gardner. Maybe we should let Jay Wilkinson explain to the Chief Judge how Mr. Mole happen to talk with his brother considering he didn’t know who to talk to in the first place. Better yet, how did it come to pass that he was talking to Tom Wilkinson in the first place ? This is what I’m railing about, legalese parsing trumping common sense. Although it is quite possible that this situation will be lifted into the surreal theater of suspended ethical accountability just like the hearings. Fini .

  13. I’m with Sock on the specific reference to a conversation between the Magistrate and Mr Mole. I’ll grant it stinks to high heaven but we must take care with what we say lest your humble hosts could get sued for liable or slander and that we don’t want. We hit hard enough and I think I know where the line is, lets not dance just over it.

    We’ve hit an editorial glitch on Part 1 of my next post. We hope to have it resolved soon to keep you guys stocked up with comment fodder.

    sop

  14. In Re: Telemachus post of 02/20/2010.

    Telemachus, you have supplied some bad information for public consumption. The former head of JEDCO was Brian Paul Freese of Merietta, GA. My research (basic google search) indicates that he served in that capacity from Nov 2004 thru early 2006. I am Brian Joseph Freese. I have worked for the Clerk of Court for 19 years and have been the Supervisor of Elections since June of 2002. I have never been employed by Jefferson Parish in any capacity. In the future, I ask that you research your topics thoroughly before posting infomation seeking to impugn an individual’s reputation.

    Sincerly,

    Brian J. Freese

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