“Pictures” or not Mr Wilkinson simply became too hot. We’ve got more coming folks as this story is still developing and we should be able to provide a bit more context to the events. For the here and now lets visit with Richard Rainey who has the story for the Times Picayune:
Tom Wilkinson, Jefferson Parish’s embattled top attorney, was placed on paid administrative leave today, interim Parish President Steve Theriot said. Theriot said Peggy Barton will be the acting parish attorney. He wouldn’t comment further on Wilkinson’s suspension.
“It’s a personnel issue,” he said. “I don’t want to put myself or the parish in a (bad) position.”
You already have put the parish in a bad position Mr Theriot. I won’t speculate whether you realize that yet but if you really want to do right by the citizens of Jefferson parish you sir should resign as we continue:
Wilkinson also served as the director of former Parish President Tim Coulon’s political campaign committee. While that role ended in 2007, according to records with the secretary of state, parish law appears to bar all employees from political activities.
However, the law has some exceptions, including “administrative assistants” to the parish president. It’s unclear if Wilkinson falls under that category as an “at will” employee appointed first by Coulon and retained by Broussard.
The Coulon campaign committee listed the Joseph S. Yenni Building, the headquarters for the parish government in Elmwood, as its formal address.
Coulon, parish president from 1995 to 2004, also was an insurance agent associated with Whitmer’s firm.
When Broussard ordered an investigation into Whitmer’s insurance practice last year, Wilkinson recused himself, saying Whitmer’s wife, Dawn, insured two properties he partly owned. He also said he executed the will of Whitmer’s parents.
I think anyone following this has been vexed it took Theriot so long to do what was right. Conventional wisdom is that Mr. Wilkinson will be indicted by the feds. There is more to this story and while we wait for updates I’ll share some rank conjecture based upon what we know. Wilkinson has done lots of double-dealing for two administrations and most likely has dirt on every major player in the Parish as a result. If he sings certain people who think they are in the clear will be compromised. Frankly and as several of our commenters have remarked, most of this shady stuff was done out in the open so in the scheme of things it matters not about Wilkinson. Our readers will understand more why I say that when I revisit River Birch next post.