No one that lives, works or conducts business in Jefferson Parish is immune as this story posted last night on the Times Picayune’s website by Becky Mowbray illustrates:
Arthur Sterbcow, the public face of the largest real estate firm in New Orleans, was terminated as president of Latter & Blum, Inc./Realtors Tuesday for providing information to The Times-Picayune about assessment values and home prices in Jefferson Parish for a story published on Sunday.
The information, known as broker price options, showed a 14 percent gap between home sale prices and property tax assessments made by Jefferson Parish Assessor Lawrence E. Chehardy.
Going in, seasoned Jefferson Parish observers understand it takes a certain amount of testicular fortitude to report the story. The lack of sack exhibited last night on Fox 8 about Debbie Villio’s political fund-raiser illustrates that fact. When it comes to getting out the story, the local media becomes an enabler when they bow to threats and intimidation. I suspect that is why Jim Brown opined during my short interview with him last Friday night on WJBO in Baton Rouge along the lines that it takes a Mississippi guy to blow the lid off the corruption in Jefferson Parish as we continue:
“The issue involved the articles in last Sunday’s Times-Picayune regarding assessments. Arthur supplied BPO’s to the Times-Picayune to show disparity in the assessors’ assessments,” Merrick’s e-mail reads. “Needless to say, the last people on earth we need against us are our assessors. Latter & Blum was cited throughout the articles as the source of the BPO’s. The assessors wanted to know, “why in hell is Latter & Blum doing this”?? I am in the process of mending fences. Latter & Blum should never have been involved in this matter.”
I’m the kind of guy that lives life on my feet rather than my knees so such quotation causes me to completely lose respect for the real estate agency, which also has offices on the Mississippi coast.
It is worth noting there is only one assessor in Jefferson Parish, a double-dealing politico we have mentioned a few times in Lawrence Chehardy. Our readers may remember disgraced former Parish President Aaron Broussard’s daughter-in-law Norma worked for Mr Chehardy at his law firm before she was inflicted on the general public by DA Paul Connick. The folks at Chehardy Sherman quickly de-Nornma’d their website when we pointed out that despite being gone from the firm for years she was still listed as an attorney there. As we found out with Tom Wilkinson and Mr Chehardy it is OK for so-called fulltime Jefferson Parish officials to have side law practices.
We live under no illusions here at Slabbed that should Jim Letten’s office take out the good ol’ boy network via indictment (rumor has it there are currently 38 sealed indictments but time will talk there), the New Orleans media will suddenly sprout a backbone and do some serious reporting on this subject.
First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me.
Finally we’re past overdue for giving Dambala over at the American Zombie blog a shout out for being a voice in the wilderness over the corrupt doings in the New Orleans metropolitan area. If it wasn’t for courageous bloggers like him and many others covering what the media likes to call “niche issues” most all the bullcrap that goes on over there would remain unreported. You can feed on our brains anytime my man. Of course he does not mince words concerning the spineless coward that runs Latter & Blum:
Fuck Latter & Blum
Fuck them very much.
Aye Captain and very well said.