Jefferson Parish News Miscellany: Item 84 on display as we enter the Jefferson Parish Council Twilight Zone

Paul Rioux waded into yesterday’s Parish Council meeting and agenda item #84 full-bore for today’s Times Picayune. We’ve covered the issues and concerns  held by Parish residents plus some yesterday on Slabbed. The Times Picayune stuck with the narrow issues in their reporting choosing to leave out the citizen questions about Paul Connick’s law firm providing the parish with  professional services. He is just a minor partner there so I guess its is all good.

Next up is a story by Ed Anderson reporting on a bill sponsored in each chamber by two Metairie legislators that would that would strip corrupt public servants of their retirement bennies. Evidently in Louisiana the right of a corrupt pols to their retirement benefits is enshrined in the State constitution.

Next up is today’s editorial on the use of change orders to extend Parish Contracts. From the reporting and now this Oped it is clear the current meme that the current state of affairs is mostly Aaron Broussard’s fault remains alive and well though they did mention the Parish council. With few exceptions, given the campaign cash these “evergreen” contractors tossed to the members of the Parish council I have a hard time branding the contractors with the scarlet letter in isolation. Simply put the system would not exist if there weren’t corrupt pols on the other end of the transaction.

Finally is yesterday’s Oped on cleaning up the Parish Attorney’s office. It was an overall good piece that I also linked yesterday which recounts the litany of abuses under soon to be former (and indicted) Parish Attorney Tom Wilkinson. Here is a snippet from the end of the piece:

And last week, Mr. Theriot placed Assistant Parish Attorney Anne Marie Vandenweghe on leave, also without explanation.

Something definitely does not pass the smell test at the parish attorney’s office.

Oh trust me guys when I say the public is wondering about Wilkinson but the wondering does not stop there. Theriot stuck by Wilkinson despite the overwhelming evidence he was a crook but now that he has become too toxic, Wilkinson was thrown under the bus as the interviews with Mssrs. Young and Capella last night on WWL illustrated. Given the length of time the allegations of payroll fraud have been in the public domain it is no surprise the information was given up by the Parish Government to the Feds in response to subpoena likely weeks back. But that doesn’t answer the question why Mr Theriot canned Anne Marie Vandenweghe. There are plenty of rumors floating about, some of which, if true are explosive. The folks at the Picayune want answers as we all do but I’m not certain they’ll like the answers they receive. For some reason the famous courtroom scene from A Few Good men comes to mind:


One thought on “Jefferson Parish News Miscellany: Item 84 on display as we enter the Jefferson Parish Council Twilight Zone”

  1. Forgive me for being a know-it-all but despite the Times Picurnose Editorial staff’s delusion that Theriot ‘discovered irregularities’ in the Paralegal issue wasn’t it Val Bracy of Fox 8 who broke the story?

    Reliable sources tell me that she got the info through Public Record requests she made to the Parish. Reliable sources also say Vandenweghe whistled on several upper Administrative types who ‘finagled’ with their responses to those requests. Being merely a serf in the realm I may be mistaken but I think ‘finagling’ with Public Records , under La. law, = hindering or attempting to hinder. Recent Attorney General opinion in Jan. 2010 ( again from reliable sources) apparently reads: civil and criminal penalties can apply to hindering or attempting to hinder public access to public records.

    Reliable sources tell me they, along with the Administrative types mentioned above, were treated to a tortuous ( their words Ms. Vandenweghe, not mine) seminar courtesy of Louis Gruntz and Vandenweghe where the punch line was ” Can you count to 7?”. When pressed the reliable sources said this was a reference to the 7 Federal Sentencing guides used by Record Managers in planning their systems to avoid being charged with Spoliation and other nasty things like that by some icky particular Federal Judge. So if the Administrative types had notice of what their ‘hinderance or attempt hindrance’ could mean for their future I guess they are on their own dime for the defense. Awwwwww.

    Anyone else catch the lady who spoke last at the JP Council meeting yesterday ( I watched via the Govt Channel my tax dollars pay for ; see Item 142 on agenda yesterday) ? She spoke requesting assistance for a neighborhood group which had received an inordinate amount of attention ( ah am tryin to be nice , Pelican da’Brief, so zip it) from the ICE ( Inspection and Code Enforcement) Queen during her reign as Director of Code Enforcement. The nice lady did not, as far as my very distracted viewing allowed me to ascertain,directly skewer Villio but she did reply to Councilman Lee’s question in the affirmative when asked if ‘things had improved’ recently. Oh my yes.
    Stay tuned for more stories of terror from the far side , West Bank JP, where the entitled flourish.

    HI HO HI HO, off to work I go. WAIT isn’t there also a song in that Disney delight entitled
    ” Whistle while you work”? Oh ah do love when that happens! Later gators.

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