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: