It seems the busier Sop gets with taxes, the more my allergies act up; but, it was no allergy attack that set my head spinning Sunday morning. I thought I was hallucinating when I clicked on the Times Picayune and saw “Aaron Broussard practicing law, keeping low profile“. So, who is he – the man who “pulled the plug” and flooded Jefferson Parish with both water and questionable contracts following Katrina or the seemingly likable fellow “spending a lot of his time with his children and…his mom” that “seems almost relieved to step aside from his long life in local politics”?
Before the campaigns, the fundraisers, the social events; before the titles of School Board member, Parish Council member, mayor and parish president; before the investigations, subpoenas and resignations, Broussard was a small-time lawyer in Kenner.
Thirty-five years after he first entered a political office and 11 weeks after he left his last, he is that again.
Richard Raney pulled me in with that lead and, then, took me to a place that only seemed familiar:
Broussard has quietly returned to practicing law at the Kenner firm where he worked part-time throughout his six years as Jefferson Parish president: D’Aquila, Volk, Mullins and Contreras, said Greg Buisson, his media adviser.
Am I the only one who found it odd that Broussard had time to work a part-time job while serving as Parish president? I had to wonder because Rainey wrote over that and moved on:
For a man who once reveled in crowds and celebrations, Broussard has become a phantom, spending his days in semi-exile, his friends say. Work, then home. Rarely does he venture out publicly.
Yet when he does, he remains his usual sanguine self, say those who chance upon him…
After weathering a maelstrom of post-Katrina criticism and a bruising re-election run in 2007, Broussard resigned his parish presidency Jan. 8. That day he became the second major official to leave office amid a wide-ranging federal criminal investigation into his administration. His chief administrator, Tim Whitmer, had resigned four days earlier.
Things began to fall apart in October with revelations that Whitmer’s private insurance agency, Lagniappe Industries, was doing business with public entities and parish contractors. Broussard recused himself from an investigation he ordered in December after disclosing he did $5,000 worth of legal work last year for Lagniappe.
And so the pressure mounted. Broussard himself, under subpoena, delivered documents Jan. 22 to the federal investigators who are examining his administration…
The scandal has been especially hard for Broussard’s family. His ex-wife, Karen Parker, who divorced him in October, drew criticism after evidence surfaced that she collected a $65,000 annual salary as a “paralegal supervisor” while parish records showed she worked at what should have been a $43,000-a-year job in the security department. Interim Parish President Steve Theriot fired her in February.
A friend of Broussard’s told Raney, “I know he feels extremely bad about what happened to Karen”. Does he feel badly she was fired or badly she was given $22,000 more than her position paid?
Broussard’s friends, allies and associates doubt he will return to political office. For a man who dedicated much of his adult life to government, his resignation is tinged with infamy, his friends said…
“If Broussard spent all this time, after the last 30 or so years, being an attorney, he’d be a rich man by now,” Muniz said. “But he loved public service.”
If such is not a perk of the Parish president’s retirement plan, how is it that someone who is not “a rich man by now” has a “media adviser”? I don’t know but, on that very fine Easter Sunday morning when I expected to hear the Hallelujah Chorus, I believe I heard a Connie Francis tune, “Everybody’s somebody’s fool. Everybody’s somebody’s plaything…“?
Was Aaron Broussard “somebody” or, “somebody’s plaything”? If Broussard was the “plaything”, who was somebody”?
Adams and Reese, the largest law firm in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi, announces that Tim P. Coulon, outgoing President of Jefferson Parish, will join the firm’s governmental relations division, effective January 6, 2004…
After eight years as Parish President, Coulon wanted to continue working in the political sector and he explored various opportunities. One of the most publicized of those was CEO of Greater New Orleans Inc., the new entity resulting from the merging of MetroVision and the Greater New Orleans Chamber of Commerce. But why did he choose Adams and Reese?
He explains, “Throughout my years in the public sector, it was prudent for me to take note-to be aware-of who was making things happen. Every time there was an important issue in Louisiana, Adams and Reese was in the forefront. When I looked around and saw who the political players were in the State, there was one firm that stood out, and that was Adams and Reese.
“Adams and Reese will allow me to use my political experience as well as the contacts I have cultivated throughout the state and region to assist the firm’s clients in achieving their goals.
Richard Raney certainly wrote a thought provoking story.