When DA Paul Connick, Jr. was asked whether or not his private law firm of Connick and Connick, being allowed to continue to receive millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money now that he was DA of JP, was a conflict he was quoted as saying:
“My job is to follow the evidence…I will not be influenced or deterred from doing my job as District Attorney by any client or anything to do with the private law firm…….. “
Really? And yes he offered up a toilet paper opinion from the morally bankrupt Louisiana Ethics Committee (so named at that time) that opined Connick’s moonlighting is OK. I continue to find it truly disconcerting, if not downright disgusting, that so many of these elected and appointed officials need to be told by someone else that’s it’s legal to do something that is ethically and morally wrong.
We have interim Jefferson Parish President Steve Theriot selling property to West Jefferson Medical Center while he served as Chairman of its Board. And then there is Mr Theriot’s daughter Wanda’s facade of not earning fees from Coastal Securities where she is employed although she is present at the meetings in which Coastal is interacting with a Parish Board. What about Parish council member Elton Lagasse’s Barry Bordelon doing work for a company that contracts with the Parish because he “only” represents the same company outside of JP. Tell me Mr Bordelon, in which Parish is the City of Gretna located? There is much more of this political hypocrisy that is deserving of illumination at a future date as is the collective corruptive collusion of the Ethics Commission (now presently named). But let’s get back to Mr. Connick’s particular hypocrisy.
Mr. Connick, you sir are a liar! And your refusal to prosecute Tom Wilkinson, Debbie Villio and Elton Lagasse, all of whom have violated the election laws of the Parish of Jefferson and the State of Louisiana, is proof positive of your intentional and/or negligent malfeasance as Jefferson Parish DA. Blinded by your boundless arrogance and greed, you have further insulted the taxpayers of Jefferson Parish by your unlawful financial donation to the recent judicial campaign of Debbie Villio, and you too should be prosecuted.
It seems that at almost every instance you are asked what are you going to do about this person or event that concerns itself with the present corruption scandal, your knee-jerk BS answer is that you’re cooperating with the US Attorney’s office. Let me remind you Mr. Connick, you were elected DA of Jefferson Parish, not Mr. Letton. It is not your job to take cover under Mr. Letton; nor should Mr. Letton be allowed to give you cover. And it has been your obligation and duty for as many years as you have been in office to enforce the laws of this Parish and this State as it pertains to wrongdoing by public officials in your jurisdiction. You have disobeyed and dishonored your oath of office. The truth is your failure is unconscionable; your abominable conduct has nurtured this present culture of public corruption in JP. Mr. Connick, it as though your office is a petrie dish where these virulent strains of people within Parish Government find substance for the continued growth in their pursuit of an agenda of greed and power to satisfy their need to be re-elected; all done with total disregard of the rules and laws that govern their behavior, in fact, base contempt for law and order.
Prior to you being elected DA, your firm’s doing Parish work was no different, but still suspect, like any other politically connected firm such a Burglass and Tinkersley, etc.; firms whose appointments are rationalized by their playing the game of tit for tat, contributions for legal fees, in essence, quid pro quo. It is your being elected DA, a position which you voluntarily choose to run for, that sets your firm apart, and is the basis of this hypothesis: Your failure for all these years to investigate and/or indict and convict any elected and/or appointed official in JP in light of the information that has been exiting for years and ignored by you; the same information now being revealed publically as the Federal investigation continues, is akin to a protection racket. The very fact that you have refused to investigate the facts surrounding the illegal appointment of Theriot as Parish President as a result of the Parish Council’s blatant violation of the open meetings law speaks volumes of your continued protection of these individuals as they go on about their illegal ways of conducting the Parish’s business for the benefit of their campaign contributors. One could argue that this continued arrangement of your personal law firm being paid while your DA equates to the necessary elements required in both extortion and bribery. In other word, RICO!
It is generally accepted in the application of the RICO laws that even though a government agency cannot be named as a defendant person under RICO, a government agency may still serve as the enterprise through which a defendant engages in a pattern of racketeering. Any governmental agent extorting persons “under color of authority” is participating in the conduct of the governmental entity’s affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity. Governmental entities may also be an enterprise if they are a passive instrument through which the racketeering acts are committed, advanced or concealed, or a governmental entity may also be a victim enterprise, e.g., if outsiders were operating or managing the affairs of the enterprise through bribery, for example. Being named as an enterprise, however, does not expose the governmental entity to any liability.
DA Connick wants us to believe that the monies paid by the Parish to his personal law firm are not going into his personal pocket. Such egregious parsing of words! He further exclaims, that regardless of any criticisms of this arrangement, his firm “will continue to practice and to do Civil Litigation for Jefferson Parish.”, which is a belligerent and supercilious assertion, Mr. Connick. What makes you so certain I wonder?
I suggest that by your refusal, for whatever reason, to investigate and/or prosecute the wanton criminal conduct of elected and/or appointed officials in Jefferson Parish, you have crossed the Rubicon toward your fall from grace and office.
So, Mr. Connick, next time you go to Manresa intending to further fine tune your hypocrisy, do us a favor, pull out your bible, go to the Book of St. James, Chapter 5, verses, 1-3, contemplate this reading and pray for an epiphany:
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you!
Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten.
Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you, and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days.
As a brother in Christ, I pray for you. Amen and Amen.
As a taxpayer in Jefferson Parish I demand justice. Fair and impartial justice!
Slabbed commenter Whitmergate is a member of Citizens for Good Government and is a resident of Jefferson Parish.
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