Subpoenas Keep On Churning, River Birch Keeps On Turning. Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin

There are no simple answers when it comes to River Birch but I’ll lend some insight as it pertains to Waste Management’s contract, in a humble attempt to give the Slabb Nation’s musings on matters of Jefferson Parish garbage some illumination as I take a stab at answering FifthCircuitJoke’s question:

“I’m still trying to figure out why the biggest Waste Haulers in the Country have all left the New Orleans Metro Area…”

I am going to tell you a story….my honest opinion that I think answers the most simple and obvious question: Why is Waste Management abandoning contractual territory it previously coveted and fought political battles over? Your query is in fact a clue to the volatile origins of ‘River Birch II’; a criminal conspiracy originated by Heebe/Ward to establish a landfill monopoly with the compliance of corrupt Elected and Appointed Jefferson Parish Officials.

Waste Management, a large publicly traded national and international corporation, maximizes profits more efficiently by the utilization of resources through an applied economic concept of vertical integration. In other words, it is more advantageous (profitable) for Waste Management to own the landfill that it has contracted to haul waste to; then offset landfill expenses with monies received from a methane recovery contractor to burn off the waste in the landfill. This ‘formula’ has been implemented by Waste Management throughout the US, citing examples such as the:

Southern Alleghenies Landfill Methane Recovery Project

Southern Alleghenies Landfill is located in Somerset County, Pennsylvania near the Town of Davidsville. The landfill is owned and operated by Waste Management, Inc. (Waste Management). The project was purchased by Leaf LFG US Investments, Inc. in November 2008.

Shade Landfill Methane Recovery Project

Shade Landfill is located in Somerset County, Pennsylvania near the Town of Cairnbrook. The landfill is owned and operated by Waste Management, Inc. (Waste Management). The project was purchased by Leaf LFG US Investments, Inc. in November 2008.

Laurel Highlands Landfill Methane Recovery Project

Laurel Highlands Landfill is located in Cambria County, Pennsylvania near the Town of Vintondale. The landfill is owned and operated by Waste Management, Inc. (Waste Management). The project was purchased by Leaf LFG US Investments, Inc. in November 2008.

I particularly noted the above locations because in all three instances, Waste Management partnered with Keystone Renewable Energy, LLC, as they have in other similar projects. However Waste Management does not own the landfill it had contracted out to haul to, the Parish of Jefferson does. In fact Cytec Industries had negotiated a methane recovery contract with Jefferson Parish for methane recovery with proposed estimates of up to a Million Dollars a year towards a recurring ‘new’ revenue source.

River Birch on the other hand has contracted it methane recovery system with none other than, Keystone Renewable Energy, LLC:

River Birch Landfill Methane Recovery Project

Expected commissioning: 2010

The River Birch Landfill Methane Recovery Project is located in Waggaman, Louisiana on the River Birch Landfill owned and operated by River Birch, Inc. Keystone designed and is building this high-BTU project under contract to the owner. Compression and an Air Liquide-Medal Biogaz System will deliver 970 BTU gas to a local utility pipeline. The plant should be operational during the second quarter of 2010.

And who is Keystone Renewable Energy, LLC’s registered agent here in Louisiana? Peter Butler, Jr., that’s who.

Peter Butler, Jr is a very connected lawyer. By blood, his father Peter Butler, Sr. clawed his way to influence within legal and political circles as Jefferson was evolving from the roots of a provincial ‘country’ Parish into the white flight suburban sprawl it is today. He grew up with Fred Heebe, Jr.; graduated law school (he also has a CPA) and clerked for Federal Judge Heebe, Sr. He has been law partners with Heebe Jr. and business associates as well. He is presently a partner in the Law Firm of Brazeale, Sache, and Wilson, New Orleans office. While Mike Foster was the Governor of Louisiana, his son and Butler’s partner in the Brazeale Law Firm, Murphy Foster IV, received a $100,000 fee to represent River Birch (Heebe, Ward) before the State DEQ which resulted in a successful maneuver to obtain the coveted permit to operate a landfill, ‘River Birch I’

Butler, Jr’s firm is also appointed Counsel for the West Jefferson Medical Center and it is widely and I think reliably rumored that he played an accommodating role in Wilkinson’s manipulation to hire Tim Coulon’s knee bender, Nancy Cassange (also Wilkinson’s sister-in-law) as Director of the Hospital at a salary of over $400,000 Dollars; a position she absolutely was and is not qualified to hold.  Peter Butler, Jr., while counsel for the Hospital, ia alleged to have crafted an ethics opinion that facilitated then Chairman of the Board, Steve Theriot, to sell land adjoining the hospital. He has also held a position as special Asst. La. Atty General.

So, what does any and/or all of this mean as it concerns a possible answer to the question?

Well I have an opinion based upon what I know; have learned from research and reading; written about extensively here on Slabbed; and as important, a gut intuition that ‘sumthin’s not rite’ !

Let’s suppose that Waste Management, being confronted at the crossroads of an economic and political reality, was forced to formulate an exit strategy; to save face and not lose money. Waste Management’s dilemma: continue a hauling contract that produced marginal profit coupled with a non-ending assault by the very same people (JP Council and Administrative Officials) who awarded your contract now favoring another company (illegally) even before your contract had expired!

So you wait and see who fucks up…and voila!… none other than the corrupt, incompetent and now resigned Parish Attorney Wilkinson…advises the Council to file a spurious suit against you…now you know your going to get whole at the taxpayers’ expense. Why? Because Wilkinson is covering for River Birch, as he has been since 2004 when advising Council member Byron Lee et al, that the non-appropriations clause in the contract with Waste Management was an option to cancel the contract without harm to the Parish. It was this same contractual clause that Whitmer, with Wilkinson at his side, attempted to pursue in early 2009, but aborted in October 2009, when he became aware that he was now a target in a burgeoning Federal Investigation concerning corruption in Jefferson Parish. The irony is that Wilkinson had filed this ludicrous breach of contract suit against Waste Management in August of 2009 in the 24th JDC, only to have it transferred to Federal Court.

At first glance, Waste Management seems to have been rolling with flow in this lawsuit…OK, we want out of here anyway, so let’s play along…we have people on the inside (think Bobby Bourgeois, just let go last Thursday as a CAA), we’ll be made whole… BUT WHAT HAPPENS? The attorneys for Waste Management file a PRR for a copy of the contract between Jefferson Parish and River Birch in late August of 2009, and all hell breaks loose. By the middle of December 2009, Anne Marie Vandenweghe, APA in charge of Public Records, and in performance of her duty, is now in possession of FOUR separate JP/River Birch contracts as a result of PRRs requested by WM, the New Orleans metro media, the FBI and the US Attorney; contracts that Wilkinson specifically pointed out, were his business, and his alone! Four contracts, all different dates: one blank, one signed only by Councilman Capella, one hand written by Wilkinson (?), and one signed by Jim (Albert) Ward. So I ask, what alleged contract is the Council and the Administration referring to when passing resolutions to have the “contract” reviewed?

Apparently the Federal Investigation has put a fire under Waste Management’s ass, for whatever reason, as their posture today is a 180 from late August. Waste Management has even alleged that it has knowledge of corruptive influence on behalf of River Birch by certain Parish Officials. A settlement conference is set in Federal Court in February of 2011. All I will say is this: Wilkinson is toast!

I still have more questions than answers but I think this explains alot.

Slabbed commenter Whitmergate is a member of Citizens for Good Government.

Slabbed welcomes all points of view on the topics we cover. Our readers can submit guest columns to Sop whose contact information can be found here. While we allow anonymous comments on the blog, guest columnist must submit a verifiable name and contact information in order to be published.

21 thoughts on “Subpoenas Keep On Churning, River Birch Keeps On Turning. Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin”

  1. This is from the “keeping them honest” section of your audience:

    For all of your trumpeting about corruption, I can’t believe that you posit Waste Management as the “good guy” in this deal. WHAT??? Where were you hiding when the US government almost brought the whole pack of thieves down a few years ago? Waste Management is VERY familiar with the US criminal justice system. Here is the US Attorney’s press release from 2002. Seems like they are real “gems” and solid corporate citizens!!! Who would ever want to kick these nice guys out of the house!

    Waste Management Founder, Five Other Former Top Officers Sued for Massive Fraud
    Defendants Inflated Profits by $1.7 Billion To Meet Earnings Targets;
    Defendants Reap Millions in Ill-Gotten Gains While Defrauded Investors Lose More Than $6 Billion

    Not quite the damsel in distress you make them out to be in the story, huh.

    Too much breathless reporting. Like Shakespeare said: It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

    You can do better, right?.


  2. The sad thing is that gives a plausible reason for Waste Management leaving Jefferson and Orleans Parish, it does not even Look at Browning Ferris/Allied Waste Reason for running from the Area.

    Now garbage has been typical controlled by strong Italian or Dutch families for Generations across the country.

    It is a sad commentary that the Garbage families/operators have almost completely written off the New Orleans Metro Area and do not care to do business in our corruption laden environment.

    What do you do when the nations traditional Crooks don’t think their is enough to steal to bother to fight to keep business operations in Eastern Louisiana?

  3. Zackey Azula======= Zula your goula ( italian for ass) bro’. I believe you have quoted Shakespeare in your criticism of the Slabbed nation before. Assuming you think all this River Birch reporting is untrue how about ” keeping them honest” like Anderson 360 by addressing and disputing each reported slabbed statement one at a time.

    Can’t do it can you……… just like the paper eating goat in the Geico commercial says, “Nah, Nah, Nah.” Start to dispute Slabb”s reporting with relevant documents and facts then your cyber bullshit will become believable . Till then any blog from you must be assumed to be emerging from the frightened goula of a suspected RB sympathizing blogger.

    CONCLUSION: Your idiotic blog “….signifies nothing”… except you are probably part of the $uckin’ RB Dump Conspiracy.

    1. Recall as you might that it was Browning-Ferris the first named “corrupt-influenced orginization” whose business practices in the East-coast US was the Congressional inspiration to the RICO act. Garbage collection has always been a “dirty business” And the JP political piggies have been wallowing in that muck since the 1950’s – the daddies, uncles, and further up the incestuous political family trees of all the current crop of thieves. Ward before roberts; Mamoulides before connick; Langridge even earlier; Harry before nool the fool, Bill cocci, Miller, Sneed and Sneed before…coulon Yenni Donelon, donelon: the names are legion and the legacy is handed down through the years because it IS THE “FAMILY BUSINESS” Don’t start thinking about Judges, Assessors, State Senators, Court Clerks, and State Reps.
      It Just makes ya wanna call the Orkin Man! (SOP – that might just be you!)

  4. To ZA”: Everyone’s entitled to his or her opinion on SLABBED, even when it steps on the toes of Commentors we like , like “Whitmergate”. Personally, I don’t think that you’re a “Dago Garbageman”; rather, I think you’re in “government”, probably the federal fucking government. But I have a couple of questions: (1) Just what the hell does “”almost brought down the whole pack of thieves down a few years ago” really mean really mean? Sounds like FAILURE to me, huh? That’s FAILURE by the Federal Bureau of Constipation and the U.S. Department of “Injustice”, right? Are they going to get things “right” with Jefferson Parish and River Birch? (2) And just what the FUCK happened to “Defrauded Investors Lose More Than $6 Billion”? Was anyone prosecuted? Were there any convictions? Did anyone get his money back? Thanks for clearing up these points and for telling the SLABBED Nation whether you are part of the INCOMPETENT (AND CROOKED) FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. Ashton O’Dwyer a/k/a “The WHITE Henry Glover”.

  5. So when even the bad guys don’t want to have anything to do with the bad guys what does that say about Jefferson Parish. Our bad guys are so STUPID that the smart bad guys bail before our idjits get all of them indicted. Oh the humiliation. Puhleeze.
    Good guys, bad guys. WTF. Once they finish burning Orleans to the ground they can start on Jefferson.
    IMHO Waste Management is sitting back just waiting for the road to clear for them to ride back in and take it all back. That is of course if their local idjits don’t get them burned first.
    Plausible deniability?
    Dear Jefferson Parish corrupt citizens: Should you accept this Mission Impossible, we at Waste Management will disavow any knowledge of your existence or activity.
    Go look at Johnson Controls in New Orleans. They know nothing. They knew nothing. Their orders to their ‘consultants’ : do whatever you need to do to get and to keep the business. Just don’t tell us about it.
    Where to begin, where to begin? So many threads and attachments. Happy document review Slabbed Nation.

  6. SOP. You are correct. I placed too much emphasis on the WM aspect of the article. WM was one of the first of a series of massive fraud cases brought by our government against the waste conglomerates earlier this decade around the country, and it struck me as odd to see them portrayed as the good guys in this article. Read those cases and you will see why I recoiled at the thought that we would want Waste Management as a recipient of any public funds.

    CRYSTAL. You ignorant slut. All I can say is that you must have skipped your high school debate class. There are two possible reasons: 1. you did not complete high school (my first guess), or 2. you could not tolerate anyone disagreeing with you (an indicator of mental instability). In truth, I am in private practice unconnected with anyone referenced in the articles on this website. Moreover, I live in New Orleans and not Jefferson (the font of corrupt government) or Mississippi (where they know a little about corruption and murder of elected officials). I find your rhyme with my name comical and got a laugh, and so, for that, I thank you.

    With regard to the “reporting”, all I can say is that this article does not appear to me to be reporting at all. Only conjecture and speculation (which I like to read and why I visit this site), but I don’t see the dots connected as clearly as you do. Again, I got past remedial stone cutting (unlike you), and am afflicted with some liberal arts training, which can, I admit, sour the uncluttered mind.

    As for the Shakespeare, he is worth quoting. As is Chevy Chase from SNL…you ignorant slut.

    BAYOU: The Godfather is magical and God bless you for mentioning it. For Christmas, send CRYSTAL a book-on-tape so she can enjoy it.

    OK, I look forward to the new posts and to mixing it up in the future when the urge hits. Have a great Christmas.


  7. And Ashton, I have read so much about you that I fell like I have known you for years. You are a legend. Now, about this “WHITE HENRY GLOVER” stuff…. I am glad you have not lost your mirth. I am rolling in the isle!


    PS – Do not work for the government.

  8. Whit

    No need to be defensive. I wasn’t spoiling for a fight. I just don’t believe that constructing an argument about corruption using Waste Management as a straw “good guy” makes sense. They are not “good” in any sense of the word. Frankly, who cares if they lose a contract in JP. They will likely bribe or force their way into another municipality soon enough.

    Nonetheless, I like to debate and will collect my thoughts and get to it. And, I promise not to let my sympathy for your age and work experience slow me in my task.

    Tip of the hat for the “picayune smoke” reference. Brings back fond memories of some wonderful, long-gone local characters and their vernacular.


    PS – My French is terrible. By the time I got to school, Spanish was all the rage. Now it’s Chinese. We should both hit the books for that one. May need it sooner than we like to think.

  9. I am too passionate to be defensive…another miscue on your part I believe.

    I never stated or inferred Waste Management were the ‘good guys’…you did. And yes, they are not good guys.

    My age has nothing to do about my intellectual acumen; or my ability to see and/or read through bullshit, considering my work and life experiences. Keep your sympathy for yourself because we’re not through yet.

    Fuck Chinese, I’m French so… enforcer la traiter avec elle…

    Bonne nuit

  10. ‘Gate, Zach showed up here positing a strawman argument that he repeats with each post. I personally don’t care about that and in fact am even amused as I think it is indicative of how closely you’re hitting home.

    And while Waste Management wears no white hat what does it say about the River Birch locals who attempt to screw their own neighbors for a buck?

    Take it as a compliment because that is what it is in reality. And sharpen your pencil for another guest post because this topic will be very rich thru time.


  11. Environmental Alert: Slabbed hunters beware of the appearance of Azula zacheria in the low -lying political mud/dumps of jefferson parish. They are biological miscreants who stick their turtle like noses out of the mud for air. If the air is too fresh they fart out a blog of noxious gas out in fear . Fresh air is all you have to blow their way and they eventually burrow off similar to the star-nosed mole, Condylua cristata, to more favorable atmospheric sites.

  12. the above description of the Azula zacheria and its proximity to low -lying mud/dumps of Jefferson Parish..

    Not to worry, I’m sure the ‘JPcleanupcrew’ is schooled in toxic removal of such biological matter and will have the issue at hand cleaned up quickly.

    Albeit the JPcleanupcrew does have a lengthy list of miscreants within Jeff Parish ..hence always the matter of priorities in dealing w/ eliminating same…

  13. Hell ‘Gate, this baby Butler character also listed his house as being the principal office in Louisiana for Keystone. I mean WTF is going on in this HELLHOLE of all Hellholes. It’s always the same people crawling out this hellhole to get everything they can. This lawyer baby Butler is all over the place. Hell, when does he sleep ?

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