Channel 4 updated a long time subject both here on Slabbed and elsewhere in the payroll fraud in the Jefferson Parish Attorney’s Office. Here is Mike Perlstein’s video report:
I loved this quote from Perlstein’s piece:
Rafael Goyeneche, president of the non-profit watchdog group Metropolitan Crime Commission, was among the people who brought the problem to Young’s attention, although several parish employees said the situation was hardly a secret.
Hardly a secret indeed.
Naturally the good folks at the Citizens for Good Government would have an opinion as they too have been all over this. Following is the text of a letter they sent to John Young today:
John F. Young, Jr.
Joseph S. Yenni Building
1221 Elmwood Park Blvd., 10th Floor
Jefferson, LA 70123
SUBJECT: Officials who perpetrated the paralegal fraud should also be fired
Dear President Young,
Citizens for Good Government is happy that you have taken further action in the paralegal scandal by letting non-certified paralegals go. Interim Parish President Steve Theriot had previously fired individuals who were hired with the title of “paralegal” without the proper credentials, but were not even working for the Legal Department.
However, you have apparently not taken any action yet against the officials currently holding positions in our Jefferson Parish government who were actually responsible for the paralegal scandal by hiring or supposedly supervising unqualified individuals, and having them paid out of the Legal Department budget, while they were actually assigned to other departments. In our opinion, these government officials are even more guilty than the individuals who merely accepted jobs offered to them by these public officials, in some cases because they were friends or were politically connected.
According to Louisiana Revised Statute 14:138(A):
Public payroll fraud is committed when:
(1) Any person shall knowingly receive any payment or compensation, or knowingly permit his name to be carried on any employment list or payroll for any payment or compensation from the state, for services not actually rendered by himself, or for services grossly inadequate for the payment or compensation received or to be received according to such employment list or payroll; or
(2) Any public officer or public employee shall carry, cause to be carried, or permit to be carried, directly or indirectly, upon the employment list or payroll of his office, the name of any person as employee, or shall pay any employee, with knowledge that such employee is receiving payment or compensation for services not actually rendered by said employee or for services grossly inadequate for such payment or compensation.
Hence, public payroll fraud was committed not only by the individuals who received pay for work they were not doing, but by the Jefferson Parish officials who were responsible for hiring these individuals. In addition, the officials who were supposed to be supervising the paralegals who were not actually working for them, but were assigned to other departments, are also apparently guilty of public payroll fraud, since they permitted these individuals to be carried on the payroll of the Legal Department.
President Young, you have made it clear that you want a transparent, honest administration, and Citizens for Good Government is counting on this. If you really mean what you say, then you will follow through on the paralegal scandal to its just conclusion by taking the appropriate action against the perpetrators of the paralegal scandal who are still in our government. These individuals need to be punished—there would have been no paralegal scandal without them. They should not be a part of our Jefferson Parish government any more than the unqualified individuals who were hired as paralegals.
Chairman, Citizens for Good Government
Vice-Chairman, Citizens for Good Government
cc: Deborah Foshee, Parish Attorney
Chris Cox, Chief Operating Officer
You go girls.