Until the Recommendations of the Hearing Committee appeared in my email inbox today, I had no idea the Louisiana Office of Disciplinary Counsel was a functioning body. Apparently, it’s just a little slow. Nonetheless, it has now done what many felt should have been done before the Impeachment of Judge Thomas Porteous – address the conduct of the Respond, Claude C. Lightfoot, Jr:
The undisputed factual account of the events that led to the current charges against Respondent are these: In or around the summer of 2000, former United States Court District Judge Gabriel Thomas Porteous, Jr. was experiencing significant financial difficulties, and therefore contacted the Respondent to explore means by which he may manage his debt, including the possibility of bankruptcy protection. The Respondent met with then Judge Porteous and his wife and determined to deploy initially a nonbankruptcy “workout”, whereby the Respondent would contact each creditor and ask them to consider a reduction in the debt owed to allow then Judge Porteous and his wife a means of retiring the debt without filing for bankruptcy.
To that end, Respondent mailed letters to each of the creditors, setting forth his representation and inviting each creditor to consider a workout proposal. Thereafter,
Respondent followed up his letters with telephone calls to the creditors in an effort to get then Judge Porteous and his wife some relief. This process proved to be futile, as the majority of the creditors did not respond at all, and the few that did, knowingly or unknowingly, responded with a lawsuit and a subsequent rejection by their counsel of
Respondent’s proposal on behalf then Judge Porteous and his wife.
Jefferson Parish elected officials’ date with a federal grand jury has been postponed.
Parish President John Young and Parish Council member Chris Roberts said Thursday that the U.S. attorney’s office gave no reason, nor a rescheduled date to appear. U.S. attorney’s office spokeswoman Kathy English wouldn’t comment.
Young and Roberts, along with council members Tom Capella, Louis Congemi, Diane Hollis, Elton Lagasse, Byron Lee and Cynthia Lee-Sheng, had been subpoenaed to testify this morning at the Hale Boggs Federal Building.
Ed Sherman, a Tulane University law professor, said grand jury sessions usually are postponed to let a prosecutor better prepare to question witnesses…
While less likely, Sherman said, a delay could signal that a witness or even a target of the investigation has begun cooperating or “putting out feelers that he’s willing to talk”…
Discussions of the legal and technical aspects of the flooding of Jefferson Parish following Hurricane Katrina are best left to legal scholars and expert engineers. I am neither and a post on those aspects is a subject for another day. For lack of a better word, I’m a behaviorist – and it is from that perspective this post examines the event and those that followed.
Among the most basic of human needs are a sense of belonging and acceptance. If and how those needs are met is determined in large part by our environment; and, in some fashion, we’ve all learned that we will be more readily accepted if “when in Rome” we “do as the Romans do”.
Although half-a-world away, shortly after Hurricane Katrina, London’s Telegraph described the “Rome” that is home to Jefferson Parish:
Congressman Billy Tauzin once said of his state: “One half of Louisiana is under water and the other half is under indictment.” Last week, four fifths of New Orleans was under water and the other four fifths should be under indictment – which is the kind of arithmetic the state’s deeply entrenched kleptocrat political culture will have no trouble making add up.
It was in the context of this “kleptocratic” environment that some did their arithmetic before the storm; figured the flooding of Jefferson Parish would result in a massive money-making opportunity; and decided too much was at stake to rely on nature alone.
One early estimate of loss from the resulting flooding of the Parish was $3-5 billion. However, we’re only beginning to understand how much money there was to be made; but, more importantly, we’re also beginning to understand how.
Here is the local version on the right, a GOP wannabe in waiting from Jackson County and good buddy to Steven Palazzo.
Here is the Wisconsin version. At least our guy is a happy drunk.
Naturally Jon Stewart had a take on this entire Scott Walker is an idiot saga and this is what he said last night about Gov Walker being punked by a left wing blogger from Buffalo. Score one for the blogger because Walker is little more than a genuflecting David Koch knob shiner who sold the people in Wisconsin out to the highest big business bidder.
A 48-year-old New Orleans woman has been sentenced to three years and one month in prison for theft, fraud and other federal charges stemming from a scheme to cheat government agencies out of nearly $477,000 following Hurricane Katrina.
The U.S. Attorney’s office said Ruth Leslie Goodman was sentenced Wednesday. She had pleaded guilty in November to creating and executing a scheme to defraud the Louisiana Road Home program, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Small Business Administration. In addition to the prison time, Goodman was ordered to pay full restitution of $476,904.
All else aside, it took some serious smarts to commit this crime.
I can readily think of three bigger SOBs than your truly, Mike Fawer being one of them. He honestly doesn’t give a shit what I post or think. That is probably a good trait for someone in his line of work.
Like IMA said, Fawer isn’t scared to take a case into the courtroom, where the Times Picayune recently acknowledged his style as “feisty”. That pays benefits when an incompetent judge is involved in the proceedings such as Judge Lemelle.
Thursday, February 24th, 2011
GET THE POLITICIANS OUT OF REAPPORTIONMENT
It’s redistricting time for legislators, both in Louisiana and throughout the country. Criticism that decisions are being shaped behind closed doors is raining down on this politically sensitive process. Lawmakers in my home state have scheduled a number of meetings to discuss the process of divvying up the various political boundaries including congressional, public service commission, and their own legislative districts. Many of the sessions are not open to the public. “Wrong!” cry the press and the good government groups. But the question should be, why are legislators meeting at all?
By federal law, all election districts must be reapportioned every 10 years to reflect the latest census figures. This puts Louisiana elections officials in a bind because census figures have just become available that reflect changes over the past ten years, and the state is just months away from a gubernatorial election. But should legislators, who have a vested interest in how the redistricting lines are drawn, actually be the ones to do the drawing, anyway?
The problem is one of gerrymandering, where district lines are not drawn to reflect geographical or political balance, but to favor the incumbent or some other partisan choice. When legislators do the redistricting, the norm seems to be that the state ends up with meandering footprints meticulously designed, it would seem, to ensure that no incumbent will face serious opposition, regardless of how the political winds are blowing. As one local political observer said, “Think about it this way. In elections, people choose their legislators. In reapportionment, legislators choose their people.” Continue reading “Jim Brown”