Citizens for Good Government calls on John Young to fire all of the perpetrators connected to the paralegal payroll fraud scandal especially the boss, Peggy Barton

Speech to Jefferson Parish Council Feb 23, 2011
About the Paralegal Scandal
by CFGG Vice-Chairman Margie Seemann

Today I am going to speak about Jefferson’s Paralegal Scandal, which is back in the news. Citizens for Good Government has been extremely distressed for some time about the Jefferson Parish paralegal scandal. As a matter of fact, tomorrow it will be exactly one year since we sent a letter to then Interim Parish President Steve Theriot with the SUBJECT: What do you intend to do about the apparent public payroll fraud in the “paralegal” scandal? We sent a similar letter a year ago to all of the members of our Jefferson Parish Council, asking them to conduct their own investigation if President Theriot did not take action to punish current Parish employees who were complicit in the paralegal scandal. By the way, we had no response from Mr. Theriot or from any of the Councilmen to these letters.

Our letter to President Theriot a year ago on February 24th, 2010 started as follows:

You are to be commended for the many actions you have taken to clean up and prevent corruption in Jefferson Parish government since you became interim Parish President. However, we have been waiting to see what action you take to punish current Jefferson Parish employees who facilitated the “paralegal” scandal, which was recently uncovered. Unfortunately, it appears that you have not taken disciplinary action against current Parish employees who participated in this scam, although the phony paralegal employees were fired or resigned and are no longer employed by Jefferson Parish.

One year later, Citizens for Good Government just wrote essentially the same thing in letter dated February 15th to Parish President John Young, since current Jefferson Parish employees who facilitated the paralegal scandal have still not been punished.

President Young, we thank you for your prompt response to our latest letter on the paralegal scandal. Citizens for Good Government is happy that you have taken further action in the paralegal scandal by terminating the remaining non-certified paralegals. 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, President Young, 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.

President Young, in our most recent letter, we quoted RS 14:138(A), the public payroll fraud statute, and we stated:

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, even though they were not actually working for these public officials, 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.

Although we did not indicate this in our letter to you, President Young, we also have conclusive evidence of the altering of a public record having to do with the paralegal scandal by an official of the Legal Department. I believe that you, President Young, and the members of our Jefferson Parish Council have also had access to this information. If not, I will be happy to provide this documentation to you.

Doesn’t this concern anyone in our government? Does our government only fire low level employees, while higher level officials are given a pass when they violate our laws and even are alleged to have committed felonies such as public payroll fraud and altering public records?

President Young, as we said in our letter to you, 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.

8 thoughts on “Citizens for Good Government calls on John Young to fire all of the perpetrators connected to the paralegal payroll fraud scandal especially the boss, Peggy Barton”

  1. Did the Citizens for Good Government file a complaint with the Louisiana Bar Association against Ms. Barton? If not then they need to do so. Who cares whether the Bar acts on the complaint or not (likely they won’t given how dysfunctional they are) but at least it will get the ball rolling.

  2. If Louis Gruntz and Peggy Barton were aware of payroll fraud in the Parish Attorney’s Office which was sanctioned by Tom Wilkinson or one or the other, then pursuant to
    In re Riehlmann, 2004-0680 La. 1/19/05, 891 So. 2d 1239 they have a duty to report to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, and this duty is mandatory – no wiggle room. Gee, I wonder if they filed a complaint with the ODC?

    In Riehlman, the Louisiana Supreme Court held that an “Absolute certainty of ethical misconduct is not required before the reporting requirement is triggered, under Louisiana professional conduct rule requiring a lawyer possessing unprivileged knowledge of another lawyer’s violation of the professional conduct rules to report such knowledge to a tribunal or other authority empowered to investigate or act upon such violation” citing State Bar Articles of Incorporation, Art. 16, Rules of Prof.Conduct, Rule 8.3(a), LSA-R.S. foll. 37:222 (2003).

  3. Mr. Young, Masons or no Masons, Peggy Barton is a liability you cannot afford at this juncture of this on going Federal Investigation. Your future political career, assuming you will have one after tomorrow’s Grand Jury appearance, or as a result of the fall out of detailed corruption associated with River Birch that is coming to light, would seem rather tenuous at the moment.

    And might I remind you, Mr. Young, that although you are an elected official, you are still bound by The Rules of Professional Conduct as enunciated above. You too have an obligation to report Ms. Barton by filing a formal complaint. In fact your oath of office as Parish President demands that you do.

  4. I am likewise amazed that another complicit malfeasor, Beverly Williams; atty assigned to personnel matters has not yet been reported, charged, disbarred, and publicly flogged!

    And of course the other alleged attorney-person, Deborah A. Villio, has yet to be be dragged out of her casket into the sunlight like any other bloodsucking vampire!

    Seems the only real training these alleged “experienced attorneys” ever got at the Connick Academy; was how to lie under oath! Same place that taught Bodenheimer, Wilkinson, Porteous, Gruntin’ Gruntz, Johnny Young, etc., etc.! Past time to shut the school down!

  5. These are some quotes by Young alluding to recovery of monies illegally paid as a result of the payroll fraud concerning designated para-legal Karen Parker Broussard…a criminal conspiracy facilitated by both Wilkinson and Barton…wait…Barton is still on the employed…is that also payroll fraud ?

    Young said Friday that Parker’s is one of several cases that the parish attorney’s office might examine in the coming days of possibly fraudulent payments made to employees during Broussard’s tenure.
    “It’s not vindictive,” Young said. “It’s just something we’re obligated to look into because it’s public money.”

    Young said he wanted to recoup any payments to former employees who used personal connections to garner higher salaries, backdated vacation time or had any breaks in employment erased from their personnel files.
    “I’m asking the parish attorney’s office to look at what legal options are available,” Young said.

    Jefferson Parish President John Young considers suing to recoup Karen Parker’s salary
    Published: Friday, January 28, 2011, 4:18 PM Updated: Friday, January 28, 2011, 4:18 PM
    By Richard Rainey, The Times-Picayune

    I have some observations for both Young and his newly appointed squeeze of a Parish Attorney:

    1) Y’all are both attorneys, and I assume, are aware of your duty to perform due diligence, and accordingly should:

    a. Identify which employees caused what damage…ie. the payroll fraud facilitated by both Wilkinson (as Parish Atty) and Barton ( as DAPA and Supervisor over APAs and Para-Legals) for starters; damages resulting from the River Birch fiasco caused by Broussard, Whitmer. Wilkinson, Barton, Fos and Gandolfi and others) and there are more, Redflex comes to mind, as Young is aware of Ms Foshee.

    b) PREPARE A PRESCRIPTION CALENDAR ASAP…any cause of action that is either identified or unidentified is subject to prescriptive tolls…Young and Foshee are both lawyers and can be guilty of malpractice should they fail in their duty to file any and all lawsuits to protect the interests of their client, THE TAXPAYERS OF JEFFERSON PARISH !!!

    2) do not rely on outside Counsel to do a task that you Mr. Young were elected to do; and you, Ms Foshee were appointed to do. The refusal of Phelps, Dunbar to properly identify their client, THE TAXPAYERS OF JEFFERSON PARISH, and their failure to perform due diligence as it concerns itself with the AMV Whistleblower Claims will cost the Parish plenty enough. In fact, JP may have a claim against Phelps, Dunbar, not only in their negligence in the AMV matter, but also that baseless lawsuit filed on behalf of TheRiot and JP (whoever they were but not the taxpayers) against the blogosphere !

    3) turn over all information of wrong doing to the DA of JP; the La. Atty General; the La Legilative Auditor, the FBI and the US Atty. Be sure to retain a paper trail of your findings that you have forwarded to any of the authorities.

    Considering all that has transpired since August of 2009, I would think yesterday was too late to have begun the investigations that should have been done to date.

    Ms. Foshee, you my dear are “on the horns of a dilemma”….


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *