36 thoughts on “And the new Jefferson Parish HR Director is…..”

  1. Wow. Glad to see that John Young is all about gettig rid of corruption in JP government. Hey, John, is Peggy going to still turn a blind eye when staff is hired and paid at salaries far above their scheduled pay grade (e.g. see Steve Mortillaro, Skip Hand, Karen Broussard, et al)?

  2. Sorry for being flip.

    It’s disgraceful.

    Here’s my question: does Young just not get it, or is this basically part of the deal for his becoming president?

    Talk about sending a message to whistleblowers or those who might just want to the right thing in River Birch situations (e.g., Marnie Winters testimony).

  3. Peggy Barton as HR Director.

    Words fail me other than : Who exactly is her husband? and What exactly was he doing in Korea all those years?

  4. OK I caught my breath.

    Just a few concerns about Peggy Barton being in charge of Human Resources:

    1.She has already

  5. President Young recognizes a loyal team player when he sees one. Parish Deputy Attorney Barton and side kick attorney Giangrosso successfully shut down the public records request system when fraud was too rapidly being revealed.

    They did such a complete job that Young was embarrassed at council meetings and had to step in and order them to give up a little information . John wants reliable stooges to keep the lid on whistleblowers and internal secret operations and Barton will do an admirable job. Maybe her side kick will join her and Team Obstruction will be reunited.

    Whistleblower Hotline is now officially Team Obstruction Hotline.

  6. council7people0…..great post …! and you nailed it..The newly created WhistleBlower HOTLINE is now correctly named Team Obstruction HOTLINE.

    Truer words were never spoken. Well said- – council7people0.

  7. First it was freakin appointing campaign sign man greco fire chief creating another lawsuit filed by a parish employee for another outside friendly lawfirm to defend. but this sh*t is the work of a brainless hand puppet under the influence of powerful focker families. I think the puppet’s public integrity is being sacrificed for the desperate fears of the fockers over what other employees know and what parish documents may still reveal. a sad sack of crap is the fact the puppet knows it and is helpless to move out of the stink that is surrounding and controlling him.

    1. To paraphrase what I was told regarding this move by Team Young:

      Foshee didn’t want her in legal but there is a sense of obligation to her in the administration and council for stepping in the breach for Tom Wilkinson thus the move over to HR.

      sop

  8. “The Administration and Council feel an obligation to her for stepping in the breach FOR Tom Wilkinson.”
    Positively Freudian.
    Yes indeedie she did step into the breach FOR Tom Wilkinson. She stonewalled, obfuscated, and obstructed justice at each and every step. FOR a TARGET of a federal investigation.
    And she is being ‘rewarded’ for being the ‘cleaner’. By the people with the most to lose if that BREACH was not stepped into by someone looking to ‘protect’ them from the fallout. She knows where all the bodies are buried. Ruh Ro Peggy…now you are a liability. Johnny Young is a hound and a scoundrel and he will fk you and flip you and narry a kiss or a call.
    Congratulations Peggy: those people who feel obligated to you because you stepped into the breach to protect them just painted a MFng HUGE target on your back… been to the Grand Jury lately? Bring a jacket it can get chilly in that waiting room. But wear layers ’cause it gets really hot in the pot. Of course if you call the feds first and get it all off your chest you can fk those ‘grateful’ bastards before they fk you. Heh heh heh, you just got left out in the cold girl…LMAOROTF.
    And for those oldsters on slabbed : Remember Richie Arnoult? ’nuff said.

  9. If I recall correctly, Tom Capella, also stated that he stood by Peggy Barton’s integrity.
    Oh man, JP, really leaves you scratching your head.

  10. Barton did serve as interim Purchasing Director for a short time. Wonder if any of the River Birch contracts were awarded under her tenure.

    The Parish continues to stand by enablers like Barton and Bolotte. Both were instrumental in expediting the corrupt administrations agenda.

    I agree with Unslabbed that all that’s left for Barton to do is to come clean and give the Feds the goods on the goings on at the Parish.

    Unemployed, Indicted, or Pardoned.

  11. Like WILKINSON, with his illegal and exorbitant pay raises; how about BARTON being paid while in Korea (and if that is not a fact, BARTON should produce her passport to the FBI)…another instance of payroll fraud I suspect ???

    WHY John?…WHY ?

    I am NEVER letting go of this travesty of JUSTICE…NEVER !!!

  12. A timeline of public events for Barton (i’m sure some folks can give more detail on this, this is all from the published news reports):

    May 1994 – begins work as an asst. Parish attorney.

    Nov. 1995 – working with Perrin Butler Jr. in the newly created Bureau of Administrative Adjudication, zoning and nuisance code enforcement.

    1996 – asst. Parish attorney in charge of “handling contracts.” [Apparently her name doesn’t get mentioned once in the news over the next 10 years.]

    April 2006 – purchasing director [the TP report here really gives an insight into the special people they hire there: “She took over from Lynne Hefti, who left parish employment Friday to work with priests accused of sex crimes.”] Appointed by Broussard as part of his “executive staff.”

    12/8/06 – “To crack down on dilapidated buildings that still pock neighborhoods 15 months after Hurricane Katrina, the Jefferson Parish Council plans to hire a company that can compel negligent owners to clean up their properties by dangling the threat of litigation. The blight remediation contract has uncorked the entrepreneurial juices of several politically connected companies, including one headlined by Tiffany Scot Wilken, a member of the Harahan City Council and a former assistant parish attorney who used to handle code enforcement cases. Vying for the contract are four companies, including another led by David Courcelle, the Harahan city attorney. …. Bert Smith, an executive assistant to Parish President Aaron Broussard, estimated the contract would cost $100,000 to $400,000, depending on how many blighted properties the contractor handles and how pliant the property owners turn out to be in fixing up their buildings without litigation.

    Smith, a member of the evaluation committee, said the group discussed whether the Harahan connection was a problem and concluded there was no conflict of interest. “There were two attorneys on the evaluation committee, and they both determined that there would be no conflict because the company would not be handling properties in Harahan,” he said. The lawyers were Crystal Heine and Peggy Barton , a former assistant parish attorney who is now the purchasing director. “””

    12/23/06 – This one’s sad or hilarious? I can’t tell anymore: “After entering the Jefferson Parish purchasing office as a typist 29 years ago, Elizabeth Louding will take over as its director at the end of the month. The current purchasing director, Peggy Barton , will return to the parish attorney’s office to replace a retiring deputy parish lawyer. Louding worked her way through nearly every position in the office and built a strong familiarity with myriad vendors and administrators, so much so that she often helped train many new directors before she was tapped for the post. Her greatest task in the coming months, she said, *****will be navigating the legal and ethical eddies of moving the bidding process to an online format. If successful, Louding said the Internet access would allow more venders around the country to compete for contracts and drive down the project costs for the parish.” — What happened to Ms. Louding? Planted in a river bed somewhere?

    3/13/07 – Seems Barton has done Young a favor before: “It’s no secret that many of the same contractors who appear on agenda after agenda before the Jefferson Parish Council also appear in campaign finance reports filed by the politicians who routinely give public business to the firms. Familiar names also cropped up when Parish President Aaron Broussard had emergency powers to issue contracts without following public bidding laws immediately after Hurricane Katrina. Now a campaign finance reform that was designed to stamp out the appearance of partiality to contractors who give generously to campaigns is expected to have limited reach among Jefferson’s eight top politicians, all of whom face election this fall. State lawmakers passed Act 849 last year to send a message to Washington, D.C., that the “Louisiana way” of contractor favoritism had gone out of favor, leaving no tolerance for even the appearance of rewarding firms whose dollars helped win elections. It prohibits politicians from accepting donations for three years from anyone who received no-bid emergency work after the hurricane, including contractors and their first-tier subcontractors. Violations cost both the banned firms and the elected officials a penalty twice the amount of the donation. Among the donations sent to Broussard and the seven council members last year, $116,000 came from firms that received emergency Katrina contracts, according to an analysis of the annual reports filed by each candidate and the contracts provided by the parish.” …

    “Other council members said they aren’t certain the rule applied to them, but attempted to follow it out of an abundance of caution. Councilman John Young directed his campaign treasurer to hold every check until the parish attorney released the list of the contractors and subcontractors. Then the campaign asked an ethics board lawyer whether the law’s language about prohibiting donations from any “person” who entered into Katrina contracts or subcontracts included companies’ officers and registered agents. Young said he received an informal opinion that the law referred only to the businesses and that individuals could still give donations. His annual report included a $1,000 donation from Steve C. Hartman, whose engineering firm evaluated storm surge vulnerability, and $500 from Favrot & Shane Companies, which made a parish-generated list of emergency contractors last year. ******Peggy Barton, an assistant parish attorney, said the parish never paid the firm for goods or services related to hurricane rebuilding, so it shouldn’t be prohibited from donating.”

    6.22.08 – “Jefferson Parish residents remain in the dark about how much their garbage bills will increase as administrators continue reviewing proposals for a lucrative five-year collection contract. On Friday, a committee combing through the five proposals didn’t finish checking references and ranking the companies, assistant parish attorney Peggy Barton said. So price quotations submitted with the proposals remain sealed from the committee and the public. Parish officials have promised to release the numbers after the committee takes a look. Barton said the panel hasn’t scheduled its next meeting. The prices could double or triple the current monthly rate of $8.98, given inflation and rising fuel costs.

    8.5.08 – “Jefferson Parish soon could ease its limits on public access to proposals for lucrative government contracts, a move that would align parish policy with Louisiana’s public records law. Parish President Aaron Broussard’s administration offered revisions to the parish’s public records policy after officials initially sought to keep proposals for Jefferson’s massive garbage contract sealed, pointing to a parish law.

    The suggested changes would give Jefferson residents greater insight into how their government does business, officials said. “We want to make it as open as possible,” Parish Councilman Tom Capella said. The council will review the revisions at its meeting Wednesday. The current parish ordinance requires all contract proposals be sealed until the council picks a contractor. Once the council awards a contract, the losing proposals remain secret.

    *******An evaluation committee, appointed by Broussard and the council, then negotiates the details of the final contract, according to the current ordinance.***** Committee members can also field questions about the proposal guidelines from companies interested in the work. Under the new legal language, all proposals would become public after the deadline for submission, but before the council picks a winner. Contractors have to separately submit an estimated cost for their proposals, but this, too, would become public after the committee received the information. The changes would require competing contractors to mark any trade secrets or information in their proposals that they deem would hurt business if publicized. And the president’s administration, not the committee, would negotiate the final contract. Assistant parish attorney ***Peggy Barton said the change was merely a clerical fix and that the administration always led such negotiations. “Those evaluation committees, while very important, are nominated by the administration and the council,” Capella said. “Ultimately, we have to answer to the voters.” Tim Whitmer, Broussard’s top aide, said the changes simply put the administration’s current practices into writing. Friction over the current parish ordinance increased when Parish Attorney Tom Wilkinson balked after The Times-Picayune requested in June to review proposals for Jefferson’s five-year garbage contract, a $60 million deal. Wilkinson released the information after the newspaper’s attorney, Lori Mince, argued in a letter that the administration was violating state law. “The public has an unequivocal constitutional and statutory right to examine public records,” she wrote.”

    2.23.10 – Assistant Parish Attorney Anne Marie Vandenweghe is placed on paid administrative leave, without explanation. {Yaknow, putting this in context helps – it appears AMV is canned as a sop for what is about to happen to Wilkinson. She is clearly a scapegoat for Wilkinson & Co.’s being caught. This is the clearest whistelblower action ever by the looks of it.].

    2.26.10 – Barton becomes Parish Attorney. Ah the sweet smell of success: “Interim Parish President Steve Theriot said he placed Wilkinson on paid administrative leave but wouldn’t say why.” “”””It’s a personnel issue,” Theriot said. “I don’t want to put myself or the parish in a (bad) position” by offering details. Wilkinson will continue to collect his annual $184,000 salary unless Theriot takes further action.”””

    {January-April 2010 – I think somewhere around this time we see the org chart flipping [reported here] whereby Barton plays a version of 3-Card-Monte; now you see Karen Broussard working directly under Barton for years, now you don’t. Isn’t this some kind of punishable fraud in and of itself?}

    3.19.10 – “Interim President Steve Theriot’s administration received overtures from three engineering companies interested in reviewing the River Birch deal, but Theriot and council members want a company with auditing expertise, too. … Of the initial three proposals, one from Golder Associates of Houston has been withdrawn, citing an unspecified conflict of interest, Environmental Affairs Director Marnie Winter said. Another interested firm, Camp, Dresser & McKee of Cambridge, Mass., already has a Jefferson Parish engineering contract to oversee work at the public landfill but is still in consideration for the new one, Winter said. The third company is MSW Resources of Rockwall, Texas. Now the council has extended the deadline for interested consultants to Thursday. A parish committee is scheduled to meet April 6 to consider the companies. It consists of Winter, parish landfill engineer Rick Buller, acting Parish Attorney Peggy Barton , Assistant Finance Director Lena Stockstill, Chief Administrative Assistant Bobby Bourgeois and council Research and Budget Analysis Director Alan Gandolfi.” MSW got picked of course…

    5.13.10 – The Riot sues the world for saying mean things. “Acting Parish Attorney Peggy Barton said Alessandra has been hired previously to handle internal personnel matters. While neither Alessandra nor her law firm has billed the parish yet, Barton said payments will be made under a contract that caps attorneys’ rates at $225 an hour and paralegal work at $105 an hour. *****Barton said she was unaware that the target of the lawsuit might be a parish employee, and Alessandra would not comment.” – Later the suit is withdrawn: “Council Chairman John Young said the law firm that filed the suit, Phelps Dunbar, had been initially hired to handle the investigation of Anne Marie Vandenweghe, an assistant parish attorney whom Theriot put on paid leave in February for the alleged improper use of her parish computer. …”I think that’s the correct and proper thing to do,” Young said. But other council members have said they learned about the suit in an executive session before it was filed and understood it to be part of a parish investigation of one or more employees. “The first amendment is one of our most precious rights, so I agree with the decision” to withdraw the lawsuit, Councilman Tom Capella said. “And we’ll balance that with our duty to protect our employees from an unsafe work environment.” “”” Er, unsafe???

    6.2.10 – JP salaries released, “Peggy Barton , the interim parish attorney, has worked for the government for 15 years and makes $135,000.”

    7.1.10 – “The Jefferson Parish Council approved the largest in a long string of cost overruns for the Jefferson Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, accepting a $7.6 million package of change orders addressing dozens of shortcomings in the center’s designs. … In all, 45 items are on the list of expensive changes to the building, which has been under construction since 2007 on Airline Drive next to Zephyr Field. Along with previous overruns, the change orders total about $18.2 million on a building that had an original construction contract for $26.6 million and now has a price tag approaching $45 million. Anticipating the latest set of higher costs, the parish secured a $7.5 million line of credit from the state government that covers most of the price increase. “There were many errors during the route” of planning the project, Theriot said. Theriot said the parish has sued the building’s original architect, Marcel Wisznia, alleging numerous gaps in his designs that led to the complications during construction, but that Wisznia’s insurance policy of $1 million would cover only a fraction of the elevated construction costs and would also have to cover Wisznia’s legal costs. He also said the contract with an oversight firm the parish hired shielded that firm from any liability. Peggy Barton , acting parish attorney, said such insurance policies and contract provisions are standard … ”

    {Interjection: has Peggy ever blown the whistle on anybody anywhere at any time? What does she *do* exactly?}

    9.23.10 – I think one day she will regret this one: “””The improper makeup of a committee that reviewed garbage-disposal proposals before Jefferson Parish awarded a 25-year, $160 million contract to the River Birch landfill is not grounds for invalidating the deal, which has come under federal scrutiny, according to the parish’s legal department. Responding to a citizen complaint, interim Parish Attorney Peggy Barton acknowledged the three-member review committee lacked two members required by a parish ordinance. But Barton said the Parish Council effectively waived that requirement when it approved the contract after being informed of the committee’s composition. “Unless there is a specific prohibition, governmental bodies may waive informalities in the process of awarding contracts and it does not render the subsequent contract invalid,” Barton wrote in a letter to Margie Seemann, vice chairwoman of Citizens for Good Government. … Barton’s letter did not address why Winter was not a voting member. But Barton said that even if the committee had the required five members, the three members who recommended River Birch’s bid still would have constituted a majority. Barton also emphasized that the decision to award the contract to River Birch was made by the council, not the evaluation committee. … Broussard and Whitmer resigned in January. Wilkinson, who negotiated the River Birch contract, resigned in March and was replaced by Barton.”””

    11.24.10 – “Jefferson Parish officials plan to measure every acre of public property mowed by Ramelli Janitorial Services Inc. after a report that the company billed for cutting phantom acres of grass at the East Bank Animal Shelter in Elmwood. … However, as that contract approached its initial June 18, 2009, expiration date, the administration switched the hiring process from accepting the cheapest qualified bid to assigning a committee to evaluate proposals from all interested companies. The new process didn’t restrict the council to the cheapest bidder. Interim Parish Attorney Peggy Barton said the switch occurred at the request of Tim Whitmer when he served as chief administrative officer to Parish President Aaron Broussard. Barton said she had no explanation for the decision.” — What is it you’d say you *do* here, exactly, Peggy?

    2.16.11 – The TP reports ths canning of three “paralegals”; doesn’t mention that they all, along with Karen Parker, worked under Barton.

    — To me of the above the most interesting is Barton giving the A-OK sign when the Parish with malice aforethought, with premeditation, simply sidestepped the letter and spirit of the law and moved the River Birch contracting process from outside the committee process and into the sole purview of Broussard, Whitmer & Wilkinson. To me, this makes Barton a necessary conspirator. And she has clearly been rewarded for that scheme in several ways, but especially the last one, though for the money at issue it’s an extremely cheap cost for those involved.

    — About Young: here’s a guy who just put the IG funding under a discretionary budget. he is either stupid [not] or this is a ruse to eviscerate the office befroe it gets started. Now he takes someone who is involved in all of the above and places her in charge of human resources? For people [those with a clue] of ethics and decency working at the Parish, this must be like how it feels to political prisoners when they see a US President shaking hands with a dictator; absolutely, sickeningly disheartening. Yes, sir, ma’am, you will be in your hellhole for years to come, just get used to it.

  13. Its apparent there exists an attempt ‘ in abstenia’ to do away with Al Morella, Margret Baird and Margie Seemann by raising the points of their blood pressures to levels to produce fatal strokes or cardiac infarcts by the recent ironic Barton appointment.

    What appears to be an intentional slap in the face of the good government community is far worse a shame for Young. For what doesn’t kill you initially in the end makes you stronger. Al is already overpowering and gaining press at every meeting so better prepare for bear.

    Unfortunately for Young the honeymoon is now over and there will be hell to pay at the next several council meetings. I would suggest the council’s humanitarian, Capella, order an ambulance and paramedic on standby. We definitely don’t want one single solitary senior citizen, who reliably pull good government voting levers, to sustain the slightest injury over such a insulting, vindictive asinine decision.

  14. Forgot to mention that, using the org chart as a reference, Piggy will be working under Jennifer Van Vranken.

    Of course.

  15. Gotta like this off Young’s current chart:

    “Internal Auditor
    Vacant”

    “Compliance & Ethics Officer
    Vacant”

    Well, there’s no rush.

  16. Interesting how everyone was mum on why Wilkinson was canned , citing Personnel confidentiality, but oh so vocal about why AMV was put on leave.

    So many violations and so little time…oh that ‘s right NO TIME because no one has been indicted much less convicted.

    Lettenemgo must be back in the saddle. Now what WAS his wife’s maiden name?

  17. There are so many parallels to Broussard’s and the Council’s (and their co-conspirators’) THEFT of The O’Dwyer Family’s batture property “under color of law”. THUGS, pure and simple. Ashton O’Dwyer.

  18. Patricia did you know she really does hold several doctorate degrees.

    She holds degrees in Doctor of Augmentation of subpoenas deuces tecum, Doctor of Damage Control, Doctor of Disinformation, Doctor of Document Destruction, Doctor of Diversion, Delay and Damaged Data; Doctor of Document Dawdle, Dazzle, Dribble and Drizzle; Doctor of Document Dysentery, Doctor of Duplicitous Dung, Doctor of Dubiousness, Doctor of Dupery, Doctor of Doubt, Doctor of Doubletalk and Double Dribble; Doctor of Double Dipping, Doctor of Document Dance, Dipsido and Dosido; Doctor of Divergence, Doctor of Distrust, Doctor of Distraction, Doctor of Distortion, Doctor of Document Disrepute, Disparity and of Dispersion; Doctor of Doctored Deposition, Doctor of Disingenuous Disillusion, Doctor of Dishonesty, Doctor of Document Disguise, Disesteem and Disdain; Doctor of Discredit, Doctor of Deviant Disclosure and Discovery, Doctor of Disclaimer, Doctor of Digression, Distraction and Diddlysquat; Doctor of Deviousness, Deviltry and the Diabolical; Doctor of Document Detergency, Doctor of Despotism, Doctor of Deni-ability, Doctor of Demur, Doctor of Document Deletion and Disorganization ; Doctor of Deflection, Defensiveness and Documental Deep Six, Doctor of Document Decimation, Desecration and Desolation; Doctor of Deception, Doctor of Deadwood and several other honorary Phd’s in Document Depreciation.

    I opine she’s overqualified for parish government and should be in Washington, D.C..

  19. Folks, regarding the mentioned org chart….am I the only one paying attention or do you notice a significant problem with it? The civil service director, Beverly Williams is shown directly reporting to the Administration’s deputy CAA, Jennifer Van Vrancken. This battle has been on going between Young and the Personnel Board for months with Young refusing after repeated requests by the Board to show Williams reporting to the Board as it properly should according to Section 4.03 of the Parish Charter. Young has maintained that while the Board is vested to appoint the CS director, he has the authority to fire her. Just one more crack in the clay feet of the Young Administration and just what the taxpayers need….a non-political, non-partisan public employment system serving at the whim and political machinations of the Parish President.

  20. This has to end. If the Roberts jerk is not taken off the street by the Feds. there is no justice. If he is allowed ot seek re election, wins then gets indicted, convicted or makes a deal it will cost, I am told, @250K for a new election. This is justice broken, in need of repair, i.e. change.

    So if there is any truth to the writings he needs to get hmmered BEFORE the election.

    As to Piggy Barton I am confused. Knowledge of a felony, participation and cover-up. This is not a problem for John Young. Great example.

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