Team River Birch beclowns their clowns: A putting in the fix on the inside for River Birch update.

Paul Rioux at the Times Picayune checks in today with a report that is masterful in its nuance as Team River Birch has the full court PR press on and one again they manage to put egg on their own face as well as the Parish, specifically Public Records.  There is lots of fodder for discussion in Paul’s lengthy story but since I am time strapped I’m going to focus in on 2 items the first being that thanks to Steve Theriot and John Young it appears Jefferson Parish no longer has a cohesive, functioning public records department. Taken a step further I’ll add Paul conveys the obvious without saying it as it certainly appears the Parish Attorney’s office is simply an adjunct legal department for Freddie Heebe, Jim Ward and the River Birch Landfill. This snippet illustrates that point:

River Birch obtained the notes and other parish documents about the draft study Monday through a public records request and in turn provided them to The Times-Picayune. Parish attorneys denied a similar request by the newspaper for the preliminary study in December, citing an exemption in the state’s disclosure law for documents prepared “in anticipation of litigation or in preparation for trial.”

I will point out that normally newspapers are big on access to public records so the silence on the major problems with public records in Jefferson Parish, well reported here, means the T-P sucked on it in silence for at least the past 3 months.  I’ll add that while Jefferson Parish was stonewalling the Times Picayune while giving it all up for Freddie Heebie they also continue to retaliate against the whistleblowers and John Young is ass deep in it right along with his political blowbuddy Tom Capella and their puppets Peggy Barton and Louis Gruntz.  As long as the Parish Attorney’s office, at the behest of elected officials work for the River Birch Landfill instead of the taxpayers expect to see more such clusterfucks as the many Paul Rioux details today.

Finally, while Paul takes some criticism in comments on today’s story I think it is misdirected as he factually poked major holes in River Birch’s line of bullshit as spouted by Team Shills Loren Scott and Glenn Smith.  My own take is when someone feeds you a story like River Birch did Paul and the spin is debunked in the subsequent report such fact is very meaningful.

The second item is the P&N report revisions. As a practicing CPA I’ll add the way I conduct my practice is that anytime a complex calculation is required in an engagement it pays to involve as many knowledgable eyes as possible in the process so the correct result is obtained. It is simply good business practice. Along those lines I am not surprised P&N met with the professionals at Yenni to hone their results, specifically Marnie Winter and Rick Buller, two Parish employees that were largely cut out of the loop when Tom Wilkinson, Aaron Broussard and Tim Whitmer were pushing through the shit house deal with River Birch back when.

This brings us to Loren Scott, an interest conflicted hired gun economist that shills for River Birch. He doesn’t have much to work with here so the attacks on P&N are somewhat expected I’ll grant, but the man is either a complete fool or completely corrupt advocating silliness on behalf of the River Birch Landfill and this leaves aside the fact his wife benefitted financially from underwriting the health insurance sold by Tim Whitmer to entities like River Birch. Times must be tough for rent an economists these days but the beating the man’s reputation is taking these days must mean Freddie and the boys are paying him well. One of the Times Picayune’s own commenters well sums up the entire sad state of affairs:

Let’s see: Loren Scott’s wife is CFO of Blue Cross LA who did the underwriting for Tim Whitmer’s insurance schemes.

And the Parish has never produced a copy of the River Birch contract.

And River Birch will provide no drafts much less the final version of their report.

And Dutchie Connick’s and Bill Sirmon’s consulting contract with River Birch is not even discussed much less made public.

And the TP could not get the P&N report when it came out.

But someone at JP is feeding River Birch all the information it needs.


6 thoughts on “Team River Birch beclowns their clowns: A putting in the fix on the inside for River Birch update.”

  1. I’ll tantalize the entire Slabbed Nation and add I have a potential source that likely has great information to share on some of the points made in Paul Rioux’s story. When I get a chance later today I’ll see if I can get some additional background.


  2. Here’s a question:

    Exactly *when* did River Birch get their document cache?

    And note they are released only after the meeting (to the TP only, and the TP has not released the cache themselves).

    Were the documents denied to the TP – and the public – but then provided to River Birch well in advance of the allegedly “public” conference on the competing reports? If so, isn’t that fraud on the system by whoever WITHIN THE PARISH GOVERNMENT engaged in this?

    And was this done under Piggy Barton? And then NEXT Barton is moved to HR right after the public hearing on the waste contract, and then NEXT this comes out???? Hey if it was Piggy that released them did she follow proper public records release protocol? Gosh it’s just too bad Legal doesn’t have an expert in their office who wrote the book on this subject so to speak.

    This has shades of Veronica White, Tracie Washington and the Council-4’s emails. I mean, Winters or Buller (and their team) have got to LOVE being set up by discussing freely within their own workspace and then having those conversations turned over for the confidential use of one of the parties with out their knowing about it. Is this payback for their depo testimony? If so there are weevils in the parish flour.

    And what of that claimed privilege regarding “in anticipation of litigation.” Hate to say it but that almost practically makes sense. Or let’s say for argument it did make sense. How do Forshee and Young, or their people perhaps, feel knowing that their internal impressions regarding a report created for a major lawsuit is surreptitiously released to what is technically supposed to be a third party, someone who may end up suing themselves if their contract (if it exists) is rescinded? This little maneuver could cost the people of Jefferson plus-beaucoup bucks. And how in the hell do they argue that Waste Management is not entitled to whatever they want in terms of emails and document discovery when it comes right down to it when the Parish has released this material? Waste Management ought to show up tomorrow in court and shove motions to compel and sanctions down the Parish’s throat ad nauseum.

    There’s a major story here if the TP chooses to pursue it. Sounds like Emaelstrom II to me if so.

    1. River Birch said early on they had a copy of the P&N report, even before it was released to the public.

      Supposedly these are trained lawyers that work in the Parish Attorney’s office. Are they really that incompetent (I mentioned yesterday Foshee’s own public records track record is abysmal) or are there more sinister forces at play? If I were a JP taxpayer at risk of having to pay big money as a result of this kind of bullshit I’d be very worried about my wallet and how much taxes will have to go up to pay for it all.

      Meantime the perpetraters laugh all the way to the bank.


  3. As I recall Louis Gruntz did a Dog and Pony show to all departments and all Administration higher-ups ( Barton included) and all the Council and their staffs , which explained in great detail the Public Record laws…ergo EVERYONE INVOLVED has been on notice about the requirements for at least 2 years or so.

    And I have been informed by Citizens for Good Government that when they submitted a request for copies of Gruntz’s presentation the response was, not surprisingly, NO ( for all the boilerplate reasons ).


  4. Re-POST:

    River Birch has no standing to contest any study by the Parish of Jefferson. There is no contract with River Birch because there is no contract; only illegal machinations amongst the co-conspirators, the principals of River Birch and certain Jefferson Parish Officials, both elected and appointed, to proceed with a Council vote of 7-0 based upon a legally deficient RFP process composed of Wilkinson, Fos and Gandolfi. The unlawful RFP 176 committee was initiated by then COO, Tim Whitmer. It should be noted yet again, that the political hack appointed committee did not have anyone of the necessary expertise to professionally evaluate the proposals. But that apparently was of no concern to River Birch, that

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