Let’s "think dirty": James Gill covers the genesis of the River Birch deal. Slabbed gives a plausible answer.

Today James Gill takes a trip down memory lane via a very good column on the history between Henry Mouton, Team River Birch, and former Gov Mike Foster echoing themes found on these pages around a year ago (and then some). What we found is there is really nothing new under the sun as the scam is pretty much the same as it always was, as the Times Picayune’s Stephanie Grace points out today in her column.

So the abiding question these days in journalistic circles, as planted by Team River Birch via lawyer/Gambit guy Clancy Dubos, is how could the payments to Mouton be a bribe if the payments they made to him began well before Mouton held an official position with the State of Louisiana during the Foster Administration?  The answer is pretty simple, such question is artfully framed incorrectly.  The answer you get often depends on the question so if you ask the wrong question you’ll get a framed answer. Lawyers like Dubos or Slabbed’s original cyber bitch David Rossmiller are skilled at such sophistry.

To the extent I am a seasoned practicing Auditor/CPA that has weird hobbies like speculating in the global financial markets and expanding his knowledge base on arcane subjects like game theory and behavioral economics, I am immune to such cheap mind tricks.  The people who trained me such as the legendary Dennis Dycus always stressed the need to “think dirty” when an auditing. Thinking dirty means you evaluate all the risks before you, both systemic risks and those specific to the subject matter.  You answer basic questions in your own mind such as “if I worked here how would I __________” where the blank is filled with words like “steal”, “cook the books”, etc. I am confident in my skills so calling out the guy behind a major NOLA media outlet isn’t much of a stretch. So with all that said what is the right question? Simple.

Why would Team River Birch be paying Henry Mouton at all?

For the first time in the NOLA MSM, I saw that question hinted at in James’ column that I linked above. Now lets engage in a bit of conjecture.

James lays out the players and the transition in the permitting process from the Edwards administration DEQ which denied the permit for the landfill to the Foster Administration which gave Fred Heebe and company one via the bums rush.  Henry Mouton was a personal friend to Foster before Mikey himself elected.  Mouton is what is known as “buffers” just as surely as Dan Robin was a buffer for John Alario when Alario shook down team River Birch for a slice of the pie to get the landfill through the legislature. And as Telemachus pointed out the usual crowd of miscreants were involved around the edges.

My sources on this have consistently told me several area politicians have been cut in on River Birch.  We’ve seen political hack Dutchie Connick’s name surface just as surely as we’ve seen Mouton and Alario and that does not count Tim Whitmer’s insurance scheme Lagniappe Industries.  This is adding up to lots of hogs on the trough and ultimately the taxpayer teat.

And this brings me to a secondary point that is important because for the first time the NOLA MSM has hinted at the complicity of the Jefferson Parish Council in the River Birch fiasco in today’s Stephanie Grace column I linked above. Stephanie couches the question in terms of the recent special election in Jefferson Parish and how it was a debate that never happened because the political machine picks the candidates and clears the way for them to skate in uncontested.

Oh contraire Steph that debate was raging my dear on blogs like Slabbed and in email threads and other social media in local Good Government circles. It was a debate the newspaper could well have ignited on its editorial pages but the Times Picayune did not take that route before endorsing two self-serving machine politicians that are part and parcel to the River Birch deal. It certainly is easier to go along to get along huh?

The fact is every member of the Parish council is complicit in the River Birch disaster save Lee Sheng, who IMHO is on the council to further her family’s video poker interests.  Funny how career politicians like Harry Lee manage to become obscenely wealthy on low six figure government salaries.

Finally to those that wonder why the two brother/godfathers, Jim and Butch Ward are not manifest in the media coverage I have a plausible answer.  It could well be both men are not indicted. Old geezers have an easier time winning the sympathy of a jury so their omission to this point may mean Team Letten is making tactical decisions regarding the upcoming prosecution.  I have no inside insights there other than my own experiences.

Today we’re seeing some baby steps in the right direction from the Times Picayune.  This isn’t rocket science folks.

There is nothing new under the sun but there are lots of old things we don’t know.


8 thoughts on “Let’s "think dirty": James Gill covers the genesis of the River Birch deal. Slabbed gives a plausible answer.”

  1. Jim Ward has no ‘biological’ children as far as I am aware. Butch on the other hand has I believe a daughter and son. If the old geezers get a pass by Lettenemgo because the old fuddy-duddies are ‘sympathique’ avec the Jury Grand then let’s take at a look at the kids. Freaky Freddie is already in the cross-hairs and step-pop Jim has some ‘splainin to do about all that. Butch allegedly is in Mississippi ( coastal area?)… big ‘farm’ ? Gulfport Premium Outlet Mall on I-10 by 49 in Gulfport? Baby Butch ( can’t remember his son’s name) popped up months ago in a story of poor poor pitiful me when Bolar’s trial had Poppa Butch listed as a witness who was never called and ( methinks the man doth protest too much to paraphrase the Bard) Poppa whined about having to leave his Mississippi digs to dutiful attend. Poppa Butch to whom Bolar had referred as his ‘ surrogate Daddy’ type personage. Anyone ever figure out WHY Poppa Butch was not called?
    Anyway…I have mused on slabbed in the past wondering why Poppa Butch , who was on the Jefferson Parish Council during the formative years of the River Birch, West Jeff Hospital and Whitmer-Wilkinson-Coulon conspiracies , has not been welcomed to the Grand Jury…he put his brother Jim’s step-son on the West Jefferson Hospital Board, he put his brother Jim on the West Jefferson Hospital Board, he used the Butlers ( Dad and Baby) for numerous nefarious IMHO deals, he was partners with Karno and Lebrun in Nursing Homes ( see Edwards awardings of Certificates of Necessity) and he was B H Miller’s bitch-baby. I don’t know…seems a little odd to me that he just skates. I am just saying.

  2. Lots of skeletons huh? We linked Paul Purpura’s excellent report on how Ward helped Bolar hose that church. I’ll see if I can’t dig it up.


  3. B. H. Miller, or Beauregard H. (Burry) Miller. Two of them.

    Sr. was police chief for 53 years, 1925-1979. Think about that.

    Jr. ruled 1979-2005. 26 years, a very long time.

    Damn, that’s insane.


    William J. White, mayor of Gretna, served 36 years, 9 terms, 1949-1981.


    And again…. an appearance by Carlos Marcello: “”””In 1935, he bought a bar in Gretna, which he named the Brown Bomber, the nickname of the heavyweight boxer Joe Louis. He also opened a liquor store on Teche Street in Algiers.

    In September 1936 he married Jacqueline Todaro, a close friend of his sister Mary. She helped him run the liquor store, and they lived in back.

    Four years after his release from Angola, Mr. Marcello was arrested in March 1938. This time, he and four other men were charged with selling 23 pounds of marijuana to a federal undercover agent. Mr. Marcello pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a year and a day in the federal penitentiary in Atlanta.

    After his release, Mr. Marcello went to work for the Jefferson Music Co., a West Bank distributor of jukeboxes, pinball machines, pool tables – and illegal slot machines.

    When the New York City mobster Frank Costello was banished from New Orleans as a result of pressure from teachers and ministers, he looked to the West Bank as an area of expansion. A lieutnant recommended Mr. Marcello to manage 250 of Costello’s slot machines in Algiers.

    Mr. Marcello, whose new job let him make extensive contacts with West Bank tavern keepers and politicians, was allowed to keep two-thirds of the machines’ grosses. Costello’s company kept the rest.

    In an FBI tape made without his knowledge during the Brilab investigation, Mr. Marcello spoke of filling a suitcase with wads of money for public officials. One recipient allegedly was Gretna Police Chief Beauregard H. Miller Sr., who, Mr. Marcello said, would get $50,000 from Mr. Marcello while denying that gambling existed in his city.”””””

    3.3.93 TP


    And again, just insane what turns up:

    Again, Carlos Marcello: “His father worked tirelessly to get him released, and after serving only four years of his sentence, Carlos was out of prison. The fix had gone in, first through a member of the state legislature, and then a mysterious power broker called ******Peter Hand, who wielded a lot of influence with Governor O. K. Allen. He eventually issued the pardon.

    …As soon has he had built up enough capital, Carlos used some of it to make a down payment of $500 on a rundown bar in Gretna, the Jefferson Parish county seat. Frequented almost entirely by black workers, Carlos renamed the bar “The Brown Bomber” in honour of the Negro heavyweight champion, Joe Louis. Carlos brought in his brother Peter, now a handsome, well built young man of twenty-two, to mange it.

    Gretna, was in those days, a seedy community on the west bank of the Mississippi, operating under a corrupt police force and an equally corrupt council, all of who were in the pocket of the Mafia. To visitors, it offered gambling halls and whorehouses, drug dens and bars that stayed open all hours and catered for anyone, of any age. The Brown Bomber soon established a reputation as a good place to score drugs, drink and gamble around the clock. If customers got unruly and obstreperous, Carlos personally threw them out on their ear. Although he never grew any taller than five feet four inches, he was built like an oak stump, and developed the reputation as a fiercesome brawler. He paid off the local Mafioso who controlled the block on which his bar was located and through him, kept the police at bay.”


    From a wedding notice in the 10.28.00 TP:

    “… Mr. xxxx … son of Judge Hand and Ms. Gloria Rodriguez Hand…. grandson of Mrs. Eunice Levy and the late Mr. Peter Hand and the stepgrandson and grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Sinopoli.”

    Thus it appears, if the above is true, Judge Kernan Hand of the 24th JDC was the son of a mafia tool, the man who sprung Carlos Marcello back into the free world and the west bank of Jefferson politics.

    There was also a Peter Hand (probably younger) who was clerk at New Orleans drug court; there was a Hand who was a criminal commissioner at 24th JDC; and somewhere, maybe northshore (?) there was a Skip Hand. Some pretty handy positions there.

  4. Of course Kernan Hand is “Skip Hand”… i just thought there was another Hand in public circles somewhere…

    …Kernan Hand is a hearing officer as appointed by the Council:


    ….and of course he also appears here: “…The feds also asked for employment documents on Kernan “Skip” Hand. Hand was hired by former parish CAO Tim Whitmer last September as an Administrative Hearing Officer. Theriot says Hand was brought in to help clear out a back log of cases and that he will be leaving the parish when that work is done. …”


    Hand also was one of four legistaors (when he was one, obviously) who were caught granting Tulane scholarships to their own kith and kin, along with Jim Donelon, Ken Hollis (spouse of current councilchick at large), and Steve TheRiot (ex parish president).

    Gee, there’s Tulane again.

  5. IMA- You can say that again, such arrogance from a little fart behind a blackrobe. Old man ex-LSU Supervisor, Charlie Cusimano, oilman tycoon with dollars to burn thought he could buy Chuckis baby a La.Supreme Court judgeship. Strangely a paper story broke about all the 24th JDC judges in Fla. on La.’s dime at so-called continuing education seminars lounging around the pool with family and friends and low and behold there was little Chuckie baby catching his rays. Calegaro won re-election and poor Chuckie had to remain at 24th JDC at a pauper $110,000/yr. Now retired from his judgeship he is working the politicos for more bucks besides his public office of Justice of the Peace. His new politico chant is : Give me a C- U – S- I – M – A – N – O and what does it spell- A GREEDY LITTLE DAGO FART.

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