Monday morning various

I have a busy week ahead as I rebuild the blogroll and continue tweaking the new site not to mention the day job.  I could tell from the traffic count that the French Quarter Fest was certainly a success.  For those wanting to catch up I’ll make things easy. Besides the new material, Telemachus and others were kind enough to leave some great comments on last Monday’s post Let’s connect a few dots that are well worth reading besides the new stuff.

The folks at the Jefferson Report are doing a bang up job with the type of nuts and bolts journalism that makes sites like this one possible. They even left their readers several nice easter eggs courtesy of the Wabbit but there is much more in their recent archives also well worth reading.

I have several things going for post ideas.  One thing that is for certain is another episode of Magnum JD as things are really beginning to get zany at Team Magnum, which lost Jennifer Medley last week.


7 thoughts on “Monday morning various”

  1. Yaknow about the linkage…

    Medley is a judge’s daughter. That’s why she was there (yes, that’s right). And that’s a good thing when she’s there and happy because word spreads…. but it’s also a bad thing when she leaves and (if) she’s unhappy. Word does spread, and the Medley family’s not a great way to do that.

    Cessy doesn’t do anything courtwise or legal -wise, does she?

    What does that leave, ten real attorneys? Any Indians there or do they all drive around like big chiefs?

    By the way has *anyone* anywhere ever seen a law firm put its CFO and money manager, a non-attorney, on its website???

    So to borrow from Office Space, just what is it you *do*, exactly, John?

    “”””With genuine Italian bravado, Valobra Jewelers celebrated its five-year Houston anniversary with a lavish 200-person Granduca fete. A fully stocked bar and heavy antipastos helped supporters like Laurie and Tracy Krohn and Tena and Tyson Faust enjoy the salutations and adulations while admiring $10 million in canary diamonds, which were displayed in a custom Goppion cabinet – that’s the same company that created cabinetry to house the Mona Lisa and England’s crown jewels. Party-goers brought their full jewel game – dripping with diamonds, diamonds and more diamonds. The bling was blinding. (Judy Oudt sported a “take note” necklace). Valobra friends such as Gina and Dr. Devinder Bhatia were serenaded by the Houston Chamber Choir singing Italian opera. Others seen working the room were Joyce and Hugh Echols, Natacha Leonards-La Francesca, Eva and Beau Bisso, and John Houghtaling .”””
    – 2.16.11 Houston Chron.

    “””Beaucoup hot wheels lured a hot crowd to Highland Village shopping center for the recent Ferrari Festival.

    Fifty sleek Italian beauties, each easily priced into six figures, radiated super glamour beneath the center’s signature palm trees. Vintage Ferrari classics shared the turf with two 2008 Scuderia 430’s (price tags approaching $300,000).

    Two ultra glam couples – Nancy and Franco Valobra and New Orleans attorney John Houghtaling with Farrah Ganci – were eyeballed almost as much as the cars.

    It was all part of the fun conducted by emcees Rebecca Spera and Michael Kemper. The action included music by the youth chamber orchestra Virtuosi of Houston, the day’s beneficiary, and party fare from Highland Village eateries.

    Former Houston Oiler quarterback Dan Pastorini, a premier driver on the National Hot Rod Association’s Top Fuel Circuit, was a special guest. He brought along his DP7 racing Lamborghini Gallardo GTR – a hit with the hot wheels crowd.

    Among those inspecting the millions of dollars worth of autos were Magnus Hansson, Sue and John Mundy, Bruce Gingrich, Christopher Sacco, Ginni and Richard Mithoff, Sarah Bray, Megan Doucette and Paul Barnhart, whose 1967 275 GTB/4 won best of show.
    Caption: Photos: 1. Farrah Ganci and John Houghtaling 2. Nancy and Franco Valobra 3. Raymond Carrigan and Troy McAllister 4. Christy Micaletti and Lenny Kobeski 5. Joel Ray, left, and Magnus Hansson 6. Dan Pastorini, left, with Rebecca Spera and Michael Kemper.” – 1.1.09 Houston Chron.


    The current profile isn’t exactly what Wendell shot for, is it?

    So you showed up moving boxes (so you say) for 8 bucks / hour, and now you’re swinging in the Brown Mansion???

    And how much do you really *do*?

    The firm’s split, the judge’s daughter left, and you’ve proclaimed you don’t do class action windows anymore?

    How long do Cessy and Cherie put up with this?

  2. From what I hear the CFO is the hatchet guy Tele. I’ll add my sources tell me Miss Medley left because she felt under appreciated. She actually left last week.

    Now read Hatchet guy’s bio. There is something about that connection to Bankers Trust but I can’t put my finger on it.

    The O’Bell suit should costs several people their licenses given the BP contract the firm signed. If I could place a bounty on the actual contract with BP…..

    There is more too.


  3. Yeah, I was thinking that too, but did not know what to make of it either.


    Here’s another article I found interesting:

    Remember the trip to Switzerland? Maybe that was just a trip to Switzerland or… maybe it was business.


    NEW YORK — BP has received almost 35,000 ideas in just over a month on how best to clean up millions of gallons of oil from the biggest spill in U.S. history. So far, only four have made it into testing.

    That has people like Ken Griffin of Oak Ridge, Tenn., and James Reindl of New York frustrated. Both have companies that specialize in oil cleanup products they say are more efficient or less toxic than what’s in use in the Gulf.

    Both contacted BP through its online suggestion box to offer help. Mr. Griffin’s company received a form letter in the last few days saying its product was being considered, about one month after the idea was submitted. Mr. Reindl heard nothing, he said.

    “We think we have something to contribute,” Mr. Griffin said in a phone interview. “It’s just not at all clear what the chain of command is down there.”

    The spill began after an April 20 explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig, which London-based BP leases from ******Switzerland ‘s Transocean Ltd. The blast killed 11 and triggered leaks that, according to a government panel, spew an estimated 12,000 barrels to 19,000 barrels of oil a day into the ocean.

    The suggestions gathered through unsolicited phone calls and the Deepwater Horizon Response Web site, run jointly by BP and the U.S. government, are fielded by 70 workers at a center the company set up. They are then vetted by 43 engineers from BP, the Coast Guard and other U.S. agencies, according to Graham MacEwen, a BP spokesman.

    If the ideas — which range from soaking the oil up with human hair to oil-eating microbes — are initially seen as practical and don’t overlap with proposals already being explored, they are sent to smaller teams of engineers to see if and how they can be applied, Mr. MacEwen said. About 800 proposals have made it to this stage, he said.
    Costner, Cameron
    At the same time, film actor Kevin Costner and James Cameron, the director of the movies “Avatar,” about an environmental disaster on another planet, and “Titanic,” about the historic sinking of an unsinkable ship, have been able to make direct contact to champion their ideas with top officials of BP and the government.

    Mr. Costner, whose connection to the spill was announced by BP on May 19, is pushing centrifuge technology that use barge-based turbines that spin the water in such a way that separates out the oil at a maximum of 200 gallons a minute.

    Mr. Costner bought the design for the system from the Department of Energy 15 years ago and spent more than $20 million to develop and test it, said John Houghtaling , CEO of ******Mr. Costner’s company, Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Ocean Therapy Solutions, in a phone interview.

    Mr. Costner didn’t go through the Web site triage process. BP spokesman John Curry, though, listed centrifuge machines as being among the four types of technology being tested.

    Mr. Houghtaling , a New Orleans attorney, said the actor was hooked up with BP through ***********Billy Nunngesser, president of Plaquemines Parish, a governmental district in coastal Louisiana. Mr. Nunngesser had seen a presentation of the technology by the actor at an Offshore Technology Conference a decade ago.

    ********Mr. Nunngesser sent a letter on Mr. Costner’s behalf to Doug Suttles, BP’s chief operating officer for exploration and production, and BP executives who had attended the same conference also supported the idea, Mr. Houghtaling said. … ”

    – 6.6.10 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    Did Houghtaling just go for the cookoo clocks and powder? Or did he do any meetings over there?

    Also, has anyone ever actually seen where it was explained that it was Nungesser who set up the deal for Houghtaling/Costner with BP? And by letter no less?

    Nungesser did this on the basis of a presentation at a conference a decade ago? Really?

    I am trying to figuire this out…. Kevin Costner ….. *KEVIN COSTNER* … buys an idea from the Energy Department for $$$X, puts another $20 million into it….. apparently gets no takers for 15 years…. it looks like a reliable tax shelter loss (guessing, fair?)….. and then presto-bango there is a horrible disaster, Louisiana is covered in liquid smudge…. but Kevin Costner…. KEVIN COSTNER… can’t get anyone to take his calls {??????} and SO… KEVIN COSTNER…. has to go into business with a local plaintiffs attorney (who just happens to be tops of the list to sue BP via class action) who has to get a letter from a coastal parish president (whoc is on CNN every day shaking his fist at BP) and that does the trick?

    And then how much oil got sucked up? Any? Next to none?

    OCEAN THERAPY SOLUTIONS, L.L.C. in LA on the LA SOS shows: David Sherman, Franco Valobra, Stephen Baldwin {????????}, and Spyro Contogouris.

    The California SOS shows:

    Entity Number: 201016810152
    Date Filed: 06/17/2010
    Status: ACTIVE
    Jurisdiction: LOUISIANA
    Entity Address: 629 STATE ST STE 222
    Entity City, State, Zip: SANTA BARBARA CA 93101
    Agent for Service of Process: PATRICK N SMITH
    Agent Address: 629 STATE ST STE 222
    Agent City, State, Zip: SANTA BARBARA CA 93101”

    Where’s Costner? Where’s Houghtaling?

  4. Oh yeah… basically just a lot of fraud and bad practices bringing down

    “”””The collapsed banking empire of “the Bros” spawned its latest large lawsuit Tuesday as 28 stockholders sued First Banquers Holding Co., the one-bank holding company for Bankers Trust of Louisiana, which was closed by federal regulators March 10.

    Bankers Trust was one of ********17 banks – ten of them now *****closed or sold off – headed by former officers of Jefferson Guaranty Bank in Metairie. **********The officers became known as *******”the Bros” because of their close business ties, which led them to finance one another’s banks by loaning millions to one another’s stockholders.

    Tuesday’s suit alleges that First Banquers defrauded the plaintiffs between 1985 and 1989 by selling them stock while withholding information about the bank’s financial and management problems.

    The plaintiffs also allege bank officers promised that if they wanted to sell their stock later on, the bank would find buyers. Instead, the suit claims, the stockholders’ names languished on a sellers’ list for more than two years while the bank continued to issue and sell new stock.

    Officials of the defunct bank could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

    The disgruntled shareholders seek to return 25,500 shares of stock and cancel $579,750 in loans, principally from Bankers Trust, made for buying the stock. The suit also seeks treble damages for the stockholders’ losses under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

    The banks’ travails have spawned a multitude of stockholder suits, containing charges similar to those in Tuesday’s suit. Bankers Trust has been sued by at least six other stockholders in three separate suits since 1987. Winthrop Gardner, attorney for the plaintiffs in Tuesday’s suit, also represents 78 shareholders suing the defunct First National Bank of Covington. The First National suit awaits U.S. District Judge Frederick Heebe’s decision on a motion to dismiss.

    …. Fifteen other former officers and directors of Bankers Trust and First Banquers, including Herbert Cammatte, Robert L. Carem, Joseph P. Crist, Bob A. Hardesty, *********Charles D. Jouandot , Raymond A. Lapino Sr., **********John A. Liljeberg Jr., Virginia Martinez, Myron E. Moorehead M.D., *************Robert M. Murphy, Clifford E. Olsen, Ronald Schoen, Irl Silverstein, Patrick L. Spencer and Robert F. Spitzmiller Jr. “””””

    7.12.89 TP

    “”””Joseph Brocato always felt that bankers could learn a lot from car salesmen.

    While an up-and-coming consumer lender in Buffalo, N.Y., in the 1960s, calls on car dealers inspired him to try contests and incentives with his loan officers.

    “That’s where the theory evolved that bankers should go out and call on customers, because in effect, the product is money,” Brocato testified in a 1986 shareholders suit against Jefferson Guaranty Bank. Brocato was president of the bank from 1973 to 1984.

    The salesman’s credo that volume is the key to business success permeated Brocato’s banks. His group of bankers became known as “the Bros” and built up a now-collapsed 17-bank empire.

    …. West Bank contractor Mickey O’Connor, a former director of Jefferson Guaranty, switched much of his business to First National after Brocato moved across the lake.

    O’Connor’s 1987 bankruptcy filing listed $8.3 million in debts to seven Bro banks alone. Then, there was $2.3 million owed to three other banks to buy stock in Bro banks or other ventures with the Bros.

    The biggest losers were First National, $4.5 million; and Jefferson Guaranty, with $3 million. $2.7 million of the debt at the two banks was unsecured.

    … O’Connor also owned $3.6 million worth of stock in four Bro banks, shared a $1.6 million real estate partnership with Bankers Trust chairman Auby Smith and president Charles Jouandot and leased his private plane to First National for First National chairman Ronald Case’s bank-shopping trips to Florida.

    Case said using the private plane, which averaged $1,000 per trip, was cheaper and easier than flying among three Florida cities on commercial airlines.

    Several former officers of both Jefferson Guaranty and First National alleged loan committees, made up of senior officers and directors, routinely approved loans to O’Connor after he was already overextended.

    “Say there’s a $200,000 loan up for Mickey,” one said. “You object; he’s already got $3 million out. But somehow, no matter what you wanted to discuss, it got resolved. You knew it was already approved.” “””””

    – 4.19.89 TP

    Really, Chuck, that’s a helluva resume… last time he’s mentioned with either institution was 1989 whereupon he must have sought refuge with his “Bro” Bob Murphy. (“Jouandot has been with firm for more than twenty years…”).


    Jouandot also shows up in business with Charlotte Burnell in something called Kenner Development Corporation (inactive), and in a still-active company with the same above Mickey O’Connor in something called Paxton Street Partnership.

  5. Damn, you’re good. Herb Cammatte (whose son Joey was convicted of murder) and Irl Silverstein to boot. Hot damn!

  6. Interesting, it looks like Mickey O’Connor was married to a Marcello:

    “Glencove Lane 853. Deanne Palisi Marcello O’Connor and Mickey O’Connor to Brandi B. Heslin and Henry W. Heslin III, $150,000”

    2.17.01 TP.

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