Modular News generated on demand: Waste Management and the Parish are still holding hands…..

Folks monitoring a PACER docket is sometimes an interesting exercise in compare and contrast. For example earlier this week Paul Rioux at the T-P wrote a PACER based story on the latest newsworthy developments on the Parish’s suit against Waste Management. The long and short of it is both parties want the July 11 trial postponed as their mutual love and affection continues to grow. But there was something in Rioux’s story that bothered me to the point where I pondered the subject matter over the past couple of days before writing a post on the topic. Two sentences in two paragraphs in fact:

Young’s administration had not responded by Tuesday evening to a request for information on how much the suit has cost the parish. Margie Seemann, vice chairwoman of Citizens for Good Government, said the parish’s response to her recent public records request pegs the legal bill at $250,000.

Seemann has repeatedly urged the parish to drop the suit and cancel the River Birch contract. But parish officials have said they are continuing the suit in hopes of obtaining a court order declaring the River Birch deal null and void.

I’ve been around the block long enough to know a journalistic dig when I see one. Rioux tries to portray two non lawyers in the M&M sisters as people well versed in the dark arts of civil litigation to set up a false conflict (in this case with good sense legal strategy) to make them look silly. IMHO Rioux is currying favor with sources on his beat but I do not think it serves his or the public’s interest. I mean shit the T-P (Rioux included) was ignoring the sisters for the most part back when Theriot was doing all he could to salvage the River Birch contract during his infamous tenure as interim Parish President while they were demanding it be canceled.

That aside there has actually been lots of news bubbling in the background on this lawsuit. For example document 176 is the procedural order which set the stage for the trial delay. But the best docs are a couple of months old though in the witness lists for the trial that will now likely be postponed, both from the Parish and Waste Management.  I’d personally love to see Dutchie Connick on the stand along with Tim Whitmer and Aaron Broussard.

Finally Rioux was unable to substantiate the claims of the good government activists regarding the lawyering costs in his reporting, but I have the PRR response on the legal fees for the Waste Management matter and yes Virginia the tab now tops $250,000. This is a disgrace folks and John Young shares responsibility for this as he occupied a seat on the Parish Council when this all came down.

Slabbed: Just the facts Jack.


17 thoughts on “Modular News generated on demand: Waste Management and the Parish are still holding hands…..”

  1. Mitch Landrieu – who received almost $50,000 in Ward/Sneed/Heebe/RB money, + a little extra from the JP “scholarship” fund, + enjoyed a St. Charles Avenue fundraiser, plus has a handful of RB friends and relatives in his cabinet – just “renegotiated” the RB contract for Orleans and it seemed to be for a pittance…… because arguably one of the owners of RB is very likely to be indicted. In fact, with the Mouton indictment possibly it is not even necessary to wait for the Heebe charge because there is already evidence of fraud (Orleans primarily being forced into a monopoly higher price situation via the closing of Old Gentilly), no conviction is necessary, just enough facts for Orleans to reasonably say the city’s contract under was illicitly founded or at least maintained. In any event it seems that Orleans should have been in a much stronger position than what they eventually settled for. For a small price RB now has a very nice contract still sewn up for many years to come.

    The JP exhibit list shows “Contract with River Birch to Provide Landfill Services.” 1. Is it signed? If not, there is no contract to negotiate. 2. Does it have a clause for abbrogation or nullification for fraud? If so, what else is there to talk about? If JP cancelled and RB threatened to sue, how does RB think a jury would feel about the very existence of an indictment (Mouton’s)? Possibly JP could say it makes more sense to wait for a Heebe indictment, but then would it make sense to worry about RB suing when they know the very same thing is likely? No.

    Really the only way this makes sense is if one or mroe of those guys on the JP witness list is in a damned if they do, damned if they don’t situation.

  2. $250,000 in legal fees. WTF! Not one deposition taken, to my knowledge, and no real substantive motions filed. That must be, like, $2,000 per hour…. And, for the legal geniuses at the Windhorst firm,.

  3. Rioux thanks for the update but get the crap out of your story and write the truth why the trial was postponed.The depositions and trial were delayed because it is getting close to the October election and the Administration and Council want to keep everything quiet to guarantee 4 year terms for everyone. Rioux ,can you imagine the media bombs that could be dropped by such outstanding, beloved public servants like Whitmer and Broussard testifying at a deposition or trial. Especially Broussard who stated at his infamous flood deposition that he never authorized the pump operators to evacuate.

    John Young has staffed his Administration with several heavy weight, ex-TV media personalities to defuse such bombs but not of the megatonage of such River Birch bombardments.

    Rioux you do attend Council meetings don’t you. Current Parish Attorney ,Debra Forshee, has publically opined at a Council meeting the River Birch contract is void ad initio, i.e.null and void on the face of the document, but won’t tell the M&M Sisters her legal reasoning supporting said legal opinion.

    Debra , if the contract is null and void what do you have to fear disclosing your legal reasoning. Could it be it may cast a bad light on your boss, John Young, who as a practicing attorney and Councilman-at Large at the time read and signed the so called void ad initio contract document ?

    If federal indictments or trial proceedings would occur now the media might inform the apathetic Jefferson voters the TRUTH, who and what has been occurring behind closed doors with River Birch. The voters might just then get irritated enough to put their cold beers down, leave the televised SEC football game and get off their lazy asses and vote IN the Inspector General proposition and vote OUT all the candidates who unanimously voted for the River Birch contract.

  4. Gee. Will someone refresh my recollection, please. The last time this Parish of Jefferson/Waste Management litigation was addressed on SLABBED, the legal fees were ONLY @ $100,000 which was significant enough, because I maintained that the representation of the Parish, and the fees generated for the Parish’s attorneys, presented an UNDISCLOSED CONFLICT OF INTERESTS, which warranted RECUSAL of the “Judge” who is presiding over “The Broussard Flood” litigation (not one plaintiff has seen a penny), whose name is “Peytavin”. Well, guess what? The lawyer representing the Parish in the Waste Management case also is named “Peytavin”. And guess what? The “Lawyer Peytavin” and the “Judge Peytavin” are FATHER and SON. THIS PRESENTS A CONFLICT OF INTERESTS IN THE BROUSSARD FLOOD LITIGATION OF MONUMENTAL PROPORTIONS. This “Judge Peytavin” should disqualify himself without any further delay, and if he won’t, then he should be removed from the case involuntarily. The fact that the attorney’s fees paid by the Parish to the Lawyer and Son Peytavin” are now reported to total @ $250,000 only add insult to injury. Ashton O’Dwyer.

  5. $250,000 legal fees ? Quid pro quo would best describe this scenario…

    So not only are we, the taxpayers burdened with paying Wilkinson

  6. So there has been a partial negotiated settlement between Jefferson Parish and Waste Management on various issues. Well, where is the settlement document in the court record ? WTF, is it a secret settlement which the taxpayers of Jefferson will never see the light of day?

    Document 170, First Amending and Supplemental Counterclaim by Waste management, was served electronically on River Birch’s attorney Schonakas, Evans,LLC on May 4, 2011, and we have Jefferson Parish and Waste Management asking for a continuance on June 17,2011when River Birch hasn’t even filed a timely Motion for Extension of Time to Answer within the court’s mandated time.

    Such a joint procedural request for continuance to excuse the untimely failure of the indispensable party, River Birch, to answer just reveals what a political old timers softball game we see going on between Jefferson Parish, Waste Management and River Birch. Especially when all the lead attorneys involved have serious, political cobweb connections in Jefferson.

  7. It’s past the time for SLABBED and its “Commentors”, who know a helluva lot “more” about this than I do, to prepare a matrix which even the Government of Liberia (VERY similar to New Orleans) could understand. First, we have to persuade “The Federal Bureau of Constipation”. You know: the same agency that brought us 9/11, John Mohammed and his homosexual lover (NOT his “son”) Lee Malvo (neither of these “terrorists” was EVER called a “terrorist”), the “Shoe Bomber”, the “Underwear Bomber”, and Major Malik Nidal Hasan, among many others. Then we have to persuade the CROOKED and CORRUPT “Lettenemgo”, who sold out to “Senator” Mary Landrieu and her brother in order to keep his job. Am I the only person on the planet who believes that there is a “connection” between the City’s renewal of its contract with River Birch and the fact that there have been no Federal indictments in Jefferson Parish? FUCK THESE CROOKED MOTHERFUCKERS. Ashton O’Dwyer.

  8. Serendipity ?… or Simulacrum ?… or Sordid ?

    ALAN GANDOLFI !!! Putain qu’est-ce…

    From the following quotes we learn that Alan Gandolfi, the JP Council of Clowns

  9. Alan Gandolfi and David Fos and Tom Wilkinson were the three votes on the illegally constituted Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) that illegally conspired to ‘fix’ the outcome when Concrete Busters showed up to bid against the anointed River Birch. Peytavin the son, Wilkinson, Baby Butler and Fred Heebe thought they had constructed a foolproof Request for Proposals to anoint River Birch but when Concrete Busters still submitted they had to then ‘stack’ the TEC. Environmental Director Marnie Winter balked at the deal and was told she could keep her job if she kept her mouth shut which she did until the FBI came calling. THEN AND ONLY THEN she and her second in command Catherine Costanza (sp?) spilled their guts. Rick Buller who ‘ran’ the Parish landfill expressed his concern about ‘ the numbers’ in many emails to Winter , Finance Director Gwen Bolotte and the other officials. Bolotte had been told by CAO Tim Whitmer and Parish Attorney Tom Wilkinson to ‘disappear’ the operating funds for the Parish landfill to make it appear the funds were not available to continue the Waste Management contract which was one escape clause in the contract. Bolotte obliged them and told Buller to do whatever it took to submit the necessary Budget figures to support that lie. The three top Parish Attorney officials ( Tom Wilkinson, Peggy Barton and Louis Gruntz) were in on the deal from the beginning and conspired with the Administration and the Council to make it happen. Just the facts jack!

  10. Sun Energy.

    This issue (about alternative technologies to traditional landfill dumps as applied to JP & River Birch) was discussed in threads here a while back… lots of info there but not sure which is the best… so here:

    One thing is, the committee (aka CPASP, the Commissariat for Parish Apparatchik Self-Preservation) is meeting on JP landfill expansion proposals – this is not a program for committing to River Birch under the contract.

    Another thing is, the Sun Energy technology is death to all of them.

    Gosh that recycling contract is taking an awful long time too.

  11. Sun Energy.

    This issue (about alternative technologies to traditional landfill dumps as applied to JP & River Birch) was discussed in threads here a while back… lots of info there but not sure which is the best… so here:

    What gets me not that they determined it was environmentally dangerous or toxic technology, but rather relied on a procedural trick to exclude it.

    No, I’m sure if RB or WM o IESI showed up two minutes late (if true) they would be barred at the door. {=sarcasm}

    One thing is, the committee (aka CPASP, the Commissariat for Parish Apparatchik Self-Preservation) is meeting on JP landfill expansion proposals – this is not a program for committing to River Birch under the contract.

    Another thing is, the Sun Energy technology is death to all of them.

    Gosh that recycling contract is taking an awful long time too.

  12. The old posts had to do with “plasma” technology, still can’t find them. Oh, well.

    But there is this:

    Thus not the first time Sun Energy got knocked out by a technicality (probably a newly, specially created or implemented one…) at JP.

    “Fred Heebe, who partially owns River Birch and is married to former Councilwoman Jennifer Sneed, said waste-to-energy at this point is a waste of money. “I’ve been through gasification many times, and it probably won’t work economically” for municipal waste, he said.”

    Yes, I bet Heebe is well acquainted with gassification alright.

    They were also knocked out in New Orleans without a hearing too.

  13. The Rioux TP article said that “Forshee ( JP Parish Attorney) sent the firm (Sun Energy) a letter saying the proposal (gasification) does not meet the parish’s needs and won’t be considered”. Thereby refusing to even give the Administration, the Council and public interests the chance to inquire into the economic feasibility of gasification to electricity technology for JP’s landfill.

    Excuse me but why should not a parish surrounded by water and swamps not be interested in exploring new technology like gasification and electric production to prevent the JP landfill from reaching its life span prematurely. Parish Attorney Forshee is ruling out such technology when she has no expertise in waste management. And what is JP’s Environmental expert, Margie Winters’, opinion on the issue of gasification to electicity. Doesn’t she have the college degrees for her opinion to have input. Why is Ms. Winters always not consulted and quoted by the TP as to her expertise on landfill proposals. Is it that she has be told not to comment to the public media about her personal expert views on waste technologies and proposals.

    I believe I have read that River Birch has the only gasification plant in the area? If it was not feasible why did they hire a contractor to build one.Why can’t Jefferson Parish contract to build its own gasification to electric plant like River Birch did and hire a company with nationally recognized expertise to run it. IMHO River Birch is now being granted a monopoly on future gasification and electric production by parish officials who won’t even look at the feasibility of such technology.

    FACT:There was a gasification proposal submitted and being considered by JP just before the Broussard Administration decided to conspire to draft a proposal to give River Birch a 25 year contract which Forshee has wisely opined is null and void ad initio.

    Finally, IMHO it is not good government for a Parish Council of seven of which there are two non-elected, interim appointed Councilmen to even be considering, commenting on and thinking about voting on a 10 year landfill contract before the Council’s October election . And especially not while federal indictments of political cronies have already been issued and an ongoing investigation is still pending into previous JP landfill contract corruption.

  14. Pardon me for being obtuse, but why should we have any more confidence in the “mongrels” who are the principals of “Sun Energy” than any other mongrel DOGS who have been bribing politicians in our area for years? Doesn’t “Sun Energy” have a “history” with some very shady characters? Is “Sun Energy” using Federal investigations of others as an opportunity to (FINALLY) feed at the public trought? Ashton O’Dwyer.

  15. AOD, you are of course right. However I would say have an *indepdendent study – or use someone else’s – in order to do that.

    Please note that while on the one hand there are parish (and city)officials or pundits (including Heebe himself) saying it is “unsafe” or not worth it, nonetheless in one of those articles I posted it says that Marnie Winters actually went to JAPAN on the Sun Energy dime.

    But there is even some conflict as to that:

    “He said his company took the administration’s environmental affairs director, Marnie Winter, to Japan more than a year ago to see a gasification plant. Jefferson Parish paid for her trip, a parish government spokeswoman said.

    Hernandez said he also has met with Parish President Aaron Broussard, Councilman Byron Lee and Barry Bordelon, top aide to Councilman Elton Lagasse and a former garbage industry executive.”

    “The parish can decide to do a fishing expedition like they did last time, or they can go specifically to waste-to-energy solution, which doesn’t have to be us,” Hernandez said, adding that a half dozen companies could do work similar to Sun Energy. ”

    That makes sense, if not Sun Energy then just explore the idea. But it seems to me the whole idea is being blocked out on technicalities (the first time it was due to a newly created ‘5 years in existence’ rule, this time it was for allegedly being 2 minutes late to the door) because they fear it or rather they fear its impact on the bottom line on those who drive their existence monetarily.

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