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.