The Jefferson Parish Politico Mafioso: A reign of uninterrupted criminal malfeasance and

And what is ‘quid pro quo’ corruption ?

A regular commenter on Slabbed, ‘lockemuptight’ recently shared this rather pointed insight:

“…Despite the fact that the parish is still on the hook for a $55 million loan from FEMA the Council will spend the very last penny of public taxpayers money to protect their political thief-doms and to continue the solidarity of the council conspiracy. A conspiracy dedicated to the monopolization of certain parish contracts by certain campaign rich, parish contractors . Why not, it seems to be the newly, voter accepted Mafioso style of politically privileged capitalism.”

There are many avenues that campaign contributions to the Jefferson Parish Politico Mafioso take. These contributions almost always guarantee business with the Parish, whether engineering and/or architectural services; contractors of buildings, streets and other infrastructure; consultants for any number issues such as garbage or IT are almost universally heavy contributors to campaigns. However it is the millions and millions of dollars in legal fees paid to lawyers and law firms outside of the Parish Attorney’s Office that remains under the radar, and consequently mostly unknown to the public. In this matter there is no transparency!

And what else should we expect when we, the taxpayers of Jefferson Parish, had a Parish Attorney for over 14 years, the miscreant Tom Wilkinson, performing the duties of a bag man for the Parish Council members, Parish President and Parish Administrative officials. It is and always has been understood by the lawyers who contributed and continue to contribute heavily to these Jefferson Parish Politico Mafioso, that said contributions are their assurance of getting a piece of the pie by being appointed ‘OUTSIDE COUNSEL’. Wilkinson, as Parish Attorney and when confronted with a legal matter concerning Jefferson Parish, will be best remembered by all for his consistent and expected exclamation:

“… fuck ’em…let ’em sue … ” !!!

These few lawyers have been given ‘carte blanche’ to bill liberally as it relates to hours and rates; and all with the unanimous vote of a rogue Council in ‘Executive Session’. They are basically the same Merry-Go-Round of names, year in and year out, recommended by either the Council (or one of its members), the Parish Administration, or Parish Attorney or a combination thereof. The decision to litigate the indefensible (or not); competent representation or not; win or lose their bill was paid and Wilkinson would be ‘knock, knock, knocking’ on the back door of that lawyer (or firm) to collect the ‘quid pro quo’.

The charade of reform when John Young was anointed Parish President after seven years as a voting Council Member, has not altered the continued appointment of the ‘same old same old’ (SOSO) campaign contributor lawyers. The following list, documenting pay periods from 2007-2009, is proof positive of this practice:

(NOTE: payments of the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS paid to the Connick firm on an annual recurring basis is not included in this graphic)

All one has to do is correlate the names on the list above with the names on any of the campaign contribution disclosures by Elected Officials for Jefferson Parish, and… BINGO!: it is clear the ‘quid pro quo’ practice is pervasive, particularly as it pertains to the Parish Council Members, the Parish President and most certainly the Jefferson Parish District Attorney, Paul Connick!

The fact that these Politico Mafioso use the all-engrossing subterfuge of the Public Meetings Law labeled ” Executive Session” to cloak their abuse of the system, is all the more reason to believe that their appointment process and even the necessity to appoint outside counsel, is tainted.

So just how and what do these favored consigliere DO when supposedly representing the ‘best interests’ of the citizens of Jefferson Parish? They ‘DO’ exactly what they are told to do by the Jefferson Parish Politico Mafioso, that’s what THEY ‘DO’… giving little or no thought legal consequences or economics of the litigation.

Let’s examine some past and present litigation to help bring the point home: The Jefferson Parish Politico Mafioso doesn’t care about the merits or costs of any litigation…what matters is who is going to be appointed and how much their fees will be so that the ‘QUID PRO QUO’ is facilitated …

1) BLUE, WILLIAMS … the infamous NAZI CASE … their attorneys fees to DEFEND THE INDEFENSIBLE was $102,000 … Simon’s settlement amount is $95,000 less atty’s fees…this after FIVE YEARS of “litigation” !!!

2) GAUDRY, RANSON (Michael Peytavin) … why River Birch of course … read this and weep:

And we have now the most recent abuse:

3) PHELPS, DUNBAR … We have all read of the $100,000 plus billed to again DEFEND THE INDEFENSIBLE … The Jefferson Parish Politico Mafioso’s relentless pursuit to discredit the singularly courageous whistleblower Anne Marie Vandenweghe … at this time a futile appeal by Phelps, Dunbar has been lodged with the La. Supreme Court to overturn the definitive 5th Circuit Court of Appeals reversal (3-0) of the Gretna Mentality’s poster-boy 24th JDC Judge Ross LaDart’s ridiculous and juvenile judgment … hell add another $20,000 Dollars … the Clown Council and Connick’s punk Young don’t care … it’s not their money … and to think these amounts of legal fees haven’t even begun to factor in the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS OF LEGAL FEES Phelps, Dunbar will bill to defend the Parish against Vandenweghe’s recently filed Federal Court lawsuit … AND JEFFERSON PARISH WILL LOSE…TRUST ME.

Since I began writing this essay, Public Record Requests have been submitted for updates of the amount of monies paid to outside counsel to include not only the name of cases, but the amounts paid for particular portions of the proceedings, e.g.: Motion for Continuance, Motion to Dismiss, etc, etc … here’s what was received in response:

I will tell you that the response above is the segue to Part 4: The Jefferson Parish Politico Mafioso, in concert with their wanabe gumbas, the State Legislators of Jefferson Parish, under the absolute orchestration of Louis Gruntz, Deputy Assistant Parish Attorney, all of whom have no equal in their disdain and desecration of the Public Records Laws and Public Meetings Laws of the State of Louisiana …they are the agents of the Jefferson Parish Politico Mafioso’s subterfuge!

(NOTE: Though not the focus of the foregoing article, the Jefferson Parish Attorney’s Office has a budget hovering around several million dollars, which includes the Parish Attorney and many of the assistant PAs being paid in excess of $100,000 each per year. So the QUESTION remains: Why is this office not staffed with competent and professional lawyers so as to make the appointment of outside counsel UNNECESSARY?… The ANSWER: Because this Jefferson Parish Politico Mafioso have incestuously long filled this office with incompetent political hacks, family, friends or cronies and the cronies’ family, friends and cronies. Ad nauseum. The appointment of Tom Wilkinson as Parish Attorney lowered the bar to a level conducive to the corruption and devolution of Professional Ethics resulting in the disreputable state of the Jefferson Parish Attorney’s Office. And, he was not alone in lowering that bar.

WHOAAAAAA!!!… Stop the presses Sop…surprise, surprise…I have just received a more detailed list of the names of outside counsel paid in 2010 and through July 12, 2011. While it includes the amounts paid and the names of the particular cases to which those amounts were billed it fails to disclose the details as to the specific Pleading or Time Charged to prepare same, e.g. Motions, Exceptions etc. The sizable amounts that these most familiar campaign contributor lawyers are being paid may astound you and I would be remiss not to make this an addendum to the original article.

1) BURGLASS & TANKERSLY… a staggering total of $1,956,696.30 … round out to TWO MILLION DOLLARS !

  1. Chicago Property vs A Broussard …
  2. Performing Arts Center Litigation … $316,961 … WTF???
  3. Hurricane Katrina Road Damages … over ONE MILLION DOLLARS, in fact
  4. Alario Center Expansion Project
  5. Terrytown Playground Gym
  6. New Second Parish Court Bldg

(***note that between 01/01/2006 thru 12/31/2009 they received fees totaling $1,600,000 involving LVI Environmental Services … in addition to $50,000 re the Maureen O’Dwyer case; and assisting Parish in a lawsuit, $50,000)

2) COLVIN LAW FIRM … over a $150,000 in fees relating to the Sela Road Right of Way Acquisition

3) BLUE, WILLIAMS…again … running up hours like in the Simon vs Kerlec case, to bill Tens of Thousands of Dollars on these two cases … Kiana Geautreaux vs Redflex Traffic and Barry Sevin vs Parish of Jefferson

4) And most curiously this case, Terrence Lee vs Jefferson Parish, which has fed fees to two of the usual suspects:

  1. Phelps, Dunbar … $69,323
  2. Carl N. Finley … $42,043
  3. McQuaig & Associates … $1,860
  4. Gaudry, Ranson … $1,269

This “NOOSE” case (white robe, rope tied in a lynch knot to a whipping post), like the NAZI case (Simon being greeted by the stiff arm Hitler salute and addressed as a ‘Dago Jew’) were unconscionable acts of hate speech, workplace harassment so vile as to make any reasonable man sick to his stomach) … the Jefferson Parish Politico Mafioso voted to DEFEND THE INDEFENSIBLE and in these cases alone thereby cost the taxpayers HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS in legal fees and damages!!! There is no way of knowing how many more of these types of cases were filed, defended and paid for with taxpayer dollars in total disregard of merits, morality or money.

This marauding gang, The Jefferson Parish Politico Mafioso, not only possesses arrogance beyond the pale of reason and common decency, they are truly maniacal and menacing.

**********

Slabbed commenter Whitmergate is a member of Citizens for Good Government.

Slabbed welcomes all points of view on the topics we cover. Our readers can submit guest columns to Sop. While we allow anonymous comments on the blog, guest columnist must submit a verifiable name and contact information in order to be published.

16 thoughts on “The Jefferson Parish Politico Mafioso: A reign of uninterrupted criminal malfeasance and”

  1. What? $3 million in legal fees. I'm sure these bills are audited like most insurers do to their counsel's bills……yeah right! This is felony theft, plain and simple. Very illuminating post Whit. Thanks.

  2. CORRECTION: I have, subsequent to writing this post, received 'revised' documents which only adds more dollars that JP taxpayers have paid in legal fees to subsidize the law firm of Phelps, Dunbar :

    1) Terrence Lee Case…the total amount paid was $196,816 and not the $69,323 originally cited … In settlement with JP, Mr. Lee received $125,000, an amount that is less than half the total paid to all lawyers in this matter!!!

    2) River Birch fiasco… not only does the records reflect that legals fees paid to the Ranson firm and Anzelmo have reached around $300,000 … I learn from these most recent records that Phelps,Dunbar was paid a $130,556.89 referencing Waste Management from a period 01/29/2009 thru 02/01/2011… It was during this time that as a result of advice from then Parish Attorney Tom Wilkinson, and presumedly advice of Phelps, Dunbar that the Council of Clowns did a DUMB thing…they voted to prematurely breach Waste Management's contract so that River Birch could be ushered in. What I find more offensive as a taxpayer is that Phelps,Dunbar was still billing the Parish on this matter up to 02/01/2011 ! ! !

    I will be back with further 'illuminating' facts as I continue to pick thru these newly acquired documents.

  3. Great info 'Gate. This subject of the Jefferson Parish Council wasting precious Jefferson Parish taxpayer dollars in 'defending the indefensible' is something the M & M sisters have routinely addressed in Council meetings. During the end of the meeting when taxpayers/citizens can get up before the Council and address various issues to the Council, often the M & M's have talked about this subject. Usually, without fail, the minute the first citizen gets up to address the Council, the arrogant Council members starting joking around with each other, checking their blackberries and cell phones , and do anything but listen to what the citizens are saying. In a Council meeting back in June, all of the Council members, save Lee Sheng, used this time when citizens address the Council to talk or joke around with each other, check messages, and do anything but listen to the citizens addressing the Council. That type of behaviour from the Council tells me they could care less about restoring confidence in Jefferson Parish Government by the Jefferson Parish citizens.

    Again, more arrogance from a Council which you describe very well in your adjectives of maniacal & menacing. That surely sums it up.

  4. I’ve been staying over here with the Frenchmen,‘Gate and Pelican, at the big house on the South Coast the last few days. ‘Gate’s guest post was a surprise to me and I’ve been fucking pissed off ever since I read it over, and over again. I can keep drinking Rebel Yell with them all night long and howling at the full moon but it won’t help calming me down.

    Finally I got to use the computer while they are out on the beach looking at the fucking moon and having drinks as though that’s going to make things better. What the hell, this is what I think.

    These amounts of lawyers’ fees are fucking ridiculous. What do you expect to come out of the HellHole of all hell holes, Jefferson Parish. How fucking arrogant and stupid can these thug POSs be, not only by defending the atrocious conduct condoned by Parish Administrators but paying these lawyers hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees only to have to settle in the end. That’s some evil shit.

    Looking down in that HellHole called Jefferson Parish, it is obvious it’s Government endorses these employment policies:

    1) the only jew is NO Jew according to this Nazi JP Administration who fired Simon and allowed the Nazi Kerlec to continue working thru DROP

    2) the only Black these JP Administrators want HANGING around is one with a noose around his neck which Lee didn’t think would be as much fun as the people he worked with thought

    3) and the only women tolerated are those women who allow themselves to be HARASSED and remain subservient to the criminal majority white male JP Administration and Government unlike the woman whistleblower AMV who was retaliated against and fired for reporting wrong doing by these same mother-fuckers

    And that black woman lawyer over at Phelps, Dunbar defends these types of unconscionable actions ? Man that’s fucked up when it’s just all about the money. But then again that’s what best defines the Jefferson Parish political elites’ homebase as the HellHole of all hell holes including all the lawyers that crawl down into it with them.

    And you know what’s even more fucked up is that the US Justice Dept did not and has not done anything to redress these wrongs suffered by the JEW, the BLACK and the WOMAN in that HellHole Jefferson Parish.

    Tell me that fucking Letten’s not protecting his white Jefferson Parish thug homeboys who control that HellHole.

  5. I have just read mon ami viewfromhell's comment, and I am certain he’s not going to ‘fucking’ like reading this preview of some of the Parish litigation that continues to suck the taxpayers dry to pay outside legal fees to these Politico Mafosos’ contributor lawyers. These are only a few matters that have been made public recently:

    1) Waste Management instituted legal proceedings relating to the Council’s vote to award IESI the landfill contract…and who should we thank for the pleasure of paying the additional TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS for outside legal fees that just keep piling up due too the malfeasance of this Council of Clowns and the Parish Administration…

    I wonder will this be Phlips,Dungmore yet again !

    Jefferson Parish landfill plans take another messy turn
    Published: Wednesday, September 07, 2011, 10:00 PM
    By Paul Rioux, The Times-Picayune http://www.nola.com/politics/indexsf/2011/09/jeff

    2) The Concrete Busters lawsuit filed in February of this year against the Parish for the illegal collusion used to award River Birch the garbage contract over them as it relates to the scoring by a rogue and legally deficient RFP committee consisting of Tom Wilkinson, Alan Gandolfi and David Fos.

    The records that I have do not reference any outside law firm being paid to handle this matter…however I am sure it’s just a matter of time before we find out how many thousands of dollars has been paid to one of the merry-go-round lawyers.

    River Birch rival sues landfill, alleging collusion with Jefferson Parish officials
    Published: Monday, February 28, 2011, 6:51 PM Updated: Monday, February 28, 2011, 6:53 PM
    By Paul Rioux, The Times-Picayune http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2011/02/ri

    3) AMV’ new Federal lawsuit … who will get this plum was not made part of a resolution at the last Council meeting even though they met in ‘Executive Session’ for an hour to discuss the same.

    Fired attorney Anne Marie Vandenweghe sues Jefferson Parish
    Published: Sunday, August 28, 2011, 2:18 PM
    By Richard Rainey, The Times-Picayune http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2011/08/fired

    *( Note also that Phlips,Dungmore has filed a frivolous appeal to the La. Supreme Court to review the La 5th Circuit’s 3-0 reversal with written reasons, of District Judge LaDart’s unlawful and ridiculous decision pertaining to AMV’s lawsuit to have access to public records…it has been guesstimated that this will cost around $20,000 in addition to the $100,000 plus fees already paid to Phlips,Dungmore in preliminary AMV personnel matters)

    4) Waste Managements’ amended petition filed against Jefferson Parish in reconvention.

    Is this why Anzelmo was brought in ?

    Jefferson Parish denies conspiracy with River Birch
    Published: Wednesday, July 13, 2011, 9:00 PM
    By Paul Rioux, The Times-Picayune http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2011/07/je

    I will continue to update … and include the seemingly endless fees paid to Burglass re the seemingly endless construction of the Jefferson Parish Performing Arts Center, etc, etc etc

  6. New Orleans: a joyful and persevering spirit
    The reconstruction and expansion of the levee system will protect this city, the birthplace of jazz, which is rebuilding after the devastation caused by hurricane Katrina

    written by: Cláudio Lovato Filho
    photos by: Américo Vermelho

    Jim Ward is an 80-year-old businessman. He was born in New Orleans and has lived there all his life. The birthplace of jazz is his home, and the French Quarter is his living room. Walking down the streets of that fabled district, he runs into friends, praises restaurants that serve Cajun-style cuisine, and remembers old times. But Mr. Ward, as everyone calls him, is not a prisoner of the past. On the contrary, he enjoys everything the present has to offer with pleasure and wisdom. He is well known and respected in the community, a voice that is always heard in a city whose residents, he believes, will have the strength and passion necessary to rebuild the city that was devastated by hurricane Katrina in August 2005. “I’ve never doubted that New Orleans would rebuild itself,” says Mr. Ward. “I love this city.”
    http://www.odebrechtonline.com.br/materias/01601-

  7. Gate' : Filing your excellent post on the Jefferson Mafiaso on 9/11 was very appropriate ,as the Jefferson politicos continue their terrorism on their public work force of innocent whistle blowers and tax payers . Spending millions upon millions to their political crony law firms to refuse to turn over public records and suppress the indefensible lawsuits filed by valiant whistle blowers.

    What is so ironic is while all Parish workers and the public entering Jefferson Parish main office buildings and courts are thoroughly checked for weapons of terrorism, the Jefferson employee, work force in said buildings and the public tax funds are being terrorized on a daily basis by the forever, unanimous conspiracy of Council Clowns and/or Administration.

    The Feds had to go in mass to clean up the New Orleans police department because local politicos entangled themselves and conspired to cover up the corruption. So too must the Feds descend upon the Jefferson Parish mafia in great numbers and forcibly remove the still existing corruption and install governmental auditors and regulators to run the government.

    They would review all outside legal cases , settle the indefensible cases, fire all Parish superiors responsible for the whistle blower lawsuits and open all existing contracts for bids to be checked and approved solely by Federal auditors/ regulators.Within 6 months the Parish would know the millions of dollars that the existing "quid pro quo" government is wasting yearly on political crony contractors and indefensible whistle blower law suits.

    The Parish's BS personnel board , which has established not one single case of protecting a single whistle blower in its entire history of existence, must be terminated to be replaced with a true, Whistle blower Protection Council . And not "The John Young Whistle Blower Hotline" which should in reality be named "The Hotline to Nowhere and Eventually To Hell" in tribute of commentor, View From Hell.

    Finally, the new Personnel Council would be comprised of a majority of senior Parish workers who would be elected for term limits by the Parish employees. An outside lawyer appointed by the Inspector General would advise the Council in its determinations.Said experienced lawyer would file any necessary civil, whistle blower suit personally on behalf of the whistle blower and against the offending superior and against their retirement account and future retirement wages. Then and only then would you see Parish government be run like a business efficient workforce seeking to praise and reward workers for their whistle blowing and positive suggestions as how to operate the government as efficiently as possible.

    Terrorists in New York ? , hell, they're right here in little ,old Jefferson Parish alive and thriving WITH THEIR BIG POLITICAL ASSES safely protected behind the Parish's magnetic screeners.

  8. Ah Post Turtle…they did … back in the fall of 2010…AMV can tell you all about that since she was instructed to assist the feds in any manner … read her lawsuit…the feds probably have LOADS of stuff from Yenni and Gretna…time bombs ticking…

  9. Sharkpuppet, you are correct in that AMV is the satellite office. I was thinking of a corruption case many years ago when the feds actually leased the office next door to the suspected crooks. This is better, they were on the inside.

    1. It is a bit more nuanced than that PT. After interviewing her on multiple occasions my impression is she had no interest in hiding or sanitizing the information the Feds wanted and she cooperated fully with the investigation on behalf of the Parish. To the extent she was affiliated politically with Aaron Broussard this wasn't exactly what the powers in Parish Government expected from her thus the workplace reprisals. Given what was going on inside the Yenni Building that was a stupid assumption IMHO.

      sop

  10. Hey boys and girls, Keep your cards and letters coming in. Let's keep the spotlight sharp and focused on what has been considered business as usual, when indeed it should be considered…ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

  11. Well, well, well … now it’s coming home to roost BIG TIME concerning the totality of the taxpayers’ exposure as a result of the criminal malfeasance of these politico thugs and the collusion of incompetent lawyers…

    NOTE that these monies referred to below relate both to: 1) JP’s payment to outside counsel probably hovering over $300,000 THOUSAND DOLLARS to date, and 2) indemnifying Waste Management for it’s attorneys’ fees, also estimated over $300,000 THOUSAND DOLLARS … now TOTALS OVER $600,000 THOUSAND DOLLARS !!!

    And this just concerns itself with that one lawsuit …not the IESI lawsuit … not the Rico lawsuit … not the Concrete Busters's lawsuit … not the AMV lawsuits … not the JP Peforming Arts Center lawsuit … and on and on and on …

    Wilkinson's "…fuck you … sue …" management style is now imploding …

    And I quote from Rioux’s article:

    “But Waste Management contends the Broussard administration filed the suit in bad faith and wants the parish to pay its legal fees, which are expected to total several hundred thousand dollars, according to Pat Talley, one of the firm's attorneys.”

    “The suit had cost the parish about $250,000, according to figures released in June. An updated figure was unavailable Tuesday.”

    Jefferson Parish asks judge to dismiss its lawsuit to end Waste Management contract
    Published: Tuesday, January 10, 2012, 10:30 PM
    By Paul Rioux, The Times-Picayune http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/01/je

    Mr. Young the sooner you direct your Parish Attorney’s Office to institute legal proceedings against all parties involved to recover all monies paid and/or to be held liable for stemming from their irresponsible and illegal actions that has resulted in such looting of the taxpayers’ largess … the sooner you can begin mitigating what is becoming a flood of litigation liability currently instituted and probably to be filed against the Parish in the near future.

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