Jimmy aka one of the goat herders inquired in comments about the lack of a Nova Scotia connection in the superseding indictment released last week against Aaron Broussard and Tom Wilkinson. The 28 page court filing can be found via the Times Picayune here and is well worth the read. Rich Rainey’s accompanying story is also very good. Here is a snippet:
Whitmer’s attorney, Pat Fanning, said he wasn’t privy to prosecutors’ strategy. But he speculated that his client’s mention in the superseding indictment suggests Whitmer’s continued cooperation could have something to do with the new charges.
The indictment doesn’t identify the school or Broussard’s relative. But Wilkinson used to be chairman of Christian Brothers School in New Orleans. He resigned the post in March, about the time prosecutors shared draft indictments with Broussard, Wilkinson and Parker.
This is also the answer to the Goat Herder’s question. I’ll add that I’ve heard rumors about a superseding indictment since early January and those intensified after Slabbed broke Tim Whitmer was cooperating with Team Fed. Karen Parker is a relative Johnny-come-lately to the squealathon at DoJ. As I recall Team Letten announced Parker’s info would be going before the reconvened grand jury. After all there is no telling which of the people involved in the alleged pay to play at the Trout Point development scooted down to Mr. Letten’s office as suggested by T-P columnist Stephanie Grace. These allegations have to be investigated and the money trail traced before anything goes to the grand jury. I’m purely guessing here but I bet Slabbed is no longer the only people besides Fox 8 that is interested in that case record up Yarmouth way.
Speaking of that and the letter the late Roy D’Aquila wrote on Broussard’s behalf to the Goat Herders 5 months after Broussard resigned in disgrace I’ve been rolling over in my mind the meaning of “lot assessments to pay to the note on the property as well as the taxes and insurance”. A property owners association would have parcel assessments but there has never been a hint of such a critter at the Trout Point development anywhere I’ve seen. Regardless of the existence of a POA why would the lot assessments pay for the note, taxes and insurance on Broussard’s property? Allow me to speculate since I fancy myself as a forensic auditor:
Our readers may remember Nowdy covered an old judicial corruption case here in Mississippi involving two coast circuit court judges, an ex-Mississippi Supreme Court Justice and two class action lawyers, Paul Minor and Dickie Scruggs. Scruggs got a pass in that case but one of the ways prosecutors allege the bribe was passed involved using a bank as a financial intermediary. So suppose you have a pay to play scheme going as has been alleged against Broussard involving real estate in Nova Scotia. You put a little money down, finance the rest and other people pay your loan off. Leaving any tax considerations aside (and that is leaving a lot out given the implications) the perpetrators enrich the Grand Poopah who in turn bestows taxpayer-funded largess on the participants. Schemes such as that can include kickbacks as well and I think in Broussard’s case that also applies though it is not at all clear he used his business holdings in Canada to hide all the loot. I think the bottom line there is there will be lots for the grand jury to sort through when it reconvenes.
The meeting was first revealed by a legislative auditor’s report in 2010 that named the other official as outgoing Parish President Tim Coulon. Mr. Coulon has not been charged with a crime. According to the new criminal charges, the group decided to give Ms. Parker a paralegal supervisor post in Mr. Wilkinson’s office, even though she lacked the qualifications for the job.
The Gambitman has indicated Coulon is actively cooperating with the Feds and this is not good news for the Krewe over at West Jefferson Medical Center IMHO, especially given certain family relationships involved. Worth noting is the insurance scam portion of the scandal has yet to see the light of day but it does not take much imagination to figure where things are headed based on who ran to Team Letten to cut a deal.
Finally Slabbed is not the only media outlet with first hand involvement in the narrative. The 3 media outlets that tried to tell the story straight were all sued in Nova Scotia by Trout Point LP, Charles Leary and Vaughn Perret. The media outlets that sold out were paid handsomely and that brings us to two of our perennial faves here at Slabbed, Payola whore Garland Robinette and his ethically challenged Ethics Professor/lawyer Dane Ciolino. Worth noting is that Ciolino initially popped up in this scandal circling like a fly over a cow patty representing Tim Whitmer. Whitmer cut a deal and is presumably also spilling his guts on the shithouse deal with River Birch Landfill so Ciolino scoots over and now represents Garland Robinette.
Speaking of Robinette, for those keeping score he works for Entercomm payola radio, who thus far has stood by their man despite the fact he took what at best can be described as a sweetheart $250,000 loan from Fred Heebe, the main guy at the landfill. Saturday the T-P’s Paul Rioux checked in with an interesting update on this particularly seedy part of the saga. It seems that Heebe does not want Robinette’s north shore property which Robinette claims secured “the loan”. I put loan in quotation marks because a mortgage was never filed on the land. The loan document exists according to Attorney Ciolino but Team Robinette will not release to the public. Slabbed first reported back in December 2010, albeit on the down low, that Robinette has gotten an invite to the federal grand jury and it turns out besides neutering Robinette as a Heebe paid shill, Team Letten publicly claimed no interest in criminally prosecuting Robinette. The man’s reputation is in tatters as he has gone from the mountain top of being a main character in Spike Lee’s documentaries on post Katrina New Orleans to the bottom of the cesspool of corruption. I mention that because this is the PR battle of Robinette’s life and I’d bet my last dollar on two things:
- We’ve not heard the last of Robinette’s name in this scandal.
- If a mythical loan document would help Robinette with the public, Ciolino would have released it. I personally do not believe in the tooth fairy and I do not believe there was a loan period. And in the off-chance there was a loan document drawn up between Robinette and Heebe whatever is in it likely would make ol’ Garlandfill look worse not better in the eyes of the public.
One man’s opinion anyhow.