In other words folks, Trout Point Lodge, Leary and Perret got not one penny from Fox 8 and only a limited retraction that did not include the Aaron Broussard interview where he openly talked about his various holdings at the Trout Point Development, which rentals were managed by Leary, Perret and the Lodge.
That said the story by Timopthy Gillespie at the South Coast Today is well worth reading as the Goatherders try to lump Slabbed in with the T-P and Fox 8’s mildly erroneous reporting that Aaron Broussard owned the Lodge itself, an assertion that we never repeated here on Slabbed. That said, we did explore in-depth how Charles Leary initially lied about the extent of the Lodge’s business relationship with Broussard and the Goatherders did not like that fact SLAPPing me in the libel tourism paradise known as Nova Scotia.
This is interesting because Leary and Perret had lots to say about this subject matter starting back on January 16, 2012 in posts to the Lodge’s wordpress blog that are no longer visible to the public. Luckily for everyone these posts do exist in the Google Cache as their January 16, 2012 magnum opus on being subjected to “2 years of defamation, damage to business reputation, & harassment…..” is still out there for viewing along with a February 1, 2012 post on their home cooking of yours truly in that libel tourism paradise known as Nova Scotia. This does not count their reblog of their January 16, 2012 post on January 27, 2012.
I was happy to see Leary and Perret commit to defending themselves because their story morphed from their January 2010 position circa the Times Picayune that Broussard was just some guy down the road to this:
From 2000 until 2010, a prominent Louisiana politician named Aaron Broussard, who is of Acadian French descent, owned a vacation home on a lot on the Trout Point Road, in East Kemptville, NS, near Trout Point Lodge. Perret & Leary had known Broussard for many years and Abel once worked for him, so when Broussard visited their new project in the Acadian homeland, he fell in love and decided to build a vacation home there, near the dining and recreational facilities offered by Trout Point.
Broussard loved Nova Scotia, vacationed and brought friends there. Never, however, did Mr. Broussard own any part, or have any management role in Trout Point Lodge–he was simply a neighbour and someone who visited once or twice a year. The Lodge also managed rentals of his property, and has never denied this fact. That Aaron Broussard owned a cottage near Trout Point was no secret or mystery–the Times-Picayune newspaper published just this fact in a July, 2001 travel article. Broussard also had friends in the local community. When a privately-owned postage-stamp lot next to his became available sometime around 2007, Broussard bought that also and built a 2nd, smaller cottage there. He called the two cottages “Black Bear” and “Cub.”
I am ecstatic to hear that admission, which we broke back in the summer of 2011 when Slabbed solved the mystery on the shores of the Tusket River. What the Goatherders try to minimize is the extent of their involvement with Broussard’s property holdings in Nova Scotia, which has now risen to the fore of the federal investigation with Karen Parker Broussard’s recent plea deal. I’ll note Nova Scotia property records indicate that Parker goes back virtually to day one of Broussard’s Nova Scotia adventure in the late 1990’s and she would know where all the bodies are buried. I bet she can explain those “lot assessments” the late Roy D’Aquila was yammering about in his letter to Leary and Perret just months after the scandal broke locally.
There are a couple more things about this whole deal that need further fleshing out. The first is the Billy’s Hill Trail Society, which we tackled in several posts including this one currently in the goggle cache. I initially noticed the membership listed on the society’s website, coincidentally controlled by Leary and Perret, listed Aaron Broussard along with Leary, Perrt and the Lodge as officers in the organization. The surname of one of the other officers caught my attention too, that of Ginette Muise, who is listed as being from North Kemptville. Our readers may remember the Judge in the Fox 8 case was Pierre Muise of Quinan community less than 10 miles from Kemptville. In fairness to the Muises mentioned, a reader in Nova Scotia pointed out to me that the Muise surname is kinda like Boudreaux in Louisiana as there are lots of them. That interesting tidbit aside, Pierre Muise’s legal pedigree includes a stint with Pink, Macdonald, Harding from 1998 to 2001. Martin Pink was the Lodge’s lawyer back in the day which means Muise has most likely known the Goatherders for some time, perhaps even doing some legal work for them way back when.
The other things is what Fox 8 did not retract, Aaron Broussard’s interview. Again we turn to their January 16, 2012 blog post for their feelings on Broussard’s interview with Fox 8 and the Metropolitan Crime Commission:
On January 6, 2010, in what appears to be a classic example of gotcha journalism, an investigative reporter for New Orleans Fox 8 TV News named Val Bracy arranged to interview Broussard on camera related to the investigations. What she did not tell Broussard was that the President of the Metropolitan Crime Commission–a state-funded Crime Stopper Organization–provided Bracy with access to a complaint letter against Broussard that the Commission was sending that day to the Louisiana State Ethics Administration, which oversees the conduct of public officials.
The complaint letter raised, among other things, an allegation from anonymous, confidential sources that Broussard owned a “lodge” in Nova Scotia that he had rented to government contractors. The complaint never mentioned Trout Point Lodge. The implication was that he had committed ethical and/or criminal violations by using his Nova Scotia property in behind-the-scenes money transactions with government contractors, ie, kick-back or “pay to play” schemes. For the news media, this was sensational.
Never informing Broussard about the existence of the complaint, Bracy started to interview him about the complaint’s contents, including his Nova Scotia properties, and if any government contractors had ever rented them or been there. Broussard made clear in the interview that he did not own or manage Trout Point.
Unfortunately for the Lodge and its proprietors, during its January 6, 2010, 9 pm news broadcast, Fox 8 broke the ethics complaint story, and decided to illustrate Broussard’s Nova Scotia properties using video of the Trout Point Lodge web site, including showing images of the lodge, the name “Trout Point Lodge of Nova Scotia,” and a slideshow of images of the hotel. Fox 8 continued to use images of the Lodge for the next 4 days on every news broadcast about the ethics complaint, federal investigation, and Broussard’s January 8, 2010 resignation from office, not only in its TV emissions but also on its web site. Those broadcasts and Internet publications are now the subject of a defamation law suit in Nova Scotia Supreme Court. Fox 8 claims that its publications did not refer to Trout Point Lodge, but only to Aaron Broussard. Trout Point Lodge says it was defamed. Fox 8 has refused to retract.
An important aside is that the Metropolitan Crime Commission–funded by monies from the Louisiana criminal justice system–was actually committing a crime by making public an ethics board complaint.
This is very interesting stuff folks and very telling that it is now gone from the Lodge’s WordPress.com blog.
Finally I have no indication Leary and Perret will answer my SPEECH Act complaint, despite the continual lip service Charles Leary has paid this issue since early February, beginning with a radio interview he gave the CBC. The Lodge was noticed of the Declaratory Action on February 14, 2012 and the paperwork was returned to me early this week opened and read but otherwise unsigned. PACER has indicated no further case activity as of this afternoon.
I’ll update the continuing saga of the Goatherders as it develops.