Monthly Archives: March 2012

Must Read: Yeah, what Jeffrey said!

To begin with, it’s disconcerting to see professional media persons who the public supposes to be sophisticated about such things, badly botch their internet taxonomy by labeling Perricone a “blogger” in their reporting. Do they not fact check these terms? I’m told Wikipedia is a popular TV journalist’s research tool. Let’s see what we find there.

A blog (a portmanteau of the term web log)[1] is a personal journal published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order so the most recent post appears first. Blogs are usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often are themed on a single subject. Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

The emergence and growth of blogs in the late 1990s coincided with the advent of web publishing tools that facilitated the posting of content by non-technical users. (Previously a knowledge of such technologies as HTML and FTP had been required to publish content on the Web.)

Although not a must, most good quality blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and even message each other via GUI widgets on the blogs and it is this interactivity that distinguishes them from other static websites. In that sense, blogging can be seen as a form of social networking. Indeed, bloggers do not only produce content to post on their blogs but also build social relations with their readers and other bloggers.

Perricone didn’t operate a blog which is essentially an online diary of what the author considers to be pertinent events and/or recommended reading, preferably with an open comments section for reader feedback. Perricone, instead, was a frequent commenter under articles which appeared on a newspaper website. Those are both means of sharing information on the internet but there are technical differences in terminology which one may expect one’s grandmother.. or possibly Garland Robinette.. to accidentally conflate now and again but when professional news persons do it, one figures they should know better and wonders if they aren’t doing it on purpose.

Why is this important? Well aside from the professional journalistic imperative to get facts correct, misuse of terms in this manner serves to indict by association the entire practice of blogging, social networking, or using the internet for anything beyond mere consumption purposes as a somehow malevolent activity. Lumping all independent use of social media into the same category as newspaper commenters is reductive and deceptive.

Continue reading at Library Chronicles

He comes from a “long line of corruptors”: Slabbed truth checks Sal Perricone’s assertions about grand jury target Fred Heebe.

The case: Kern v K-Mart
The Judge: Frederick JR Heebe
Lawyer for Kern: Former Heebe Law Clerk Kyle Shonekas and Claude Lightfoot
Lawyers for K-Mart: King Krebs Jurgans, Milling Benson Woodward and others
Key ruling: Docket #84, Plaintiff’s objection to impeachment video of Kern sustained. K-Mart claims video clearly shows plaintiff vastly overstated the extent of his injuries for an accident involving his 12 year old vehicle.
Trial result: Finds for defendant K-Mart, Plaintiff makes motions for New Trial

HEEBE, District Court Judge

Thus, in accordance with the facts of this case and the legal standards set by Louisiana and federal law, the Court makes the following findings. In considering the facts in a light favorable to K–Mart, the Court finds that reasonable men could differ as to whether K–Mart was negligent. However, in weighing the evidence, the Court finds that the great weight of the evidence supports a finding that K–Mart was negligent.

Accordingly, IT IS THE ORDER OF THE COURT that the motion of plaintiff, Arthur Kern, for judgment notwithstanding the verdict be, and the same is hereby, DENIED.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the motion of plaintiff, Arthur Kern, for new trial be, and the same is hereby, GRANTED.

This ruling can not be appealed. Next up Judge Heebe recuses himself giving no reasons.

Before the court in the above-captioned matter are (1) Defendant’s Motion to Reconsider Order Granting Motion for New Trial, which is opposed by Plaintiff, and (2) Plaintiff’s Motion to Strike Defendant’s Additional Expert Witness, which is opposed by Defendant. The Motions are before the court on briefs, without oral argument.

This matter was originally tried before a jury in Section “B” of this court during the week of January 10, 1991. Following a jury verdict in favor of Defendant, the presiding judge (Chief Judge Heebe) granted Plaintiff’s Motion for a New Trial, assigning extensive reasons. Judge Heebe then rescued himself from further consideration of the matter, and the case was transferred to this section. Continue reading

Sal, it is time to step down

W O W ! ! I think it is wishful thinking for Letten to believe that this episode won’t have any effect on pending cases. Aside from that, this demonstrates the danger of assuming that those entrusted with representing the government are above reproach. And the defendants, lawyers, judges, and persons under investigation who were subjected to the running commentary from the heart of the U.S. Attorney’s office should wonder where Mr. Letten’s to them apology was — does he intend to apologize to Heebe, Lemann, Berrigan, etc?. ~ BRlawyer nola.com

And that comment to this NOLA.com story by Gordon Russell and Paul Rioux on the fallout from the revelation that Henry L. Mencken1951=Sal Perricone sums up exactly why Perricone needs to do the right thing and resign. His actions have compromised a massive federal investigation into the Jefferson Parish landfill contract, among others, that have tentacles back to literally the very early days after Hurricane Katrina. What Perrricone did was wrong and in fact was unethical. Simply put following the rules is what makes the good guys “good”.

True, Mr Perricone has the same first amendment rights as everyone else and yes, as Jason over at American Zombie alluded to yesterday there is way more to this story. At this point all we have is the realm of speculation to deal with there. From a practical standpoint there is a investigation to salvage and that can not happen with Perricone in the mix at Team Letten. Continue reading

The notion of the “informed insider” is why people read message boards and blogs. Let’s talk Henry Mencken 1951 a bit more.

On the Yahoo finance boards I have befriended:

  • Several college professors.
  • An employee of the NSA.
  • A high ranking government official from a major US City.
  • A small businessman who was doing the CEO’s secretary of a mid cap publicly traded company.
  • An executive vice President of a major tech company
  • And many other highly interesting people too numerous to mention.

Coming from that to hang with the unwashed massed on several local newspapers and blogs a few years ago, it did not take me long to figure out that as a general rule newspaper web masters were pretty much clueless about the power they had in their comment sections and forums. And without naming names I’ve seen a couple of local journalists write they did not read comments to their stories and I’ve had a couple tell me the same. I was always amazed at the specter of writers not wanting feedback on their own work, though I’ll grant a thick hide is required.

With that said, it appears the folks over at NOLA.com are getting hip to the subject as they profile David Lat of Above the Law, a site we have linked a time or two through the years here on Slabbed. Lat was also a blogger when he was a federal prosecutor, which career ended when he was unmasked by New Yorker magazine. Continue reading

Dominick Fazzio in court this morning but all eyes were on assistant US Attorney Sal Perricone

At least that was the way WDSU TeeVee spun today’s Fazzio hearing on his motion to dismiss the charges against him. Luckily for everyone, Paul Rioux from the T-P was also there and he gave a good account of the hearing’s subject matter, Fazzio’s allegations of prosecutorial misconduct against Team Letten.  Here is a snippet:

Berrigan has previously said she isn’t sure the June 3 meeting between prosecutors and Fazzio “passes the smell test.” She called the meeting “pretty disturbing” and used the same phrase to describe transcripts of the recorded conversations in which Titus repeatedly implored Fazzio to get a new attorney and cooperate in the River Birch investigation.

However, Berrigan also has said she didn’t see “any inherent misconduct” in using the fraud case to pressure Fazzio to cooperate in the investigation of his employer.

Our readers may remember Judge Berrigan holds fondness in her heart for Tulane U, Bad Faith Insurance Companies, and hard-core criminals. Based on her prior remarks, I can’t imagine Big D will get far with his motion to dismiss.

Stay tuned as things are greatly heating up.

sop

Since SLAPP suits have become fashionable down south: Henry L. Mencken 1951 links

Speaking of going south, my quick persual of the NOLA.com comments on the various Mencken stories, indicates Team Heebe astroturfers have not been effective at steering the conversation as Henry Mencken himself has appeared again on NOLA. We must be a match for Henry here at Slabbed as I had to do a double take on yesterday’s site traffic here just a few minutes ago as this story seems to have everyone’s attention. Some Henry Mencken links:

He’s Back !!!!!!!!!!Henry L. Mencken1951 that is, on NOLA this A.M. at 6:15. ~ Lockemuptight Slabbed New Media inviting Henry to come join us on Slabbed.

Landfill owner Fred Heebe had ex-FBI linguist analyze NOLA.com comments ~ Paul Rioux, Brendon McCarthy & Gordon Russell, The T-P

Online commenter alleged to be federal prosecutor resurfaces ~ Gordon Russell, The T-P.

Heebe wants federal prosecutors deposed over website posts – Sabrina Wilson, Fox 8 TeeVee

Criminal target Fred Heebe files suit against anonymous commenter ~ Mike Perlstein, WWL TeeVee

Fed. Prosecutors Named In Petition Decline Comment On Allegations ~ WDSU TeeVee

Bear with me folks while I work my way back to the hive and resume a more normal posting schedule.

sop

BREAKING: Fred Heebe files suit against Times Picayune commenter Henry L Mencken, claims commenter is assistant US Attorney Sal Perricone

All I can say folks is Fred Heebe is throwing some serious money down this rabbit hole filing suit against Times Picayune commenter Henry L. Mencken. Gorden Russell has the breaking news for the Times Picayune and they included a link to the 151 page suit Heebe lawyer Kyle Shonekas filed in NOLA Civil District Court which mostly focuses on specualtion as to the identity of Henry L Mencken being assistant US Attorney Sal Perricone. The alleged defamatory comments are on pdf pages 3 and 4 of the suit and to my untrained eye look pretty weak.  The T-P has 598 of the 601 total comments left to various stories by Mencken on his T-P profile page linked above and there is copy of all his remarks circa December 2011 in Heebe’s suit.

From a bigger picture standpoint this really signals a new level of nasty between Team Heebe and Team Letten.  The speculation as to Mencken’s identity is enticing but it is also not the legal question. Its inclusion in the complaint tells me this is way more than a simple prelude to a US style defamation suit.

File this one under chilling effects from the mean streets of blogging.

sop