Monthly Archives: March 2012

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

Tuesday Links

Blaine Kern Artists improperly received $1 million in tax credits for building floats, auditor reports ~ Jeff Adelson

This Rich Rainey story from late last month on JPAC is worth visiting. I belatedly mention Rich’s story as it is both topical here on Slabbed and because it came out of the blue as the JPAC debacle has fallen out of the news cycle.  One thing everyone needs to do is read the Legislative Auditor’s report on the JPAC boondoggle.  PDF page 26 (report page 23) of the report contains the reason there is talk about Jefferson Parish Councilman at Large Elton Lagasse role in the JPAC debacle receiving investigative scrutiny given we now know Tim Whitmer is cooperating with the Feds.

Cowardly court backs off Memorial case ~ James Gill

The whole problem with the argument that gives Memorial Hospital a pass in the large number of deaths that happened post Katrina at the hospital is that conditions were also very bad across the city including at other hospitals, like Charity Hospital which was also flooded out.  I profiled in depth the plight of the staff and patients at Charity post Katrina,  including the fact their morgue was not piled over with dead patients like Memorial’s. The defamation suit filed by the memorial docs against ProPublica and the New York Times over subsequent reporting of the tragedy went nowhere. It also appears the Times Picayune’s efforts to get to the Grand Jury documents in the case are also at an end. The lawsuit filed by the victim’s families against Memorial Hospital settled last July which means we’ve likely heard the last of this in the news cycle.

I have a busy day on tap here in Soggy Bottom. Feel free to add your own links in comments.

sop

Finally today is a court hearing day for Pappy Kershenstine. Will Kershenstine lawyer Danny Abel bother to show up?

This is a valid question since last hearing Abel stood up District Court Judge Glen Ansardi.  I hope to hear something from the Gretna courthouse on this matter later today folks.  Hopefully Hammerman is there as well.

sop

Are there more charges coming against Goatherder Aaron Broussard along with Tom Wilkinson? You betcha!

You bet your sweet bippy there are folks.  One of the first tips I got on the scandal in Jefferson Parish was the fixing of DWI cases in exchange for legal payola and I have heard rumors from several sources that indicate the Feds are also now wise to the Broussard / Wilkinson scam of getting kickbacks from lawyers that had lawsuits involving the Parish.  The final piece of that puzzle came today thus allowing this disclosure. This would mean by extension there are members of the NOLA area bar that should also be scared shitless and I’m assuming they are folks.

It strongly appears as if Team Uncle Sam will not stop until Head Goatherder in Charge Aaron Broussard is completely crushed, along with Tom Wilkinson. That is all.

sop