OK who squealed Part Deux: Channel 6 picks up coverage of the report on the turmoil in the senior ranks of the Young Administration

You guys may remember that Slabbed broke the story about former Jefferson Parish Deputy COO Richard Hart causing a ruckus  in the senior ranks of the Young Administration with his boorish behavior towards women.  Then we covered who squealed to the media in Councilman at large Chris Roberts, a man with a purported need to see himself on the TeeVee regularly. Finally we covered Hart’s weekend departure from Jefferson Parish Government which supposedly brought this saga to an end.

I mention all this because Tom tipped us in comments yesterday evening that Travers Mackel at Channel 6 ended up with a copy of the supposedly confidential report prepared by Parish consultants on Hart, albeit a redacted version, and yes Virginia, all the bad things that were said about Hart’s workplace treatment of women were evidently true. Let’s review:

The report found that “several employees interviewed described the organizational climate as very intimidating and (one of) low morale.” Individual names are redacted, and the parish administration considers the investigation a personnel matter. Parish officials said they would have no comment and declined to answer questions regarding the investigation and its findings.

The initial complaint, according to the report, came from a female manager who raised concerns that Hart had created a “rude, demeaning and hostile workplace environment.” Among the specific incidents that are cited:

* Use of the term “thong Thursdays” as a joke referencing several employees who wore pink bracelets in support of a co-worker with breast cancer.
* Use of the phrase “booty call” in reference to after-hours phone calls made by Jefferson Parish President John Young to female employees.
* Use of the term “ass chaps” as a joke related to horseback riding and the “chaps” that are sometimes worn.

The complainant, according to the report, produced documentation dating back to March 2011 to support her assertions that she had contacted Chief Operating Officer Chris Cox in an effort to put an end to the conduct. The report notes that the complainant wanted Hart to “stop smearing her reputation and intimidating her. She wants to do the job she was hired to do by John Young without being harassed.”

So someone was complaining about Hart being an asshole almost a full year before he finally hit the chop shop and evidently nothing was done about his workplace behavior.  Hart’s reputation was that of a man who could tame a bureaucracy and whip it into line.  The reality is his management style was of the blunt force variety and his bad reputation preceded him had anyone in the Young Administration team bothered to inquire. The release of this report is designed to make the Young Administration look bad and frankly it is mission accomplished.  Hiring assholes to senior management positions doesn’t have a big upside even after they are gone.


13 thoughts on “OK who squealed Part Deux: Channel 6 picks up coverage of the report on the turmoil in the senior ranks of the Young Administration”

  1. I just saw the extended report on WDSU and COO Chris Cox was thrown under the bus. He evidently tried to quash the DMM consulting engagement. This raises additional questions:

    1. If DMM was working for an outside law firm why did Cox interfere in a legal matter that should have been handled by the Parish Attorney’s Office?

    Parish Attorney Deb Foshee evidently rectified that situation but the weaving of Cox into the narrative of events is very troubling.

    Are the new revelations indicative that John Young has larger political problems? Triangulating what I am hearing from different sources indicates the answer to that question is yes. It deserves it’s own post in fact.


  2. Hart was the sacrificial goat in a decades old empirical discriminatory parish government. His presence was post Anne Marie Vandenweghe, the diatribes was only an attempt to fit in, by far they are not the only ones spawned by the culture of the “Good Ole Boy’s Club Above the Law Mentality” that has lead to the long over due DOJ corruption probe. The discrimination is simply an appendage of the unresolved group of Tunicates in the Yenni building that have yet to be either forced into retirement or provided with a Federal holiday that has cost the parish residents millions in discrimination lawsuits since 2000.

  3. I feel a Connick/Young post coming on, SOP, that has something to do with the upcoming judicial jockeying in Jefferson Parish.

  4. More than likely there will be no show the resolution will be done behind closed doors the settlement agreement will be a non-disclose terms and conditions of a no-fault settlement, money will quietly exchange hands. I expect the same to ultimately happen with the Vandenweghe case as well.

  5. Would love to know much Connick & Connick have billed the Parish for “outside” legal work for representing Jeff Transit and the Parish in its worker’s compensation cases; word on the street is close to $5 million.

    I have a big problem with a D. A. steering legal work to his firm, but then trying to distance himself from the blatant ethical morass by saying that he no longer has an equity interest in the firm. Bullshit!

    Pigs at the trough.

    1. As a matter of fact, 5 Million is a conservative figure:

      “Prior to you being elected DA, your firm

  6. This WDSU i investigation leaked despite Young having filled his cabinet with ex- media people to keep the lid on things.Others will eventually get the courage to complain to WDSU and other stations about Young’s political appointments and management having free reign to roam and harass parish workers in many departments.

  7. You would think that would be the case particularly with the wide spread corruption probe ? However there has been many lost opportunities by the press to do more substantive investigative stories on the subject but if they do they will alginate those in power. In the case of Mr. Hart a top official was fired only because the parish attorney reinstated the investigation, I think, because of the pending Vandenweghe litigation. Otherwise it was headed to end very differently with the other party being dismissed a letter was issued on her poor performance. Does any one really believe that Ann Marie Vandenweghe is or was the only employee that has ever witnessed a misprision of a felony and/or other waste fraud and abuse in the past or presently happening in the Yenni building ?

    1. I believe you would be hard-pressed to find an employee at JP that has NOT “witnessed a misprision of a felony and/or other waste fraud and abuse.”

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