BREAKING: Concrete Busters files amended complaint against Fred Heebe, Jim Ward and River Birch Landfill (Updated)

Folks this is hot off the press. Click the pic to get the 54 page pdf.

Manuel Torres broke this story for the Nola Media Group but his headline needs work. He cuts straight to the heart of the matter and the allegations are explosive:

At least one former Jefferson Parish Council member took bribes from River Birch landfill in exchange for backing a now-defunct garbage deal with the firm, rival Waste Management claimed in an amended civil lawsuit filed Thursday afternoon.

The suit, which doesn’t name the council member, also says that former administrator Tim Whitmer and former Parish President Aaron Broussard “have also repeatedly accepted bribes.”

Something tells me all hell is fixing to break loose.

Oh Si can you see Part Deux: Errol and the noisemakers.

Well folks I’m not quite sure where to start as Slabbed chips in another 2 cents worth on the remaking of the Times Picayune. By now I hope you guys have “Sometimes Picayune” fatigue but I know that is not the case with some of ya so here goes for those of you that want to get the deep down low on this topic.  I haven’t had more to say on this since late July because Slabbed has been out on assignment doing high quality investigative journalism such as blowing open Aaron Broussard’s use of oversea business ventures as a conduit for graft and bribery and  uncovering a specious real estate transaction involving a small school district. You lifers well know these are far from the only skins hanging on the wall here at the worldwide headquarters of Slabbed New Media as we’ve become a powerful voice in the local media landscape in our own right.

People are naturally resistant to change, to the point where it is to their detriment.  It is a well-studied topic and one in which I am familiar via my interest in behavioral economics. Throw in competing financial interests and it made for an interesting summer as Errol Laborde and the noisemakers made sure their newly disenfranchised voices would be heard loud and clear via sheer mass and repetition. Occasionally something highly insightful would be written, mostly in the new media on websites like American Zombie and Library Chronicles along with certain trade journals.  Since the news broke in May media alliances have been made, broken and remade.  As a long time blogger on stock message boards the business implications of the spectacle were both informative and amusing to me as I often thought of the following while watching the gyrations:

Graph courtesy of The AtlanticNow don’t get me wrong, when the 500 pound gorilla in the room decides it is time to go on a diet the local inhabitants of the forest are going to be impacted especially since local food sources have been on a drastic decline.  My problem is that even when it is shown that the numbers in the new Newhouse business model make sense, old line cognitive biases cause the noisemakers to ignore the “newsonomics” those numbers present. Leaky pay-walls are a joke and are easily defeated.  The concept that the readers will make up for the drastic declines in advertising are a pipe dream along with the notion “the news”, whatever that is, has intrinsic value to the general public. Continue reading “Oh Si can you see Part Deux: Errol and the noisemakers.”

Garlandfill on my mind: A matter of trust

A billboard featuring Garland Robinette off the Pontchartrain Expressway in late 2011. Photo by Michael DeMocker, The Times-Picayune

Lifers here know the deal but for you newbies I’ll point out that Slabbed broke Garland Robinette’s subpoena to the federal grand jury investigating political corruption way back in November, 2010 with a tease and straight out in March, 2011 (if memory serves). The gang over at the Times Picayune picked up the ball and did some excellent reporting on same as Garland Robinette’s opinions are evidently for sale to the highest bidder.

A few nights ago Fox 8 carried the latest developments with a 100% Team Garlandfill sourced report that rankled some of my readers. In the interest of presenting a complete picture I’d like to present yesterday’s story from the new NOLA Media Group on the same topic by Manuel Torres.

I’m not sure why Robinette wants to continue fleshing this topic out frankly because all the gyrations about there being a “loan” between him and Heebe are based solely on his unsupported assertions and I personally don’t believe a word the man says, especially since St Tammany Parish land and mortgage records did not indicate a mortgage was ever officially filed.

Finally Robinette’s self-serving rationalization about taking the money to build an art studio smacks of the exact type of self-entitled, pompous mindset we regularly skewer here at Slabbed.  In Robinette’s case he violated the public’s trust.

If you’re a newbie I’d encourage you to run Garland Robinette’s name through the search box on the right sidebar to access Slabbed’s prior coverage of this portion of the massive political corruption scandal in metro New Orleans.