Slabbed examines the harassment of internet commenters and Fred Heebe’s witch hunt for private citizen’s expressing their opinion: Part 1

Gordon Russell updated the saga of the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General’s investigation into Sal Perricone and Jan Mann playing on the internet as the deadline for the delivery of the report to Judge Kurt Engelhardt has quietly passed without a peep on PACER or the peeps running the investigation.

The deadline for a special prosecutor to file a report with a federal judge on his inquiry into possible leaks and inappropriate online commenting by lawyers in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Louisiana’s Eastern District quietly passed last week. But it’s not clear where the matter stands; the special prosecutor, John Horn, who is based in Georgia, declined to make any comment about his probe Thursday.

I have a good idea where “the matter stands” because I met with the gang from DoJ OIG last month and I asked them about the process and how it will unfold. The report is for Judge Engelhardt and I do not think the investigative materials collected in support of said report will ever see the light of day. That said Gordon explains why it was easy for me to say I did not expect to be subpoenaed by Team Horn:

Technically, the Horn probe is part of the Danziger Bridge case — U.S. v. Bowen et al. That’s because it’s an outgrowth of the defendants’ motion for a new trial based on alleged prosecutorial misconduct — highlighted by former Assistant U.S. Attorney Sal Perricone’s admissions that he commented pseudonymously about various federal cases on NOLA.com, including the bridge case.

Slabbed covered the Danziger trial but we simply followed and highlighted the other media reports which made the visit I received from DoJ OIG someone curious at first blush.  That said it was clear to me the Horn investigation was broader than USA v Bowen and it should be because Sal and Jan commented upon a wider array of topics than the Danziger shootings including USA v Broussard, a topic where Slabbed is at the razor’s edge leading the local news coverage.  I know my Jefferson Parish corruption folks and I think the visit I received confirms that fact.

So what in the blue hell does all this have with Fred Heebe’s internet commenter witch hunt and the harassment of those commenting on the scandal in Jefferson Parish by the Goatherders?  I dropped a hint not long ago and I’m going to drop the same hint again courtesy of Jason Berry at AZ:

The company is called Affinity Dynamics and its founder is an interesting guy who wears many hats… political consultant, writer, journalist….Glenn Smith. I don’t know exactly what role AD played in the process to hunt the commenter down but I do know they were aware of the exact date and times the commenter was logging in from the hotel as well as the fact that he was using a Yahoo email address to do so. I am not suggesting that AD or Mr. Smith did anything illicit….let me restate that….I am not suggesting that Affinity Dynamics or Glenn Smith did anything illegal. But I am stating that they had a lot of information about this man that should have been privy only to Advanced Publications/Nola.com. I am also stating that they were assisting Heebe’s team in the effort to track the man down.

I actually made contact with Mr. Smith via email and he was very polite but stated that he could not comment about the matter due to the pending federal investigation. Fair enough.

Pending federal investigation? Folks this is not Team Horn to which Smith is referring and if it is not Team Horn then there must be another investigation ongoing and I today I will confirm that I was contacted the third week of January by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as Slabbed New Media is a potential victim of a cyber crime.  There is so much I want to say at this point but can’t as I in no way want to jeopardize the investigation, with which Slabbed is fully cooperating.  That said there are a few things I can disclose and that will be fodder for Part 2.

17 thoughts on “Slabbed examines the harassment of internet commenters and Fred Heebe’s witch hunt for private citizen’s expressing their opinion: Part 1

  1. On A Steed

    What does this mean…exactly>

    The subpoena also requested a list of other comments that originated from those same IP addresses.

    Reply
      1. On A Steed

        The lit path would seem to be there are some other folks that have crossed lines they shouldn’t have crossed and it those lines were narrow enough to include criminal charges?

        Very interesting, I’m surprised, but on the other hand, the folly of man never ceases to amaze me. Well, score another for M, and count me mistaken in my belief that it wouldn’t be a big deal. Always optimistic I guess….Doug, will you be handing out the Columbo Award to Muspench? He/She predicted it all! A higher caliber contributor will never exist!

        P.S. Sly aka Rocky lands in Steed’s corner! You guys are in trouble now. Chuck Norris doesn’t stand a chace.

        Reply
      2. muspench

        Hello! :) Thank you very much, Steed, that was SO sweet, but it really wasn’t my bright idea: the widespread nature of the problem kept surfacing wherever the commenting scandal was being discussed. You could tell from Sal & Jan’s comments that they were treating nola.com like an old boys’ club, and Jan even said that to Engelhardt (“During a discussion with all counsel participating, First AUSA Mann indicated her belief that certain individuals, perhaps even employees of this Court, posted opinions on nola.com”).

        Engelhardt’s order also noted Sal suggested the Lohman leak came from the FBI, but by that time the notion that other federal employees from various agencies were, or had, commented had become commonplace. When Jan was outed, that implicated her husband, but by that time Lemann had already begun his inexorable advance toward Greg Kennedy as a fourth commenter. The subject was like a horrid skin rash, it just would not stop covering more and more territory. :)

        What you said about your trouble suspending disbelief (“the folly of man never ceases to amaze me”) is exactly where I was when Heebe filed the first suit. I had put up with Mencken’s moronic hostility for what seemed like forever, and I swore there was no way in the world he could even be employed as a federal prosecutor (indeed, I thought it unlikely he was employed at all, based on how he presented himself).

        I got the shock of my LIFE when he was described as the #3 man in the USAO (which I have since gathered was not really accurate), but after that I was much less hampered by idealistic illusions. :)

        Reply
        1. muspench

          P.S. For the pronouncements of a true oracle, you can do no better than to check Sockpit/Sock Puppet’s past output. I’m brought up short every time I happen upon it, because it’s so very prescient.

          Reply
  2. lockemuptight

    Holy Hacking Holocaust Batman

    Spies? Spies? Did someone say spies?

    http://youtu.be/epwKn-f1Ehs

    Don’t these fools realize that the Feds have high tech means and can easily out engineer so-called private hacking experts with their limited engineering. I mean the Feds fight China’s, N. Korea’s, Iran’s and Russia’s best of the best and concurrently everyday.

    The Feds are concerned about the integrity of the SlabbedNation internet site and this should be reassuring to potential commenters.

    Reply
    1. Doug Handshoe

      The impression I get from the good guys is they are completely down with the media and our first amendment rights. In fact good investigative journalism in the public interest helps them do their job as the work we did on Heebe’s bundled campaign contributions illustrates.

      Best way to clear the air is to have it all out in the open. ~ Atticus Finch

      Reply
  3. muspench

    Oh! Thus, “quarry for Fred Heebe but not Team Horn” (referring to Mr. International House) means Mr. IH was not commenting on anything Danziger-related. Got it, and thank you very much. :) Maybe if putting all that JP information on display prompted a hacking event that helps nail some wrong ‘uns, that will make up for the indignity Doug suffered (and I am sorry to hear that happened).

    And if Horn’s team was warned off the JP side of the investigation by another FBI team covering that material, EXCELLENT! That would mean they’re devoting more manpower to the local problem, which I would imagine is much needed as just sorting out all the comments over a period of several years will be a herculean task. Misgivings assuaged in re Horn’s hitherto-mysterious withdrawal from pursuit of the info subpoenaed from nola.com, and I’m very grateful for that.

    Doug, now that you have these helpful federal connections maybe you can make this obtrusive DirectTV blimp stop droning over the Irish Channel. :_)

    Reply
    1. Doug Handshoe

      I think Team Horn is doing a comprehensive review of the posting scandal far beyond Danziger Bridge. What earned me my visit from Team Horn was this post:

      http://www.slabbed.org/2010/12/10/we-have-new-subpoenas-out-in-the-federal-grand-jury-investigation/

      Slabbed broke Garlandfill’s connection via that subpoena. The T-P was subsequently able to put all the meat on the bones and exposed Garland Robinette taking payola from Fred Heebe.

      http://www.slabbed.org/2011/09/03/heebes-whores-the-garland-robinette-connection-to-the-jefferson-parish-political-corruption-scandal-revealed/

      All I know is when subpoenas are delivered to an office with lots of people in it, whether a North Shore real estate firm or the Yenni Building word is gonna get out.

      Something like that at the Yenni building generally gets back to me within hours. In the case of Garlandfill, it was sweet serendipity as that source is completely unconnected to the investigation or combatants. Along those lines I’m pretty certain I know the identity of Nolacat and that person is a private citizen. At some point it becomes an invasion of privacy from a practical standpoint.

      I explained that nicely to the gentlemen with OIG and they were not offended in the least and in fact they were sensitive to that fact. Remember Eric Holder has to approve media subpoenas and there is no doubt in my mind a Slabbed subpeona would have to carry a Holder tatoo.

      Now back to that comprehensive review. If I were a prosecutor I’d want to know where all my skeletons were before going any farther so it is in DoJ’s best interest to leave no stone unturned. This gives me hope that the peeps in DC are serious about rooting out the entrenched corruption.

      Sal and Jan’s goose may well be cooked as a result.

      Reply
      1. Geoffrey J. Boulmay, Sr.

        Jan Mann and I met Oct. 12, 2011. LAED prosecutor Albert Winters, Jr. and I met June 12, 2012. FBI and I met January 3, 2013. FBI crossed “archived” LAED court 2004-11 records in my NO time limit BY LAW Butler,Heebe, Hirsch LAED court FRAUD ON THE COURT filings TO State filings,ODC investigation,Judicial misconduct investigations ALL CROSSED TO HEEBE 2012 DEFAMATION FILING NAMING JAN MASSELLI MANN. FBI PROVED BY CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE, JUST FROM 2004-11 laed RECORDS THAT HEEBE’S DEFAMATION FILING CONTINUED PROVED FRAUD ON THE COURT. JAN MANN BLOGGED THREE WEEKS AFTER I MET WITH JAN MANN,”Copeland,Fazzio, Heebe are birds of a feather….. and in Jan. 2012 “Copeland Federal Felon CEO Bryan White’s reinstatement as an attorney by Disciplinary Council is disgusting….” John Horn at Public Responsibility is aware,Dana Boente, FBI Michael Anderson and Malcolm Bezet are all aware. RECORDS ARE PUBLIC RECORDS for anyone to read. Lee Zurik and WWL TV Hammer were e mailed info. PUBLIC NEEDS TO BE MADE AWARE OF JUDICIAL PROCESS CORRUPTION.

        Reply
    2. muspench

      ! Good heavens, I suppose that “fact the info went to the grand jury this morning” would lure them in. :_) Re nolakat60/nolakat, he or she is extremely well informed on all things JP, so I was guessing parish employee, but JP is such an insiders’ domain that private citizen also works. It’s important the investigators understand the incredibly tiny & gossipy nature of the local communities, including that little burg we call New Orleans.

      I don’t know whether the feds would care about employment one way or the other, as long the commenter is not one of theirs, but then I am not yet clear on their general outlook (although you have made very encouraging noises).

      “Eric Holder has to approve media subpoenas”

      Thank you for reminding me; I see Gordon mentioned that and I had overlooked it, so I HOPE I can suppose such approval was received for nola.com’s invitation. But yes, that would mean they’d have to ask the DOJ’s Special Man to let you have it, so to speak. :)

      Re mapping the skeletons: In order to do a thorough job, they’d need to go back to the beginning of Letten’s tenure, at least. But in terms of just the commenting, nola.com has placed a major roadblock in their way, unless they have some kind of page view no one else can access (doubtful). If you look at FSU1982′s index page (http://connect.nola.com/user/FSU1982/index.html), you can see all the story links for old comments recently associated with the remaining user accounts have been replaced with dummy links.

      And given that nola.com’s comments are not available to search engines (and their own search feature doesn’t work either), that’s a real hindrance. Secondly, they need to know that when comments were imported, they went from a system with more visible levels to one with less. So you don’t always see all the comments on a page, to make a long story short, although there’s a way to access them (it’s what I was discussing with Sockpit).

      Cooked goose with bad-apple sauce would make a fitting last repast. :)

      Reply

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