Le diable envoy

Jefferson Parish judge finds JEDCO emails are public documents ~ Paul Purpura

Several of my peeps, very well placed in the JEDCO community, are urging me to send a PRR on the Henry Shane-Lucien Gunter email flap for Slabbed New Media. I also happen to know a public records expert or two….maybe even three. With that in mind I and others are wondering what makes Judge Ansardi’s decision in Shane v Parish of Jefferson a “first of its kind” ruling.  My understanding is there is a ruling out of the LA 1st Circuit directly on point. First of its kind in the 24th JDC/LA 5th Circuit maybe, but the jurisprudence is there. I wish Paul had elaborated more on that as I have a heightened curiosity on this general topic.

With that said and now that certain redactions are in order per Judge Ansardi, I’ll share that the most vexing thing in my expansive PRR on the bad old days during the Goatherderian reign of terror last year was this exact issue.  Ken Krobert at the Parish Attorney’s office and I would politely agree to disagree and move along but I was well aware that certain redactions were going to be applied to the documents.

In fact this is what made this whole Henry Shane – Lucien Gunter email thing smell to me was the fact that Team Foshee has absolutely no problem telling Slabbed no on this issue.  In fact I submit they have every incentive to do just that as being seen cuddled up too closely with Slabbed would be frowned upon by the 5AM Potty Krewe on the Parish Council.  The fact I got my docs, with certain redactions, proves the Parish Attorney is committed to following the law which is why the gang on 7 greenlit those emails between Gunter and Shane to begin with.  I hope the taxpayers can recover the costs of defending these frivolous suits from Team Shane.

So a fair read of the Judge’s decision would mean that if Shane said in emails that certain potential candidates were eliminated from consideration due to race, color and/or creed those names would all be fair game. Or is his ruling confined to declared candidates?  The devil is in those details.  I know this folks, this is how the public ended up with Pat Tovrea on the School Board.

6 thoughts on “Le diable envoy”

  1. My initial response to Deborah Foshee being appointed as Parish Attorney was one of disappointment. But I will eat a modest amount of crow, and acknowledge that I just may have been wrong about her. She seems to be doing a pretty good job.

    1. As the first professional Parish Attorney in Jefferson Parish history, she has an impossible job with the main fringe benefit being you have no life either. Her clients are a bunch of self serving prima donnas. Following the law and dealing with low life scudda beans like LaGasse and deadbeats like Chris Roberts has got to be quite the balancing act. Regardless she has earned my respect.

      1. Don’t forget also a principled attorney working for most local governmets w/o civil service protection is victim to having to practice Orwellian “doublethink.”(In reality, triplethink.) You as an attorney are required to keep “confidences” at the same time you are instructed you are a public servant owing a duty to the public AND an officer of the court duly bound not to work a fraud on the court.
        The usual result is the attorney becomes as enriched through the ffriends and family plan like his masters, or gets unceremoniously fired & blackballed. Take your pick of poison.

        1. @Empire: you hit the nail on the head. For decades the JP Parish Attorney made it his business to protect the people who controlled his employment and not the citizens of JP. He chose to allow graft and corruption hoping he could skate by under color of attorney-client privilege. And so the Great Frauds were perpetrated. It will continue as long as John Young and others retain ‘resignation letters’ to be used against their subordinate employees if and when the employees refuse to knuckle under to unscrupulous politicians. It will also continue until the Parish Attorney and all PA employees are given Civil Service protection. Checks and balances. There are none presently in JP.

  2. My first read of Ansardi’s ruling was a rut roh moment for transparency. It remains to be seen if the TP is PRR law astute enough to demand that only the most private information is redacted. Items such as home addresses, home phone numbers, HIPPA, Social Security numbers etc should be redacted for public and private individuals. The law does not read that private individuals who deal with public entities have an exemption but that their personal info is protected. Therein lies my objection to Ansardi’s ruling. Anything which goes into or through public entities and / or public info that goes into or through private entities is subject to Public Record law. Period. The La Secy of State should weigh in since he is the enforcer/advisor on all things Record Management for public entities.

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