Deconstructing the Denardo Payroll Fraud: The Mechanics Require Collusion

So who are we to believe folks, the 2016 Auditors or the Outgoing City Attorney? This is what the draft 2016 audit report says:

Excerpt from City of Bay St Louis draft 2016 audit.
Excerpt from City of Bay St Louis draft 2016 audit.

And per Cassandra Favre this what Board Attorney Trent Favre said the FBI said at the last City Council meeting:

Their findings were that fraud had occurred, that the fraud was committed by Chief De Nardo through the processes of payroll to his personal account. They cleared Patricia De Nardo in their investigation, she was not complicit in the fraud. They determined that there was no other person involved in the fraud.

Did the FBI truly tell Trent Favre that Denardo acted alone with “no other person involved in the fraud”? My informed opinion is no way folks as Favre was whitewashing what happened and blamed the dead man, which is easy to do considering the circumstances plus he is contradicted by the City’s own audit firm who used the term “collusion” to describe the events.

Slabbed New Media is conducting its own investigation into the events leading to the suicide of Mike Denardo as a police department that was seething with corruption imploded under the weight of years of lies and deceit. I have interviewed sources close to the investigation as well as several former City employees that have requested anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the subject matter and fear of reprisal. I also spent the better part of Wednesday at the Bay St Louis Council chambers combing through years of official Council minutes. I’d like to personally thank Mayor Mike Favre, who ultimately declined to be interviewed about this topic but who ensured the complete and total cooperation of the City and Deputy Council Clerk Caitlin Thompson, who assisted on Wednesday fetching the 8 or 9 minute books. The City Council has two keepers in Council Clerk Tilley and her Deputy Clerk Ms. Thompson.

Ultimately I scheduled payroll transactions that were done in Ms. Patricia Denardo’s name stretching back to 2014 and it was very clear from the annual salary ordinances that she was being paid back to the previous City Council in 2013. Those early records were fragmentary but I still managed to schedule 65 paychecks totaling $78,209.71 gross payroll that were issued in her name. We also obtained Ms. Denardo’s salary history from FEMA dating to 2008 which indicate she started with FEMA in late 2007 at GS-11 on the federal salary scale. Notably Ms. Denardo’s own LinkedIn page contains work dates that correspond to the salary information Slabbed obtained via FOIA.

There is much work that remains to duplicate the FBI investigation within the constraints of not being able to obtain warrants so this project is ongoing but we will not stop until the Citizens of the Bay St Louis get some much needed transparency on how the City ran under former Mayor Les Fillingame.

To understand how the auditors came to their conclusion the Payroll Fraud involved collusion is to understand how the City processes its bi-weekly payroll. It is also clear that certain personnel actions taken by new Mayor Mike Favre directly relate to what I think the FBI really told him and the City Attorney a couple of months ago. Continue reading “Deconstructing the Denardo Payroll Fraud: The Mechanics Require Collusion”

Slabbed Quietly Turned 10…

It sure did folks, a few days ago. Such a milestone deserves a post of some kind because it has been quite the journey.

From being the bane of State Farm and Allstate’s existence after Katrina, causing a major national media shit storm back during the oil spill, unraveling Aaron Broussard’s bribery and money laundering schemes in Nova Scotia to being a major contributor here at home in the DMR scandal along with bringing some much needed transparency to the Bay, Slabbed has been a true trail blazer on the local journalism scene.

And then there is the fight to tell the story but that is another post as we mark 10 years.

Who Dropped the Dime on Chief Denardo? Inquiring Minds Want to Know….

Of all the work she has ever done covering Bay St Louis, yesterday’s story by Cassandra Favre on the latest in the Denardo payroll fraud saga may be her best work yet. And when you couple it with the piece Robin Fitzgerald wrote for the Sun Herald a picture is painted that is both interesting and curious. First a snippet from Cassandra:

Favre said that someone from within the city anonymously reported the fraud to the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office. After the report, the sheriff’s office in conjunction with the FBI conducted an investigation, he said.

“During this period of time, we were asked to basically stand down and let them conduct their investigation,” Favre said. “About a month ago, two months ago, we were contacted by the FBI and asked to attend a meeting. They advised us that they had concluded this investigation. Their findings were that fraud had occurred, that the fraud was committed by Chief De Nardo through the processes of payroll to his personal account. They cleared Patricia De Nardo in their investigation, she was not complicit in the fraud. They determined that there was no other person involved in the fraud. He was approving payroll for Mrs. DeNardo, though she had not worked.”

It’s almost as if the payroll transactions were completed by a magical process that only Chief Denardo controlled yet someone else in the City clearly knew what Chief was doing thus the dime drop. How about a snippet from Robin’s story:

“The FBI determined he and he alone did the payroll fraud and gun sales,” Favre said.

The term “heresay” comes to mind as Robin also snagged a quote from Mayor Favre: Continue reading “Who Dropped the Dime on Chief Denardo? Inquiring Minds Want to Know….”

Other Voices | Windy Taylor: Singing River Health System Retirees Need Your Help

I am a former employee of Singing River Health System that is vested in the pension plan. Three thousand plus pension plan enrollees and I need help. Why you may ask? Because the Attorney General of the State of Mississippi, Jim Hood, is allowing our employer and holder of our retirement fund to rob us of our retirement and the cover up of the missing $150 million dollars that should have been deposited into the pension trust fund between 2009 – 2014.

Now we are all losing our retirement. The hospital is county owned and the second largest employer in the Jackson County Mississippi. SRHS has “flipped” an attorney with 17 plan participates into forcing a class action suit on us that has the effect of giving the people who spent or took our retirement a get out of jail free card, to never be charged for any wrong doing. This is the crime! The hospital administrator and the County have called all their favors in and apparently, the Attorney General owed someone a favor. This is dirty politics at its best.

Let me explain the “flipped”. A law firm representing 17 clients was chosen by Singing River Health System and various judges in the county to be the law firm to represent all pension participants even though one group of us, 261 strong, have our own attorneys who have actively fought for us in State Court, unlike the chosen firm. We are not being properly represented by this ‘chosen’ firm. The ‘chosen’ firm sold out the retirees in exchange for a promised $6.5 million attorney fee from Singing River Hospital System approved by the Jackson County Board of Supervisors.

This scandal began long ago, in the early 1980s when Singing River Health System (the Jackson County owned hospital) opted out of PERS and began their own pension plan. Employees funded the plan at 3% of their paycheck and after vesting (10 years of full-time employment) they were guaranteed a pension for life. Upon their death, they could elect to have a spousal beneficiary should they decide to only take 80% at the time of their retirement, and many did in order to protect their spouses.

Singing River Health System was supposed to contribute to the Plan “from time to time” in an amount determined by the actuaries as to what was needed to keep the Plan solvent. In 2009, Singing River Health System quit funding the Plan altogether. To hide that fact, they mailed each participant an individualized beautiful printed glossy pamphlet each year showing in what great shape their Plan was and how much the hospital “contributed for that year”. These so called account statements were nothing but a pack of lies. Continue reading “Other Voices | Windy Taylor: Singing River Health System Retirees Need Your Help”

PSA: City of Bay St Louis Needs Attorney

Via The City’s Facebook Page:

The City of Bay St. Louis is seeking to hire an attorney. The candidate will Work under the direction of the Mayor & City Council. The City Attorney is the legal adviser & attorney for all officials, officers, & departments of the City & represents the City in all litigation & proceedings. Work involves drafting & reviewing ordinances, resolutions, policies & procedures, & contracts prior to consideration by the City Council to ensure compliance with state, federal, & local laws. Emphasis is placed on municipal law, civil code enforcement, land use, Zoning, labor relations, & legislative interpretation. Duties include researching / preparing oral & written legal opinions for City Council, Mayor, Department Heads, staff, committees, commissions & boards, & preparing city ordinances, resolutions, contracts & other legal documents involving the City. Should have 10 years of experience. Must have knowledge of labor relations, civil litigation, municipal, state, federal and constitutional law affecting municipal government. Must be skillful in managing situations requiring diplomacy, fairness, firmness & sound judgement, providing coaching to improve staff performance & understanding / applying City policies & procedures. Doctor of jurisprudence degree from an accredited law school. 10 years experience in municipal law is preferred. Must be licensed by the State Bar of Ms. Resumes & cover letter should be mailed or hand – delivered to the office of the Mayor, City Hall, PO Box 2550, Bay St. Louis, MS 39520 by December 13 , 2017 for consideration.

Jamie Miller leaves DMR to head to the MDA, Replaced by Joe Spraggins

Makes you wonder whether any of Miller’s fabled staff such as the Cake Eater and Doughnut Girl will be joining Miller in Jackson or if his replacement Joe Spraggins is still moonlighting with Ted Cain’s management company.

Miller leaving DMR ~ Jackson Jambalaya

Looking forward I’m wondering if Spraggins inherits Miller’s brand new tricked out SUV and his slightly used Contender Fishing Boat?

Pascagoula Mayor Dane Maxwell brags to local media about upcoming meeting with President Pussy Grabber

Inquiring minds want to know if Maxwell is taking his wife or young female relatives to meet with Trump up in Jackson or if they need any furniture?

I moved on her, actually. You know, she was down on Palm Beach. I moved on her, and I failed. I’ll admit it……I did try and fuck her. She was married………and I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said, “I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture.” I took her out furniture — I moved on her like a bitch. But I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look…….Yeah, that’s her. With the gold. I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything……Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.”

File this one under birds of a feather…….

Other Voices | Tom Callaghan: War Within a War

There are two wars going on in the United States right now.

The Big War is the war to get rid of Trump. It’s pretty much leaderless and going nowhere while the House and Senate are in Republican hands AND Trump’s job approval numbers are above 30%. His numbers have been as low as 33% a couple of times. If they get down around 25%…and stay there for a while…Impeachment and Removal are possible.

The Little War is, so far, a propaganda war to lay the foundation for a “preemptive” strike against Iran. The leader of this effort is Sheldon Adelson. The man is a force of nature and not to be underestimated in any way.

Adelson writes checks in $30 Million increments to politicians he likes. When organizations he supports don’t do what he wants he starts new organizations that will. He has moved conservative poltics in both Israel and the US to the Right on national security matters. In the future, textbooks on Political Science will be divided into two parts: Before Adelson and After Adelson. He is that impactful. Seriously.

When the history of the first thirteen months of the Trump Presidency (up to February 22, 2018) is written these people will have major roles:

Donald Trump. (aka The Moron)

Rupert Murdoch. (aka Trump’s Indispensable Man)

Benjamin Netanyahu. (aka The Insufferable One )

Sheldon Adelson. (aka The Boss Of Bosses)

Jared Kushner. (aka Uriah Creep)

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. (aka The Eagle Scout)

Sen. Tom Cotton. (aka Robespierre)

CIA Director Mike Pompeo. (aka Jaba The Hut)

Mike Flynn. (aka Dr. Strangelove)

Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller. (aka The Wild Card and The Last Best Hope)

CONCLUSION

Here’s my assessment on how these two wars are going to play out in the period between now and Trump’s thirteen month anniversary…Feb. 22, 2018.

The people who are sympathetic to building a case for Iranian misbehavior and, ultimately, a “preemptive” war in Iran (Kushner, Netanyahu and Adelson) are not happy with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Tillerson was an Eagle Scout. That means something. Seriously. They don’t view him as a reliable warmonger. They’re probably right. If the facts to justify military action aren’t there, Tillerson won’t pretend that they are. Continue Reading……..