LA moves to regulate judicial conduct

BATON ROUGE — Prompted by the recent passage of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s ethics initiatives, the Louisiana Supreme Court on Wednesday adopted a financial disclosure provision for state judges and justices of the peace and their spouses similar to the laws approved for legislators and other public officials. Continue reading “LA moves to regulate judicial conduct”

Breaking News – Siegelman Released on Appeal

Former Alabama Governor Siegelman – lead from the courtroom in shackles – has been released from prison pending the outcome of his appeal. Mississippi lawyer Hiram Eastland, Jr., of Greenwood wrote the brief that won his release. Actual release will take place later today – no later than in the morning – according to Eastland.

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Pleas and fleas keep you scratching

Those speculating about pleas to come from USA v Moultrie and comparing the case to USA v Scruggs may find this perspective on pleading guilty of interest.

Some folks had an itch about Scruggs that they used his indictment to scratch. If there are any fleas on Musgrove, chances are there’ll be a lot more scratching in USA v Moultrie.

Given their history of covering the beef plant failure and tax payer loss, the Clarion-Ledger is certain to keep a focus on these latest developments – Salter alone has three blog posts going.

Georgia on my mind…

Before the ink had time to dry on the last plea in USA v Scruggs, the US Attorney for Northern Mississippi put a sacred cow in the pasture – USA v Moultrie – and boy does this one moo!

Three Georgia businessmen face a 16-count federal indictment involving the defunct Mississippi Beef Processors Plant, including allegations that their company tried to influence a Mississippi public official through campaign contributions. Continue reading “Georgia on my mind…”

The Judicial Bribery Scandal Claims Another Victim: Will the Delaughter Suspension Be Truly Temporary?

This afternoon we learned from our friends at the Clarion Ledger that Judge Bobby Delaughter has acquiesed to a temporary suspension request by the Commission on Judicial Performance. The Jerry Mitchell story at the Clarion Ledger filed this afternoon stated in part:

The state Commission on Judicial Performance asked the state Supreme Court to temporarily remove DeLaughter from the bench until the commission could review two complaints filed against the judge.

The Justice Department’s Public Integrity Division is investigating DeLaughter and others in connection with allegations lawyers schemed to influence him to rule in favor of famed Mississippi lawyer Dickie Scruggs in 2006. Continue reading “The Judicial Bribery Scandal Claims Another Victim: Will the Delaughter Suspension Be Truly Temporary?”

Close call for Paul Prudhomme, Foodies Everywhere Almost Sent into Deep Mourning

I saw this in the Times Picayune. Tragedy almost stikes at the heart of New Orleans cuisine!

Noted New Orleans chef Paul Prudhomme was setting up his cooking tent on the practice range at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, when he felt a sting in his right arm right above his elbow

According to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, Prudhomme shook his clothing, and a .22 caliber bullet fell from his shirt to the ground. Continue reading “Close call for Paul Prudhomme, Foodies Everywhere Almost Sent into Deep Mourning”

Misdeeds at the Louisiana Windpool, Citizens Insurance

I have on occasion lamented the lack of transparency at the Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association.  A visit to their website for example will not reveal the names of the governing board and very little else concerning their operations. What little I know comes from Commissioner Chaney and the occasional mention in the press.  You would think the powers that be behind insurance that costs so much yet pays so well would be proud to put their names behind the organization. I do know that David Treutel does not hide the fact he is on the windpool board. Dave, who hails from the supposed hotbed of anti-insurance land is a respected businessman and active member of the Bay-Waveland civic community. I can’t imagine he would object to being listed as a wind pool board member.

The lack of transparency has it’s bad effects.  Citizen’s insurance over in Louisiana similarly operated free from sunshine and in the dark for years.  It took a herculean effort on part of Legislative Auditor Steve Theriot to peel back the veil of secrecy to reveal what the premium dollars of the Louisiana insurance paying public was buying at Citizens. Continue reading “Misdeeds at the Louisiana Windpool, Citizens Insurance”

Laws Against Judicial Bribery and Jim Hood Redux

Some people like money, some people like power. People that like power go into politics. Me, I like money and money rents power so I get the best of both worlds. -Quote from a highly successful coast businessman to young Sop many years ago.

Early on the “Jim Hood is a crook campaign” struck me as a partisan political affair because no evidence has been produced against Mr Hood except guilt by association. One thing I’ve learned is that politicians of all stripes taking campaign ca$h from less than reputable characters is hardly new. It’s equally clear the goals of the parties to such transaction are manifestly differing; a politician lives to be re elected and ca$h is the mothers milk of that endeavor.  Donors expect their contributions to result in access though not necessarily for help in committing a crime certainly to further their interests.  While I’ll grant when the scandal hits the fan such arrangement do not look good it is also equally true that such arrangements do not imply a conspiracy between the parties in furtherance of criminal activities. In fact the more likely implication is simply the politician needed money and was willing to take it from whomever was willing to contribute. Continue reading “Laws Against Judicial Bribery and Jim Hood Redux”

Al Copeland, Fried Chicken and Courthouse Corruption

A week or so back I was reading some interesting chicken soup recipes on another blog and I chuckled as the outlanders simultaneously displayed both admiration and confusion over the 300 plus year old cultural traditions that make New Orleans and the Mississippi Coast both charming and an enigma to outsiders. In the old days, especially south of I-10 here in Mississippi we viewed ourselves as a world apart from the rest of Mississippi. In Waveland, we considered ourselves a suburb of New Orleans. Many of our Dads commuted daily to New Orleans to work; many New Orleanians has second homes or retired to Waveland, where our population would seemingly double in the Summer.

Most of our cultural traditions we hold close. For example, I never fully explained to Nowdy, for instance, that “Later” is a common substitute for “Good bye” down here. To understand the people and culture you really have to live the experience. Despite Mississippi’s own rich history of outragious politicians they seem minor league in comparison to characters like Earl Long or Leander Perez, who ruled Plaquemines and St Bernard Parishes for many years. Closure from the impacts of Perez family rule would many years later find my best friend escorting his Mom to Buras Pointe a la Hache to collect her share of the oil royalties her cajun family, like so many others, had been swindled out of by the Perez family.

This morning we learn of the passing of another cultural icon, Al Copeland. Al was equal part fried chicken king, speed boat racer, serial spouse and modern day Kris Kringle (not to be confused with Mr. Bingle 😉 ). His name was also associated with judicial bribery long before it became fashionable in Mississippi. Continue reading “Al Copeland, Fried Chicken and Courthouse Corruption”