The Public has a right to know that the $20 million KATRINA settlement with the Levee Boards and their insurer is corrupt and fraudulent.
There are several “back-stories” to this settlement, none of which has been reported by this newspaper.
The Public needs to know that this settlement came about after the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that the United States of America (acting through the Army Corps of Engineers) had immunity from any and all claims for damages arising out of KATRINA. And since “Plaintiffs’ Liason Counsel” Bruno, and the cabal he is a part of, failed to sue the State of Louisiana, because they had secretly represented the State in presenting the State’s $200 billion claim against the United States, the cabal was left holding an empty bag when the United States was determined to be immune from suit.
So how was the cabal going to recover its “out-of-pocket” costs incurred in fighting the Federal Government for several years (all for “nothing”, as it turned out)?
The insurance policies issued to the Levee Boards were worth, at a bare minimum, $20 million, or so. Accordingly, the cabal made a “grab” for those funds, which would have served several purposes: (a) the $20 million would reimburse the cabal its “costs”, and do so in a way that (b) did not cause the cabal the obvious ethical problem of pursuing its own client, the State, for damages (the Levee Boards being State entities). The cabal also had to be very careful that their “secret” client, the State, wasn’t implicated for more than “one policy limit” of $20 million. Luckily for the cabal, the Levee Boards and their insurer decided it was best if they would “play along”, but only if they could obtain a full and complete Release in exchange for one policy limit of $20 million. The alternative was years of uncertain litigation. Continue reading “Other Voices | Ashton O’Dwyer: The Public Has a Right to Know What’s Behind the Curtain on the Katrina Settlement”
On Monday morning, September 19, 2005, O’Dwyer drove to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and filed the very first federal class action lawsuit on behalf of victims of Katrina in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Civil Action No. 05-4181 [PDF]. That evening, he entertained two house guests, one of whom would retire for the night in a hammock on his patio because the lack of air conditioning left the house too hot for comfortable sleep. Using a generator to power a refrigerator and small television set, O’Dwyer rounded out the day by watching television on his patio with a glass of wine.
What happened shortly after midnight is best described by O’Dwyer in his own words, below, as adapted from Civil Action No. 06-7280 [PDF].
Yep and I hear the inhabitants of the O’Dwyer batture property are straight piping their sewage into the river just upstream from the OPSWB’s fresh water intake. For those that missed it last September NPR had the story.
If you think about it folks this really is an elite group: James Gill, Jason over at AZ and me. I’ll add that Mr Letten has been shown lots of tough love in the comments here on his handling of the local political corruption scandals though I have a far more moderate viewpoint there. But in AROD’s case there is no excuse folks. And the local AUSA that did the dirty work on the appellate level for Team Letten is up for a lifetime appointment on the 5th Circuit. Hopefully somebody in the Senate will ask for an explanation. I think the public deserves one.
Anyone inclined to root for the underdog will have to rejoice that Ashton O’Dwyer has finally won a round. Dogs don’t get much more under than O’Dwyer, who before Katrina was a well regarded maritime lawyer with a leading New Orleans firm. Now he is on his own, bankrupt and banned from both state and federal courts. He has, though never convicted, been jailed twice. He is entirely responsible for his own downfall, but it would have been a punishment too far had the feds succeeded in their attempt to convict him of a crime that carries a maximum sentence of five years.