We’re sitting on several tips here at Slabbed some of which resulted from the visit Nowdy and I paid Saturday to the hive in Jefferson Parish. One tip that stands out is how one or more pedophiles skated in criminal court due to the connections they enjoyed in Parish government. What I don’t know is whether the Montz case is related to Tim Coulon being caught on FBI surveillance tape begging crooked Judge Bodenheimer’s for leniency for his perverted kin. I’m hoping the Slabbed Nation can tell me if parish Attorney Tom Wilkinson’s representation of Montz, a sexual offender that skated, is related to Coulon’s tape recorded conversation with Judge Bodenheimer. In a way the unfolding political corruption scandal is the child of Operation Wrinkled robe which exposed corruption of epic proportions in the 24th Judicial District Courts. Let’s review by visiting the Wiki entry on disgraced former Judge Ronald Bodenheimer:
Ronald Bodenheimer was a judge in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, convicted of various federal charges resulting, in part, from an FBI probe called Operation Wrinkled Robe. Bodenheimer spent more than three years in federal prison, additional time in a half-way house, and was released on September 21, 2007, to serve the remainder of his term under probation under house confinement.
Bodenheimer began his legal career with the state as a prosecutor with the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office. In 1999, Bodenheimer won an election to become judge by defeating Jim Donelon , an established politician with overwhelming support by Jefferson Parish elected officials. Bodenheimer had the reputation of being a “law and order” judge and had been criticized by social activists for his heavy-handed conviction statistics. During his short term on the bench, Bodenheimer set the Jefferson Parish record for the longest prison sentence, 881 years for a remorseless armed robber….. Continue reading “The closer the kin the deeper in. A quick look back at Wrinkled Robe, Tim Coulon, Montz, Tom Wilkinson and corrupt 24th Judicial District judges. UPDATED”
SLABBED covered the cross claim filed on behalf of Scruggs’ co-defendant Steve Patterson in Eastland stands behind Motion to Dismiss – Greer files cross-claim for Patterson in Wilson v Scruggs. Alan Lange at Y’all Politics has a post up on the Response from Dick Scruggs: Scruggs denies Steve Patterson, also denies bribing Judge DeLaughter . I have no doubt Lange and I share a common commitment to justice and factual reporting even when we hang our hats on different facts, their meaning, and context. However, there’s no disputing these facts about the Scruggs’ response:
In…[the cross-claim]…Patterson’s attorney writes:
4. Plaintiff’s Complaint alleges that Scruggs is guilty of bribing Judge DeLaughter, and defrauding the plaintiff, by and through Peters, and that those actions caused a favorable result in the Wilson case. Patterson had no involvement at all in those circumstances other than introducing Scruggs to the local counsel, Peters. Patterson received no funds, was not compensated in any way, shape or form and is therefore guilty of no active negligence, but at most, passive negligence (which,he denies), and was completely unaware of the possibility that Scruggs would allegedly perform any, criminal act of any sort to bring potential liability upon himself and others.
However Scruggs responds:
4. The allegations contained in the first sentence of paragraph 4 are denied. Scruggs lacks information sufficient to admit or deny the remaining allegations contained in paragraph 4. Continue reading “Y’all reports Scruggs denies bribing Judge DeLaughter in Response to Patterson’s cross-claim in Wilson v Scruggs”
Prosecutors have used the following subterfuge with alarming success: Threaten a terrified white-collar defendant with a long jail term in a maximum-security prison with violent offenders, unless he or she pleads guilty to honest-services fraud. In return, the defendant will receive a much-reduced sentence in a relatively cushy federal prison camp.
In this way, prosecutors are guaranteed a conviction. They also don’t have to run the risk of a trial by jury. Even judges have become irrelevant, because they essentially rubberstamp the prison sentence the prosecutors recommend. Cagily, prosecutors, in effect, have usurped the entire legal process for themselves.
Although the columnist (h/t Huffington Post) used far fewer words, his take on honest-services fraud is a summary of the Motion to Dismiss the Indictment for Outrageous Government Conduct filed in USA v Scruggs – which, in turn, brought to mind the Lippman quote:
We are all captives of the picture in our head – our belief that the world we have experienced is the world that really exists.
Unflattering pictures of Dick Scruggs and Paul Minor held some very powerful heads captive. All it took was for each to commit Continue reading “We are all captives of the picture in our head… – so, whose head pictured honest-services fraud?”
…if this Court does find Wilson’s Amended Complaint deficient in any respect Wilson respectfully prays that he be given opportunity to amend his complaint to cure whatsoever deficiencies the Court might find.
While team Wilson was praying Judge Hittner would prescribe a cure, Defendant Steve Patterson’s attorney, Hiram Eastland, filed a Rebuttal declaring the deficiencies fatal.
Plaintiff’s opposition fails to resolve any of the shortcomings addressed in Mr.Patterson’s Motion to Dismiss. From denying the existence of a heightened pleading standard for fraud, to reiterating the same legally insufficient factual allegations, Wilson can point to nothing that would save his complaint from dismissal.
After finding there was “nothing that would save” Wilson’s complaint, Eastland eviscerated Wilson’s Opposition to Patterson’s Motion for Dismissal.
Plaintiff has failed to shed any new light on his Amended Complaint that would allow it to endure against Mr. Patterson. All of the fatal flaws that are reiterated in this reply exist for a reason: this is simply not a RICO case.
Eastland’s arguments, while specific to Patterson, have implications for other defendants and/or other litigation,, particularly those where the distinction between unethical and unlawful conduct has been blurred : Continue reading “Is there a doctor in the court? Patterson”
Big football weekend here in the land of the slabbed; but, no sports channel was covering the settlement game – and one is definitely playing in Wilson v Scruggs.
Almost simultaneously with their settlement with Team Scruggs, Team Wilson filed a weak response to co-defendant Steve Patterson’s Motion to Dismiss – an obvious incentive to settle.
Apparently, it was also incentive for Eastland to stick with the playbook while co-counsel Greer went with the legal equivalent of wild Rebel and filed across-claim for Patterson that suggests there is still more to learn about the money paid Ed Peters:
Patterson’s only involvement in the circumstances surrounding this action was Continue reading “Eastland stands behind Motion to Dismiss – Greer files cross-claim for Patterson in Wilson v Scruggs”
With the Washington Post reporting Rove Had Heavier Hand in Prosecutor Firings Than Previously Known, today’s SLABBED Daily looks at the firing of federal prosecutors from the perspective of all politics is local.
…Rove described himself as merely passing along complaints by senators and state party officials to White House lawyers…
The story focuses on three of the nine U.S. Attorneys fired in 2006 – a group that includes Missouri’s Todd Graves, known to SLABBED readers as counsel for Zach Scruggs in the case that became USA v Scruggs, Scruggs, and Backstrom.
Graves, the U.S. attorney in Missouri, was removed after staff members of Sen. Christopher S. “Kit” Bond (R) repeatedly complained to political aides and lawyers in the White House, according to interviews and the inspector general. Rove, who had done political consulting work for Bond earlier in their careers, said in the interview that he had become aware of the turmoil on the eve of President Bush’s visit to the state.
Graves brings the story home; but Dunn Lampton actually brought it closer. Lampton, who until his recent resignation had been U.S. Attorney for Mississippi’s Southern District since 2000, was once slated for a pink slip – and that brings us full circle to Rove’s testimony suggesting all politics is local. Continue reading “SLABBED Daily: July 30 all politics is local”
Balducci, who was questioned as part of the unrelated Eaton v. Frisby lawsuit, is expected to testify against DeLaughter, who goes on trial Aug. 17 in U.S. District Court in Oxford on corruption charges. DeLaughter has insisted he is innocent, following the law in his rulings.
The sweet potato king is back in the news – exactly how seems to be the question:
Contacted for comment about the deposition, DeLaughter’s attorney, Thomas Durkin of Chicago, remarked, “I find it very curious how a sealed document ended up in the hands of the press, and it’s more proof to me that money is the root of all evil. People will do a lot of things and say a lot of things to protect their money. Someone is obviously attempting to poison the jury venire.”
Even more curious than a sealed document ending up in the hands of the press is the difference between the babbling Balducci in the recorded conversations of Scruggs I and the standard-English speaking witness he became as a witness.
And, then, there’s the matter of the Motion to Dismiss the Indictment for Government Misconduct Occurring Before the Grand Jury. Continue reading “duck, duck, goose – Balducci taps Delaughter”
After neither of the two posts I had up yesterday morning were on MRGO, Editilla sent me 100-year flood protection not enough for New Orleans, new report says just as I was beginning my very late in the day SLABBED Daily with the latest filing on MRGO docket.
Much to my surprise, there was nothing new on the docket yesterday when I checked early in the evening. However, the Times Picayune ran Corps faulted for failing to mitigate MR-GO in this morning’s edition:
… University of California-Berkeley civil engineering professor Bob Bea testified in federal court on Friday…Bea, a longtime critic of the corps, said a corps-designed levee along the MR-GO would have been 2 feet to 5 feet higher, if the huge hill of dirt and clay hadn’t squeezed some of its soil into the canal channel like toothpaste being squeezed out of a tube with its end cut off…
…The result was a canal that was 70 feet deep in some areas and had expanded from its authorized 650-foot width to as much as 3,700 feet across in some spots.
“And so it’s a man-made circle,” Bea said. “You push it higher, it squeezes more in. It would be a nice dredging contract to have.”
Yesterday’s testimony also had a light moment when Bea compared the process to Sisyphus, a figure in Greek mythology who was doomed to roll a huge boulder up a hill. Continue reading “SLABBED Daily – April 25”
Patsy Brumfield of the Journal reports on today’s events in the just-us-justice system of Mississippi.
Timothy Balducci and Steven Patterson will do prison time, despite their cooperation into the infamous conspiracy to bribe Circuit Judge Henry Lackey of Calhoun City.
Their sentences were set today by Senior U.S. District Judge Neal Biggers Jr. today at the federal courthouse in Oxford.
• Balducci, formerly of New Albany, will serve 24 months in prison. Balducci was given no fine, because records showed he could not pay one.
• Patterson of New Albany will serve 24 months in prison. Patterson was also given a $150,000 fine.
Justice or just-us-justice? It’s really hard for me to say – not for lack of thought or thought-provoking comment from others here on the blog and off-blog as well. However, there often is a difference between justice as commonly defined and the sometimes just-us-justice here – a difference that is one of the many that make Mississippi the “State of Paradox”.
We’ve birthed the blue; performed the first successful heart transplant: and, bottled the firt coca-cola – but even considering USA v Scruggs and all its implications, we are better people in a better place with a better legal system than that of our past. Some would disagree but none could argue the point with fact.
Lack of fact has never been a barrier for the low-literate but language-rich story-telling population of the “State of Paradox”. Here, the direct descendants of the first Mr. Right (fn:Always) and his Mrs. (nee Promise you-won’t-tell-another-living-soul But) have informed and entertained for generations. In doing so, these story-tellers have defined and devined how the outside world views Mississippi and distorted the outside world to those here.
Just-us-justice established the practice of selective disgrace during a period in the history of the “State of Paradox” when it was not disgraceful for one man to own another – just doing business. As the then wealth of the State evolved into generational poverty, people began to trade on favor – a transaction that makes one man’s word another man’s bondage with the ever present threat of public disgrace from a legal flogging. Continue reading “Mississippi’s just us justice – final”