Three year old tip unifies Northshore criminal prosecution and Ex Rel Aldridge

I often save what I’ll term a “fragmentary tip” because of the subject matter. From my standpoint writing for Slabbed this is a warm and fuzzy moment because almost exactly 3 years ago to the day I got a tip alluding to a connection between Northshore businessman Bay Ingram, Ted Cain along with certain high profile targets of a now defunct Federal criminal investigation that I will not name at this time. Armed with that fragmentary tip and with the magic of the right google search strings Slabbed can verify the connection Mssrs. Ingram and Cain mutually share. Let’s begin with some must read links:

Covington businessman Bay Ingram sentenced to 18 months for BP oil spill fraud ~ Katherine Sayre

A major contributor to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s campaign, Ingram was appointed by Jindal to the state Mineral Board in March 2008. A the time he was listed as being the president of Healthcare Holdings of Louisiana and Ingram Investments.

In 2006, Ingram was caught up in a controversy involving the sale of a former golf practice facility along Interstate 12 near Slidell to St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain’s office.

Ingram and frequent business partner Don McMath bought the property for $2 million, then sold it to the sheriff’s office for $2.4 million a few hours later. Strain defended the move as a good value for the money.

Ingram is a man that got around in metro New Orleans business circles and was very active in the healthcare industry on the Northshore including bringing Doctors’ Hospital in Slidell out of bankruptcy with a capital infusion. As a young man in his 20s he owned Bimini Bay in Slidell for those that remember that particular Slidell drinking establishment. Before I make the connection there is some additional vital background that is revealing IMHO:

St. Tammany Parish businessman Bay Ingram, guilty of BP fraud, was target of broader federal probe ~ Katherine Sayre

In the BP case, federal prosecutors say Ingram fabricated documents to grossly over bill the oil giant for a helicopter and helipads used to help the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office do recovery work after the April 2010 oil spill. Ingram invoiced BP for more than $1.4 million despite never receiving proper approval for use of the helicopter. Once BP denied payment, Ingram enlisted the help of then-Sheriff Jack Stephens to press the company and eventually sued BP. But according to the bill of information filed against him, Ingram had falsified flight logs and forged documents provided to BP.

A civil suit involving Ingram that was also frequently mentioned in the press during the his prosecution involved Cypress Pointe Surgical Hospital. The following early account of the suit from the local Hammond newspaper is Joe Fridayesque with a strong emphasis on presenting “journalistic facts” at the expense of analysis: Continue reading “Three year old tip unifies Northshore criminal prosecution and Ex Rel Aldridge”

Hocus pocus medicine or sound science? Scientologists push Ron Hubbard’s methods for treating oil spill victims in St Tammany Parish with the help of DA Walter Reed

Yes siree just when you thought things could not get whackier for this area, we have religion masquerading as medicine or is that medicine masquerading as religion as St Tammany Parish DA Walter Reed has teamed up with local notables to push a benefit dinner for the Gulf Coast Detoxification Project, a new nonprofit organization that uses medical methods espoused by L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology. The New York Press has the skinny on the detoxification efforts of the scientologists there after 9-11:

“I’m not here converting these men and women to Scientology. And I’ve got to tell you something—I’ve been a Scientologist 20 years. In Sacramento I, more than any other Scientologist, got new people into Scientology, me personally. I’m very good at converting people, if I want to.” Jim Woodworth is the director of the New York Rescue Workers’ Detoxification Project, and he is bristling at the suggestion that his program is an arm of the Church of Scientology. He insists that his group is totally secular, stating that a look at his tax returns and a discussion with any of the close to 800 men and women he has treated will bear that out. His mission at the program, also known as Downtown Medical, is to help sick rescue workers—not to make new Scientologists. “My purpose here is the purpose that I stated, to restore the quality of life to the rescue workers. It’s not a religious purpose.”

Those rescue workers I spoke with back up Woodworth’s statements. No patient who participated in the detoxification program offered by Downtown Medical said they were confronted with Scientology, or its beliefs, at any time. In 2003, Downtown Medical, a clinic promoting a program designed to remove impurities from the body through a regimen of sweat and vitamins, opened for business. The project, which focuses solely on those rescue workers who served at Ground Zero after 9/11, is based on the writings of Church of Scientology founder, L. Ron Hubbard, and project leaders publicly acknowledge that Hubbard’s book, Clear Body, Clear Mind, acts as the de facto handbook for the program. Though many past supporters of the program such as the City of New York’s largest firefighters’ union, the Uniformed Firefighters Association, backed off once they learned of Downtown Medical’s ties to Scientology, others have been more than willing to openly show their support, starting with former Manhattan City Council Member Margarita Lopez.

The involvement of DA Reed in the effort is noteworthy as certain local politicians in New York were also on the inside of the rescue worker project as I continue: Continue reading “Hocus pocus medicine or sound science? Scientologists push Ron Hubbard’s methods for treating oil spill victims in St Tammany Parish with the help of DA Walter Reed”

In this episode of Magnum J.D.: My name is Magnum and I do what I want…..

But Houston we have a problem as Continental Casualty Company aired lots of dirty laundry in their declaratory suit against Magnum and his partners at Gauthier Houghtaling and Williams so for the consideration of the Slabbed Nation I’ve uploaded Continental’s suit plus the next 7 docket docs which includes the firm’s insurance policy, the Ocean Therapy Solutions Operating Agreement plus other goodies like the following:

Dear Mr. Jouandot:

Thank you for taking the time to speak to me and discussing Continental Casualty Company’s (“Continental”) coverage position in this matter.

Continental acknowledges that we are in receipt of the lawsuit entitled Spyridon C Contogouris Et Al v Ocean Therapy Solutions LLC . Continental has considered the availability of coverage for this matter under Lawyers Professional Liability Policy No. LAW-268085507, issued to Gauthier Houghtaling & Williams LLP (“the Firm”) for the policy period of February 3, 2011 to February 3, 2012 on a claims made and reported basis (the “Policy”). As you were advised, this will confirm that there is no coverage for this matter as presented. Following is Continental’s coverage position. Continue reading “In this episode of Magnum J.D.: My name is Magnum and I do what I want…..”

It’s official: Bobby Jindal is a flaming idiot. What does that say about the Republicans that blindly followed his bermdoggle?

Bobby "Bermdoggle" Jindal

When you look at the sorry state of the economy over 2 years after it imploded due to Wall Street greed caused in part by the Government abdicating any role in the oversight over complex financial instruments, you really scratch your head when you hear Republican idealogues talk about jump starting the economy by repealing the recently passed financial re-regulation law. It also illustrates what Slabbed author Russell means when he says Republicans are dangerous because their economic theory has become a religion.

Along those lines we have the oil spill and Bobby Jindal’s Bermdoggle, enabled in part by spectacularly bad reporting by media outlets such as CNN and their boy Anderson Cooper, who gave a bunch of self serving crooks and idiots an open mike to push the Bermdoggle, which we have officially found out were worthless. (Here is a bonus link to page one of today’s Sun Herald.)

Jindal was one of the GOP point men on the spill, one of many such elected leaders that used the spill as an opportunity to further their own personal ambitions (See also Boss Hogg and Phil “Lawnmower fumes” Bryant).  Jindal provided leadership alright, Continue reading “It’s official: Bobby Jindal is a flaming idiot. What does that say about the Republicans that blindly followed his bermdoggle?”

"Apparently BP is no more adept at doctoring photos than it is at plugging deep-sea oil leaks"

An inquiring mind (AKA: SLABBED reader) send an email asking, “Why is this not the biggest news in the Country right now?”  Well, one answer could be that Lindsay Lohan’s trip to the pokey has dominated the news and BP isn’t blond.  Another could be that the MSM was relucant to report, “A blogger has noticed that the oil giant altered a photograph of its Houston crisis room, cutting and pasting three underwater images into a wall of video feeds from remotely operated undersea vehicles”.

However, now that the Washington Post has the story, it’s legs are growing:

The altered photo is displayed prominently on the company’s Web site.

An enlarged version of the photograph reveals flaws in the editing job. One of the 10 images sticks down into the head of one of the people sitting in front of the wall, while another piece of the image is separated from the other side of the head by jagged white space. The right side of the same image also hangs down below the area on which the video feeds were projected.

John Aravosis pointed out the alterations Monday evening on his Americablog.com and observed, “I guess if you’re doing fake crisis response, you might as well fake a photo of the crisis response center.” The photo doctoring comes as BP has promised transparency in a bid to regain the public’s trust.

My well-intentioned brother-in-law once used photoshop to trim down a rather plump young family friend whose size was even more pronounced in a group shot of my daughter and similarly slim college friends.  Amazingly, she looked at the finished product and exclaimed, “OMG, I look anorexic!”  IOW, not everyone appreciates the courtesy of a photoshop-altered reality as Wa-Po points out: Continue reading “"Apparently BP is no more adept at doctoring photos than it is at plugging deep-sea oil leaks"”

SLABBED (sorta) Daily – July 21, 2009

Another collection of “news you can use” with the first two items courtesy of observant SLABBED readers:

  • First up, Fish wash up in Gulfport from Monday’s Sun Herald that came with this note – “Maybe some fish got killed, but it’s nothing compared to what the English language suffered” – and this quote“We responded to a fish kill across from the Marriott in Gulfport of pogeys,” said Robbie Wilbur, DEQ communications director.
  • Next.  In the continuing saga of the “sticky note”, the grapevine reported a motion filed by State Farm in the case known as Scruggs I.  Apparently, the “good neighbor” has decided the report might have been among the files removed in the raid of Dick Scruggs’ law office and asked the government to join in the Company’s “search”!
Might it be time for someone to get their prescription refilled? Just saying, this obsession with the “sticky note” is a treatable disorder.  However, even assuming it can be found, the issue before the court is not what happened to the “sticky note” but  what State Farm did with policyholder flood claims.

This was the banner headline in the local Richmond / Rosenberg daily newspaper in the Sunday edition.

He did not know his wife was a man

Now, this story doesn’t take place in Richmond / Rosenberg or even Fort Bend County, but some news days are oh so slow and God knows that people are going to read this story to find out how you could NOT know you were a man married to a man.  Those things, even in Texas, generally don’t happen accidentally. Continue reading “SLABBED (sorta) Daily – July 21, 2009”

Universities in MS, LA, and Texas sell research to BP – and we wonder "why Johnny can't read"

“Without academic integrity, there can be no trust or reliance on the effectiveness, accuracy, or value

of a University’s teaching, learning, research, or public service activities.”

Foreign oil giant BP is on a spending spree, buying Gulf Coast scientists for its private contractor army. Scientists from Louisiana State University, Mississippi State University and Texas A&M have “signed contracts with BP to work on their behalf in the Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) process” that determines how much ecological damage the Gulf of Mexico region is suffering from BP’s toxic black tide. The contract, the Mobile Press-Register has learned, “prohibits the scientists from publishing their research, sharing it with other scientists or speaking about the data that they collect for at least the next three years.”

I’d already picked up the Think Progress post hanging on the Editilla’s awesome new Ladder and was ready to call out Mississippi State when I ran across a Clarion Ledger story suggesting Mississippi’s Commissioner of Higher Education may have set the stage for this breech of academic integrity and involved more than just MSU:

University researchers will spend the months ahead calculating the economic toll of the BP PLC oil spill on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast communities and the state….In May, Higher Education Commissioner Hank Bounds called on the four research universities that make up the Mississippi Research Consortium to form a Deepwater Horizon Response Team to coordinate university efforts.

According to Think Progress, “Bob Shipp, head of marine sciences at the University of South Alabama — whose entire department BP wished to hire — refused to sign over their integrity to the corporate criminal” Continue reading “Universities in MS, LA, and Texas sell research to BP – and we wonder "why Johnny can't read"”

Did BP call the plumber?

Reading Yahoo News,  I discovered I wasn’t the only one wondering why BP didn’t try a tighter cap sooner:

When BP’s newest spill-containment strategy in the Gulf yielded such encouraging initial results, many asked why the oil giant didn’t hit on this solution earlier in the crisis.

The short answer is that the model of the well cap now in place didn’t exist in the earlier stages of the spill saga. But what’s more noteworthy than the timing issue is the likelihood that the device owes its origin to the same authority that any homeowner turns to in order to get a leak plugged: a professional plumber. (emphasis added)

That, at any rate, is the theory that the Christian Science Monitor’s Patrik Jonsson has floated — and the recent sequence of events leading to the plugging of the leak make it seem plausible.

Jonsson reports that six weeks ago, University of California, Berkeley, engineering professor Robert Bea received a late-night call from an anonymous plumber. According to Bea — who had formerly worked as an oil-industry executive before his present gig as an academically backed manager of engineering crises — the “mystery plumber” reached out to him because he had an idea for how to plug BP’s busted well in the Gulf. The plumber provided Bea with sketches of a containment cap that upgraded some of the design flaws in the cap the oil company deployed in its unsuccessful bid to plug the leak several weeks ago.

Continue reading “Did BP call the plumber?”

"Change oil in the Gulf every six months or 15,000 lies" – 5th Circuit panel rejects moratorium

Credit to Andy Borowitz for providing the post title, Fox 8 for the story and the 5th Circuit panel for the decision that brought Borowitz to mind:

A federal appeals court has rejected the U.S. government’s effort to keep a six-month deepwater drilling moratorium in place.

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled soon after a Thursday afternoon hearing in a lawsuit filed by companies that oppose the drilling ban.

The Interior Department said the moratorium was necessary while it studied deepwater drilling risks in the wake of the BP oil spill…

The appeals court ruling found that the Interior Department failed to show the federal government would suffer “irreparable injury” if the ban isn’t restored while it appeals the lower court’s decision.

Law.com nailed it earlier today – 5th Circuit Judges in Drilling Moratorium Case Have Oil Ties, Report Says: Continue reading “"Change oil in the Gulf every six months or 15,000 lies" – 5th Circuit panel rejects moratorium”