From my comment on Slabbed solves the mystery on the shores of the Tusket River in Nova Scotia as we reveal the Trout Point connection to the Jefferson Parish Political Corruption Scandal
Paying people as Paralegals that did not report to work has been a time-honored practice dating back to the Tim Coulon days as Parish Prez. Of course we all know Tom Wilkinson was Coulon’s guy for Parish attorney.
Slabbed of course was on this topic “first with the most” way back in February 2010 courtesy of Telemachus when the name Paul Connick Sr entered the lexicon of the Slabbed.
To their credit Channel 6, working quietly in the background on this matter in July of last year checked in with this:
But Parker Broussard isn’t the only one on the list with political ties in Jefferson Parish. Also listed as a paralegal is Paul Connick Sr. Continue reading Worth repeating take note: Let’s talk Paul Connick Sr. and his son Dutchie Connick
In our coverage of Jefferson Parish Government we’ve run across the name of former Jefferson Parish CFO Gwen Bolotte a few times, normally with me expressing the opinion she needed to be fired for not doing her job as Parish Finance Director. I termed her a doormat in fact and that is a good description of her job performance in both the Performing Arts fiasco and the Parish’s ham handed dealings with Waste Management in trying to cancel the contract with them so that the Parish’s garbage could be hauled to the River Birch Landfill at considerably more costs to parish residents. I mention this because Bob Ross has a curious story in today’s Times Picayune that allows John Young and Chris Roberts to capitalize on Bolotte’s departure for purely self-serving public relations purposes. Roberts using this issue is particularly sickening given he employes the Master of Disaster Deano Bonano as a council aid at a nice 6 figure salary despite Bonano deserving the same fate as Bolotte. Instead Roberts recycled him from John Young’s chop shop. First lets visit with Ross and his story for the Sunday Picayune:
Bolotte’s decision is more troubling, Roberts said, given her position as chief financial officer in Parish President John Young’s administration.
“Gwen is a CPA. She has a fiduciary duty to hold her ground in certain situations. I would expect our CFO — and I’ve told this to John already — that if she’s put in a compromising position that she knows may or may not be in the best interest of the parish, that she make a decision to stand up and say: ‘We have questions about this and I’m not comfortable, and we need further documentation.'”
Turning a “blind eye” to Whitmer’s order, as Roberts described Bolotte’s reaction, was not in Jefferson’s best interests. “That’s a real problem,” he said. “How many time have you heard her say over the years, ‘I was instructed to do that by my superiors.'”
Young generally agreed with Roberts’ assessment.
“Hindsight is 20-20, but if she had questions, she shouldn’t have processed the check,” he said recently, before Bolotte announced her retirement. “I can tell you this: We made sure Gwen knows that nothing will be paid without proper documentation. That will not happen again. Also, nothing will be paid without accounting doing the proper checks and balances.”
Both men act as if there was not an existing policy to never pay expenses without documentation in Jefferson Parish and of course there was and is such a policy. Continue reading The Times Picayune tackles a topic that has appeared here many times: A why Gwen Bollotte should have been fired years ago update.
Actually the annual audit the parish pays for should identify all the major internal control problems in the Parish’s financial system so the latest news the Parish is looking to hire a CPA firm to do what their auditor should already be doing strikes me as a bit of a waste. And besides the Legislative auditor made clear in their report the source of the problems with the internal controls system as it related to the Jefferson Parish Performing Arts Center derived from management overrides of existing policies and procedures, including Cynthia Lee Sheng’s council mate Elton Lagasse pushing thru a bogus change order via Tim Whitmer that included a huge delay claim.
That said it helps to have a CFO with some sack and both the Waste Management lawsuit and the Performing Arts fiasco clearly indicated Gwen Bolotte was a highly paid doormat. It was an open secret that John Young was looking to upgrade the position and he got his way as Bolotte has taken it to the house.
We’ll keep an eye out on this.
Folks monitoring a PACER docket is sometimes an interesting exercise in compare and contrast. For example earlier this week Paul Rioux at the T-P wrote a PACER based story on the latest newsworthy developments on the Parish’s suit against Waste Management. The long and short of it is both parties want the July 11 trial postponed as their mutual love and affection continues to grow. But there was something in Rioux’s story that bothered me to the point where I pondered the subject matter over the past couple of days before writing a post on the topic. Two sentences in two paragraphs in fact:
Young’s administration had not responded by Tuesday evening to a request for information on how much the suit has cost the parish. Margie Seemann, vice chairwoman of Citizens for Good Government, said the parish’s response to her recent public records request pegs the legal bill at $250,000.
Seemann has repeatedly urged the parish to drop the suit and cancel the River Birch contract. But parish officials have said they are continuing the suit in hopes of obtaining a court order declaring the River Birch deal null and void.
I’ve been around the block long enough to know a journalistic dig when I see one. Continue reading Modular News generated on demand: Waste Management and the Parish are still holding hands…..
Folks I’ve been dutifully collecting links and today I’ll solve the small mystery of why I tagged Gambit man Clancy Dubos with my Sunday music dedication and hopefully provide additional fodder for the grist mill. Let’s start with this story from Paul Rioux from last Friday where Chris Roberts, likely shaken from his second appearance before the federal grand jury that is exploring the corruption scandal which erupted under his watch on the parish Council proclaims the River Birch contract will finally be cancelled. From the sound of the comments to the story, the public isn’t buying Robert’s bullshit or his sudden deathbed conversion to a twisted sort of good government activist, not after he spent the last 2 years trying his best to line Fred Heebe’s pockets with taxpayer loot.
Next up is Rich Rainey, who let us know Sunday what we mostly already knew that the federal investigation is casting a very wide net into the multiple scams run by Jefferson Parish politicos and certain parish venders. Rich was kind enough to acknowledge the rampant rumor mill though not specifically my bad prediction of indictments by last Friday, which we all know did not happen.
I’ll add indictment rumors are notoriously unreliable though Vinny Mosca posited his estimate of the accuracy rate of the rumor mill at around 50%. The biggest piece of news that was missed by everyone in Rich’s article is that Broussard has a new lawyer, Robert Jenkins, who evidently has replaced the ailing Mike Ellis. Have the folks at Chehardy Sherman abandoned AB? There is a back story on this developement that is worth knowing.
As for AB’s new lawyer Robert Jenkins, he was described this way by a member of the Slabbed legal team: Continue reading Boys amongst men: I promise Mommy I’ll be a good boy from now on. A Jefferson Parish Council federal grand jury corruption subpoena and Waste Management lawsuit update.
Rut roh. But look at who the Judge and Magistrate are. Lemelle, who could fuck up a one man rock fight, and Roby, whose husband reportedly has been under investigation by the FBI, which is why she has recused herself from federal criminal matters.
I’ll let our readers identify the nukes including who has been left out and why that is important. Fire 1, Waste Management’s counterclaim, which could “cost Jefferson Parish millions” according to the consensus of the Slabbed legal team, especially as more of the shit house details come out on how the River Birch “fishing expedition” was conducted.
Fire 2: Like the FBI, Waste Management is firmly grabbing hold of Team Heebe’s balls. Here is the River Birch motion to quash a Waste Management subpoena of their records. I for one, would love to see the contents of the Dutchie Connick file identified in the Government’s filings in the related criminal investigation. Time will tell what River Birch is trying to hide from Waste Management in the civil case.
We’ll be doing a couple of follow-up posts as time allows.
Does your social network matter? My own opinion, as it relates to the Jefferson Parish Political Corruption Scandal is it fundamentally does as some very hard decisions must be made on whom to prosecute and for what crimes. Before I get into the details of some information I’ve been holding for several weeks now we must set up some very important concepts beginning with cognitive bias which is defined as distortions in the way people perceive reality, and in particular a subset known as Group-serving bias and one of that subset’s progeny, Ingroup bias:
Ingroup bias is the preferential treatment people give to those whom they perceive to be members of their own groups.
Experiments in psychology have shown that group members will award one another higher pay-offs even when the “group” they share seems random and arbitrary, such as having the same birthday, having the same final digit in their U.S. Social Security Number, or even being assigned to the same flip of a coin.
In less fancy terms we favor our friends, our church community, our classmates, our tailgate group or whatever group of people we happen to identify with. This is important because of a “journalistic fact” left in Telemachus’ comment that we featured in part 1: Continue reading Does your social network matter? Slabbed explores a few of Ron Maestri’s social connections and his role in the Jefferson Parish Political Corruption Scandal.
Folks, if there has been one piece of information disclosed to us that has survived the test of time to this point, it is that multiple Jefferson Parish politicians have personal stakes in seeing River Birch succeed. This factoid was disclosed to Nowdy and I very early on in this unfolding saga and was reinforced by the John Alario / Dan Robin litigation with River Birch that we ran across and reported on in March 2010. To make a further connection, one straight into Jim Letten’s office, we must first begin with Telemachus’ comment left yesterday on my last major post on Waste Management which placed the Dutchie Connick memo into context.
To further set things up I think we all need to understand the Dutchie Connick Memo is evidence that has come to light because of the Parish’s suit against Waste Management and comes straight from the “Dutchie file” kept by Waste Management. What’s new is that coupled with the depositions we recently published, we can now see the River Birch scheme was hatched way back in 2004. If I were a betting man, I’d lay money that Jennifer Sneed Heebe knew when she ran for re-election in 2007 she would not finish the term. She wasn’t the only one either IMHO and that is where Telemachus hits pay dirt for us by bringing in the name of the now interim tax assessor, Ron Maestri. Before we get to Ron let’s start with Telemachus:
Have we thought about this memo enough?
Why is Dutchie important?
He had been a campaign manager for DA Connick and had faced off vs Chehardy – no love lost there.
October 2004 – the first putsch to install River Birch, from the 10.13.04 TP: Continue reading Telemachus lends context to the now infamous Dutchie Connick memo and enables Slabbed to roll out Ron Maestri. Part 1, important background information.