The crash and burn of the River Birch Investigation continues to come into sharper focus as everyone also gets some valuable insight from the heart of the investigative community:
New rulings reveal 4th Danziger commenter is FBI agent ~ Gordon Russell
For those so interested here is Judge Engelhardt’s order and reasons referred to in Gordon’s piece above.
And that valuable insight? My experience is that the FBI and the US Attorneys have problems playing nicely with each other. I’ve heard the term “splits in the investigation” in Louisiana. I’ve heard that term more recently in Mississippi in reference to the DMR Investigation. Heck just a few days back up Oxpatch way, former FBI Agent Hal Neilson filed another suit against former US Attorney Jim Greenlee.
US Attorneys are political animals while FBI agents are not. The tension is bound to be there which is why I am not surprised the FBI Agent commenter to NOLA.com on the Danziger Bridge Prosecution was critical of the prosecution.
Personally, I try to avoid getting caught in the middle of pissing contests involving people that carry badges, guns and/or can indict the proverbial ham sandwich.
That Slabbed would be the one to go easy on him? I mean heck, back during the thick of the insurance war playing out in the Federal courts a few years back we levied a criticism or two at the man including when Slabbed went under the covers with Gidget but not here on the Danziger case. That said I do harbor some sympathy for the points Jarvis DeBerry made in his column.
Do the Danziger Bridge defendants deserve a new trial? ~ Juliet Linderman
Before you answer that question one should consider the alternative remedies. I found this legal tome a bit dated but otherwise still useful.
In other news:
After Danziger Bridge ruling, lawyers for Perricone, Mann defend clients ~ Naomi Martin
This time Sal and Jan have stuck close to council, which is a smart move considering all the bad things that happened after Sal paid a visit to Errol and pals last year.
Bottom line here is a retrial is not near the worst thing that could have happened to the victims of the Danziger Bridge Shooting as a complete dismissal of the charges was an option for Judge Engelhardt.
Nowdy sends the following link:
Plenty of Misconduct, and 129 Pages of One Judge’s Disbelief ~ Joe Sexton, Part of ProPublica’s continuing Law & Disorder series on the post Katrina NOPD
And a portion of her comment that struck a chord with me:
Very close to your story
What she is talking about is how Slabbed framed this story. Media bias, yes there is such a thing as cognitive bias is inherent to the human condition, is seen in how various stories are framed. Nowdy well remembers the story of Jamie Perdigao and his tie up with Team Letten and I am pleased to see some of our newer readers taking time to follow the links to that 2008 story from the posts I have brought up from the archives over the past few days. In my opinion it was one of the first public manifestations of problems at Team Letten though I’d be remiss not mentioning the good folks at Patterico’s Pontifications, who have done some excellent work on the topic. More on them in a second.
Back to the post title because I agree with Judge Engelhardt that the worst may be yet to come on this whole prosecutorial misconduct scandal. The persistent rumors of a third DoJ internet commenter proved true but there are also persistent rumors of certain problems at the FBI which bother me greatly. Those that followed Slabbed coverage of the River Birch Investigation real time remember that New Orleans FBI Special Agent In Charge Dave Welker retired in May, 2012. While I am certainly not suggesting Welker did anything wrong I firmly believe there is a backstory to the departure.
My coverage of the US Attorney playing on the internet scandal has been profoundly colored by the musing of a couple of particularly sharp lawyers, one of whom called the implosion of these prosecutions the very day the Sal Perricone news broke. What I find neat is the evolution of the story on these pages as the community here began the proverbial search for the truth immediately. I’d invite everyone to note how the Perricone’s departure in March 2012 lines up on the timeline of the events with Special Agent in Charge Welker’s retirement in May, 2012. Continue reading ““The worst may be yet to come”: A playing on the internet disaster update”
Thanks to multiple readers for the heads up. I scanned Judge Engelhardt’s 129 page order and have concluded:
- Neither I nor Slabbed was mentioned. (Whew)
- Judge Engelhardt indicated he knows the identity of NOLACat60, a former Slabbed commenter that I believe is now deceased, along with the several other identities contained in the subpoena sent to the Times Picayune which the Times Picayune successfully fought.
- Judge Engelhardt had some strong words for both the AP and the Times Picayune in light of the suit filed by the T-P seeking access to the Horn report.
- The fact someone posted online about the Danziger Bridge case straight from the hive in Washington DC does not surprise me in the least.
- Jim Letten purportedly knew about Jan Mann posting online very early on after Sal Perricone was unmasked by Fred Heebe. If true that allegation is damning towards Letten IMHO.
- We get to see the USA v Kaufman et al aka the Danziger Bridge trial all over again.
- This is certain to dominate the news cycle in NOLA and in certain lawyerly circles nationally for days.
Click the pic below the jump to score the 129 page pdf: Continue reading “BREAKING: 7 more years bad luck for the former Team Letten(mego)”
Well folks all the prosecutions Sal Perricone commented upon are all getting a second looksie including the post Katrina Danziger Bridge murders. It goes without saying that Jan Mann should have resigned weeks ago but yesterday the noose around her career’s neck was tightened considerably by Judge Engelhardt, who ordered the Department of Justice to reopen an investigation into leaks on the Danziger case using the term “prosecutorial misconduct” in his order. Well worth noting is the fact it strongly appears Mann lied to Judge Engelhardt.
Laura Maggi’s story that I linked above is worth the read for another reason as she used the Engelhardt order to explain Billy Gibbens, attorney for both convicted NOPD officer Archie Kaufman and Fred Heebe. Gibbens is rumored to be the guy that dropped the proverbial dime on Perricone and Mann’s extracurricular internet activities.
Finally Mark Moseley at Your Right Hand Thief and Jason Berry at AZ have tackled this general topic from different angles in posts that are well worth the read as the Perricone debacle has turned into a national story.
Gordon Russell at NOLA Media Group has a new story detailing the testimony of Mike Magner earlier this month that is a must read. The political/social incest in Letten’s office is once again on display as we cue to Mayor Mitchmo’s baby bro, one of the people Magner notified about Perricone’s online antics. Judge Engelhardt was repeatedly lied to and misled by Jim Letten’s office and he is clearly pissed.
Worth noting is the fact that Perricone has evidently come clean on his handle CampStBlue, something he did not do in his late summer chat with Errol (and the noisemakers).
The T-P’s Brendan McCarthy had all the skinny yesterday afternoon and not long after my email inbox started buzzing with activity related to the sentences handed down to the 5 NOPD officers convicted of killing innocent civilians on the Danziger Bridge after Hurricane Katrina. My good friend Editilla at the Ladder once termed the post Katrina NOPD as “feral lawmen” and that is as good a description of the whole deal as any. In their defense a NOPD officer was brutally shot in the head while attempting rescue operations just days after the storm but the response was classic NOPD in the indiscriminate use of blunt force brutality against the populace and the result of that were murders like happened to the innocent people on the Danziger Bridge, one of whom was back shot and stomped.
The activity in my email had nothing to do with any of the above though as everyone down here that knows anything about New Orleans understands how the NOPD has operated for generations. Rather the email universally dealt with the grandstanding McCarthy so well conveys in his article. Judge Engelhardt, Diaper David Vitter’ former campaign manager in particular had a good bit to say, some of which struck me as over the top, considering what happened on the bridge. Maybe I’m just a bit jaded after 4 years of moderating Slabbed but with due respect prosecutors have been cutting plea deals, approved by the court I might add, for longer than I’ve been on this planet so I found his outburst a bit odd. This of course does not count the on camera appearance of the local US Attorney after these high-profile type cases and Jim Letten certainly did not disappoint that way either.
In any event I know some of you folks want to flesh this topic out a bit more so have it.
I haven’t written anything about the post Katrina Danziger Bridge shootings this year though I have been following the proceedings in the local media the past few weeks. The Times Picayune has the crime team on the story with extensive coverage including yesterday’s testimony from Leonard Bartholomew IV, at the time a 14 year old kid that watched the NOPD shoot his unarmed family on the bridge before now Plaquemines Parish Deputy Kevin Bryan Sr shit kicked him and arrested him.
Casey Anthony this ain’t folks and the nature of the subject matter insures we won’t be dealing with media fluffers like ol’ Nan on this story.
My desktop is cluttered with links and that does not count the ones I present today for the consideration of the Slabbed Nation. If the spirit moves me I’ll try to string some of the saved links together around the Saints game today and put a couple of posts in the can for next week.
We must begin here in Mississippi where the judges are not mere pigs at the trough a la Judge pOrteous but instead are completely drunk with power. Oxford lawyer Tom Freeland has been telling the story of Judge
Tommy Talmadge Littlejohnson and his asinine behavior jailing a lawyer for contempt because he wouldn’t recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Those wanting additional background can read Patsy Brumfield’s original story on the topic here.
Speaking of north Mississippi, escapee Jarvis DeBerry chips in with today’s column on the latest NOPD guilty plea in the Danziger Bridge shootings. Unfortunately for Shakespeare the term sociopath did not exist in his days but I think it is the word Jarvis is looking for. I’ll add this is a subject we’ve been interested in since we first identified similar personality traits in some of the insurance folks we’ve run across since beginning Slabbed.
We’ve spoken a lot about legal ethics and ethicists here on Slabbed through time. Loyola law professor Dane Ciolino, for example, is a favorite of the Slabbed Nation and we’ll be circling back to Dane but first Continue reading “Ethics and morality? Shakespeare knew not of sociopathy: A quick Slabbed update.”
Around a week ago I spoke with a new reader who paid me the ultimate compliment IMHO when telling me I distilled the subject matter and made things understandable. I tell you folks no one in these parts can hold a candle to T-P OpEd columnist James Gill along those lines and today’s column illustrates why. It is about the post Katrina Danziger Bridge shootings, a subject we’ve occasionally blogged on. Here is a snippet:
The latest prosecution motion can hardly do much to taint the jury pool, because it is good and tainted already. Media coverage has been so exhaustive that, if you can find a potential juror who comes to the case fresh, you have found an idiot.
Geoff Pender has a great story in today’s Sun Herald on the Mississippi 4th Congressional District race. In the piece Pender debunks many of the BS talking points that have been repeated to the point that smaller minds often quote them as gospel such as the meme that Gene has not risen in the ranks given his seniority. The sad lesson here is that simply doing your job well isn’t good enough when the other political party results to telling lies and half-truths to gain traction. Unfortunately too many people sleep walk through life and do too little due diligence when picking candidates to support the result of which is they end up as dupes, voting against their own best interests. Continue reading “James Gill strikes again plus Geoff Pender sets the record straight.”
From what I’ve seen reported Mr Letten has really lowered the boom on the feral lawmen that made up segments of the post Katrina NOPD who were involved in the killings.
I know the opinions in the Slabbed Nation are varied and nuanced on this subject. My own opinion is these indictments are long past due.
Unfortunately not all of NOPDs innocent victims will find justice.
Six New Orleans police officers indicted in Danziger Bridge shootings