I’m getting word the gang spent 90 minutes or so behind closed-doors discussing the Vandenweghe v Parish of Jefferson. For those of you catching up Anne Marie Vandenweghe was harassed and ultimately fired from her job in the Parish Attorney’s office because she was seen as cooperating too vigorously with federal prosecutors investigating Broussard era corruption.
To the extent Parish Prez John Young is due before the cameras next week for his video deposition I am seeing hints on the PACER docket that, just like the post Katrina insurance litigation, Phelps Dunbar is incapable of trying a case without resorting to cheating and trickery as they have evidently been sandbagging emails in discovery. Thank goodness I posted a few specimen emails discussing AMV in late July as it is my understanding Phelps Dunbar initially said none existed.
Worth noting is that one of Mary Landrieu favorites for US Attorney, Kim Boyles, was an early participant in both TheRiot’s ill-advised lawsuit against the blogosphere and in the continued retaliation against Vandenweghe. Can you imagine what a disaster this cesspool lovin’ miscreant would make as Jim Letten’s replacement! Speaking of that I wonder if Mike Magner will be testifying in the upcoming trial? 😉
Here you go folks, all the Jefferson Parish news you can stand courtesy of the NOLA Media Group:
Pundit (Sir) James Gill tackles the Fred Heebe v Jan Mann defamation suit in his periodic online column for the Times Picayune. Jack and Jesse are sure to be unhappy.
Drew Broach previews today’s Parish Council meeting and with JPAC on tap it is sure to be a good one.
Speaking of the (non)Performing Arts Center boondoggle, Drew checked in yesterday with a story about Councilman Chris Roberts saying state taxpayers should sink no more money into that money pit in favor of dumping the cost on the local taxpayers. The commenters to Drew’s story seem to universally favor setting some dynamite, blowing the partially completed building up thus cutting taxpayer losses, which will total several million dollars more to complete this boondoggle. To the extent Robert’s own council aid Deano Bonano played a large role in creating the JPAC disaster we should all view Roberts’ pronouncements on the matter with great dubiety. I can say with certainty that I have lots of JPAC documents and the people associated with the Jefferson Performing Arts Society are first class pests that are also the bane of the taxpayers both locally and statewide.
From the what else is new front the Jefferson Parish School Board is bickering again though this time with an Alice in Wonderland like theme as board member Michael Delesdernier threatened to have board member Floyd investigated after he insulted the district’s CFO. Sarah Tan scored the following Delesdernier quote that I thought priceless as the man is a complete jackass:
“I’m really not interested in doing it as much as I’m interested in keeping him from attacking our people,” Delesdernier said. “Whatever works. I really feel my job is to protect the people in our system that are doing their jobs.”
No word yet on whether Delesdernier ever apologized to the parent he termed “an arrogant POS”. I must admit I love the playful side of Jefferson Parish voters that elect people filling the role of village idiot to office.
Drew Broach checked in with a short dispatch yesterday about Tim Whitmer’s sentencing being postponed so he can continue his squealathon with the Department of Justice as well as sell insurance. Evidently in Louisiana it is OK for convicted felons to sell insurance while they await their sentencing.
Finally Judge Glenn Ansardi has suffered a stroke according to this Paul Purpura report on the subject.
So I said to myself, “Why wait for discovery when you got most everything anyhow?”
Let’s enjoy and circle this 2 page document for now.
Rut roh! (And TheRiot is toast)
Definitions and Instructions
a. Neither the word “or” nor the word “and” should be interpreted so as to eliminate any part of any response to any of these Requests.
b. “You” means Defendants, the Parish of Jefferson and Steve J. Theriot, and any of their agents or employees acting within the scope of their agency or employment.
c. “Documents” means anything within the scope of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34.
INTERROGATORY NO. 1:
Please identify all at-will Parish employees terminated by the Parish after John Young became Parish President; identify all such employees who refused to submit a resignation letter as a condition of employment.
INTERROGATORY NO. 2:
Please explain, in detail, why the Plaintiff’s employment with the Parish of Jefferson was terminated. Was Plaintiff’s refusal to submit a letter of resignation the sole reason for her termination? If not, please identify any other reasons.
INTERROGATORY NO. 3:
Does the Parish currently require employees to submit letter of resignation as a condition of continued employment? If not, advise why this policy was changed and when.
INTERROGATORY NO. 4:
Do the defendants acknowledge that the Plaintiff was cooperating with Federal authorities in corruption investigations? If so, please identify all persons with knowledge of Plaintiff’s cooperation, the dates that they became aware, and any adverse action, response, emails, memoranda or correspondence generated in response to Plaintiff’s cooperation. Continue reading “Lets discover something about Vandenweghe v Jefferson Parish and TheRiot”
Very soon I’ll be rolling out a post which will unify former Parish Prez Steve Theriot’s suit against the blogosphere to later Goatherder legal jackassery but before I can do that we must hop in the way back machine to that magical day in February, 2010 when TheRiot sent Anne Marie Vandenweghe home claiming she was playing on the internet during office hours. Slabbed was there real time for all the events since and Theriot’s bald faced public lies concerning same even turned up in my examination of official correspondence from the Broussard Adminsitration.
I mention all this because earlier today I promised the Slabbed Nation deposition transcripts from the case and while we wait on those how about a transcript of the meeting where Theriot, Clem Donelon, Deano Bonano and the rest of Theriot’s band of thugs sent Anne Marie home back in February, 2010. After reading it I think everyone will come to the same conclusion that AMV had by far the biggest sack in the entire room. Click the pic to get the 9 page pdf.
I have been sent the audio file of the entire sad episode and have converted it to a format suitable with Youtube. It is a must hear and is embedded below the jump. Continue reading “Meet the thugs that once ruled Jefferson Parish as Slabbed presents TheRiot and the noise makers (Updated)“
New scrutiny for Jefferson Performing Arts Center ~ Rich Rainey 7/11/12
Slabbed does a compare and contrast on Jefferson Parish Performing Arts Center change orders: Elton Lagasse has some ‘splaining to do. ~ Doug Handshoe 7/16/12
Now the latest:
Rep. Cameron Henry, R-Jefferson, on Thursday temporarily blocked the use of almost $10 million in lines of credit to build the Jefferson Performing Arts Center in Metairie, saying he wants parish officials to explain why the project has ballooned in cost. Henry asked the state Bond Commission, which holds sway over credit for hundreds of state-financed projects, to delay the reauthorization of last year’s $10 million for one month.
Parish Council member Chris Roberts said he supported Henry’s actions. Roberts said he doesn’t think the parish administration has officially settled an issue that was raised in a scathing report by the legislative auditor’s office last year on the cost overruns at the long-delayed arts center. One change order of $5.6 million was paid even though Reda Youssef, capital projects director for the parish, said he could not certify more than $2.8 million.
Let’s circle back to my post of the 16th:
I figure if I am aware of the duplicity then Mini-Me must be as well thus putting Youssef to the question in a bit over a week at the council meeting in Grand Isle. I bet the council would be happy to see Youssef refute what he told the legislative auditors and he just may since he made up some of what he told them in an effort to shift blame to people like Bolotte. I see this as impossible situation….
And then this snippet from today’s T-P story linked above: Continue reading “HUGE: “Jefferson Performing Arts Center’s $10 million (line of) credit suspended””
Folks this post sets the record for time spent in drafts and it was this latest Rich Rainey installment from the Jefferson Parish Council cesspool on the topic of JPAC and Parish Capital Projects Director Reda Youssef that dictated I find a way to adequately explain the construction disaster that has squandered millions in state tax money. Adequately explain? By now everyone knows JPAC is money pit but with all the finger-pointing it is hard (but not impossible) to identify those most responsible. The last time I linked the State Legislative Audit Advisory Council meeting on the topic I came away feeling the Legislators were lost too. Hopefully this post changes that. Now the disclaimers and disclosures.
I’ve interviewed 1 person with first hand knowledge of the project, whom I’ve granted anonymity. I also obtained some fantastic research from the Citizens for Good Government, the people who are the most responsible for having the Legislative Auditor take a peek at the project. I’m also relying heavily on my own professional expertise on this topic and yes Virginia on this topic I would qualify in a courtroom as an “expert” for I am. Finally my original idea was to compare the beat reporting by the Times Picayune that covered the various change orders with the Legislative Auditor’s report on the project but the T-P reporting does not show in Google for the most part, which is odd considering how Newhouse Management are evidently SEO freakazoids but it is what it is. That said the research I obtained from the M&M sisters compensates for this somewhat. So with the fine print filled in let’s circle back to Rich Rainey’s piece from last week:
The Legislature has agreed to shovel $2.6 million more into construction of the Jefferson Performing Arts Center, already considered by many to be a $44.7 million money pit. But Parish Councilman Chris Roberts said he is still looking for answers about an earlier payment that attracted the ire of state fiscal watchdogs.
Roberts is demanding that Reda Youssef, the parish’s capital projects director, explain why he balked at approving a $5.6 million payment in 2009 to the project’s general contractor. “Everyone is dealing with it like it’s plutonium, and no one is addressing the matter,” Roberts said. “And it’s not like it’s going to go away.”
Mini-me is correct this is not going away and when I saw the story my initial reaction was Reda Youssef was headed for the chop shop. I realized that after reading this:
But Parish President John Young countered Wednesday that the questions had already been asked and answered. And Youssef said he approved only half the request because the rest dealt with charges for delays, an area of project management beyond his scope.
I disagree with Parish President Young that these questions have been answered, at least with a good answer. To hone in on duplicity here we need to check in with the Legislative Auditor’s report on Change Order 5, which is the heart of this matter: Continue reading “Slabbed does a compare and contrast on Jefferson Parish Performing Arts Center change orders: Elton Lagasse has some ‘splaining to do.”
Just got a text from the Wino. Meeting on JPAC in progress right now here. They are talking about going after the Parish for the state money squandered to this point.
“Open season by the contractor against the owner”
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.”