Prisoner’s Dilemma back in the news….

Stephanie Grace and James Gill tacked the topic of the 7 year sentence given Rene Gill Pratt for her role in the Jefferson clan scheme to loot out bogus charities funded in part by state/federal earmarks.   We saw the outrage at the sentencing disparity between Betty Jefferson and Rene Gill Pratt on these pages late last week as the topic is framed that Gill Pratt got a stiff sentence because she elected to go to trial and fight the charges while Betty Jefferson essentially received a free pass.  My own opinion is I do not accept that argument to frame this issue.

Way back on these pages I revealed I was a student of low-level game theory and certain related branches of mathematics.  Game Theory 101 includes the concept of prisoner’s dilemma, a topic that has appeared several times on these pages. The bottom line is that the person in legal trouble who cuts the first deal gets the best deal and those that do not roll over end up steamrolled if guilty.  For example, in the continuing criminal investigation involving shit house double-dealing in the Nagin Administration, Greg Meffert wisely chose to cut a deal and will no doubt get a much lesser sentence than the one given Mark St Pierre. St Pierre thought he could con his way out to the bitter end and the results were very bad for him.  Was the sentence a punishment for electing to fight until the bitter end or is it the well deserved fruits of his illegal activity, proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law?  I gravitate to the latter point of view personally.

None of this means that Betty Jefferson isn’t a piece of walking excrement Continue reading “Prisoner’s Dilemma back in the news….”

Rotten to the core: A few stories I am following today.

Folks each of these news stories deserve their own post and in time most will be featured but for now here are some links that interested me this morning. Please feel free to add your own in comments that fit the theme: ~ sop

Please allow me to warmly welcome Sonja and Ike Spears to Slabbed.

First we heard the rumors and then Fox 8 gave us a teaser. By then, we also knew that Lee Zurich had not been sitting on his rear end during his time between on air gigs doing the news in New Orleans. It is said work is the bane of the blogging class and that was certainly true for me yesterday as the media frenzy on this story began in earnest as readers began emailing me the links. First was a WDSU story. Then came a more in-depth Times Picayune report and then WWL’s coverage. As is the case many times, the best was saved for last and that was Lee Zurich’s report for Fox 8. For some background for our out of area readers, I’ll start with the Laura Maggi’s Times Picayune report as we’ll also save the best for last:

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has subpoenaed documents that track the schedule, payment and even the movements of Sonja M. Spears, who draws a local salary as a 1st City Court judge while living part of the time in Massachusetts, where her children attend school……….

Investigators are simply seeking to determine how often Spears shows up to work. Public records show Spears and her husband, attorney Ike Spears, own a $1.3 million house in the Boston suburb of Needham.

Records obtained by The Times-Picayune also show that Spears applied for, and was granted, medical leave from April 7 to May 6, 2008, as well as Jan. 26 to March 30, 2009. In both cases, Spears told the Louisiana Supreme Court that she needed to undergo surgery, and replacement, or ad hoc, judges were assigned to her court.

I remembered the Spears family name but it wasn’t from her sister-in-law as we continue: Continue reading “Please allow me to warmly welcome Sonja and Ike Spears to Slabbed.”

Ummm Ashton, we finally found out where the “[email protected] D%&m FBI” has been Part Deux: James Gill puts in his 2 cents at the T-P

Hat Tip Editilla who also has a killer Frank Zappa video posted today though I don’t think former FBI agent John Guandolo’s dalliance with Dollar Bill witness Lori Mody involved S&M. IMHO there are few editorial columnists as talented as the Times Picayune’s James Gill:

It’s just as well John Guandolo was not the FBI agent assigned to St. John Parish President Bill Hubbard’s case.

The investigation would have been measured in illicit sexual encounters, And when it was all over the feds could hardly have denounced the adulterer Hubbard from the rooftops if such a serial fornicator as Guandolo had been on the job.

Luckily, it could not be. Guandolo, who helped nail Dollar Bill in Virginia, had left the FBI before Hubbard hit on the idea of taking bribes from government contractors to buy his squeeze some new wheels.

Thus, the feds can take a somewhat ambivalent attitude on the matter of straying husbands. If the goat is a defendant, he must confess his sins, even if they do not affect the disposition of his case. If a G-man beds a crucial witness, potentially compromising the entire investigation, the least said the better. Continue reading “Ummm Ashton, we finally found out where the “[email protected] D%&m FBI” has been Part Deux: James Gill puts in his 2 cents at the T-P”

Ummm Ashton, we finally found out where the “[email protected] D%&m FBI” has been….

Special agents need lovin’ too. Bruce Alpert at the Times Picayune has the story:

As the corruption case against former Rep. William Jefferson was about to go to trial in June, prosecutors learned from their star witness that she had had a sexual relationship with the undercover FBI agent who drove her to all the meetings where she secretly taped and delivered cash to the New Orleans Democrat

But according to court documents unsealed last week, the FBI and its Office of Professional Responsibility knew at least as far back as last December that the agent, John Guandolo, “had had an intimate relationship with a confidential source that he thought could damage an investigation.” But they never passed that information to the U.S. attorney’s office prosecuting Jefferson or the lead FBI agent in the investigation.

The failure to provide the court and the prosecutors with such explosive information raises questions about FBI conduct, even as the revelation about Guandolo’s relationship with Lori Mody, the northern Virginia businesswoman at the center of the Jefferson probe, adds a new layer of intrigue to the case.

It also shows how the actions of a single agent could have wrecked the long and meticulous Justice Department pursuit of Jefferson. Mody did not testify at the trial, but the tapes she secretly recorded were allowed to be played for the jury and were a key to the conviction of the nine-term congressman on 11 of 16 corruption charges. Continue reading “Ummm Ashton, we finally found out where the “[email protected] D%&m FBI” has been….”

With due respect to you Jackson folks….

Frank Melton getting drunk and regularily making an ass out of himself is pure bush league against the happenings in NOLA. I still remember the Dollar Bill/SUNO Times Picayune Op-Ed from many years ago with the accompanying Dollar Bill’s pic captioned “Pig at the Trough?” Some stories, like fine wine and Chocolate Guy’s travel habits get better with time. I could be wrong but I think Stephanie Grace is suggesting someone put a bullet in SUNO’s head and merge it with UNO. Yeah, good idea.

“True Life Adventures” of a corporate lawyer…..(Updated)

There has been a criminal case we’ve been following here at Slabbed involving a corporate attorney that ended up on the wrong side of the law. When Nowdy sent me the PACER docs she didn’t quite know what to make of things as she doesn’t have the advantage of proxmity to the story. Before I get to naming names let’s examine some of the contents of the Government’s Sentencing Memorandum:

ACCEPTANCE OF RESPONSIBILITY
The goverrnment will not object to the two point reduction for acceptance of responsibility based upon the defendant’s statement expressing remorse and acceptance of responsibility which is as follows:

“Since I entered my guilty plea, I have had time to reflect on how I handled my legal situation and what went wrong with my decision-making along the way. Unfortunately, my personal life includes a long series of bad judgments and poor decision-making for reasons I don’t full (sic) understand.

Up until I pled, I continuously tried to shift responsibility for my own misconduct and rationalize my behavior. I am not sure what is wrong with my judgement and decision-making process but it relates somehow to the fact that-I don’t have much balance in my life. My life was my work. On most nights for many years, I left the office after the night cleaning Crew. I never bought a house, never married, never had children. I lived very frugally in a $500.00 per month apartment and never took a vacation. At firm Christmas parties, I received the “Table for One” award or a blanket and a pillow for my office, as the firm poked fun at my being a loner and a workaholic. Given that I had spent most ofmy life working and saving every penny, I could not rationally and objectively deal with giving up all ofthe money and accept the consequences of my misconduct. Continue reading ““True Life Adventures” of a corporate lawyer…..(Updated)”