Anyone familiar with the Pine Belt, in particular the Free State of Jones understands all Circuit Court roads lead to Judge Billy Joe Landrum as the one man band judicial district in Jones County creates a Judgeship with mucho power inherent to the office. Late last month State Auditor Stacey Pickering issued a $313,726.73 civil demand to Judge Landrum for helping himself to personal fuel, vehicles and salaries paid from the Community Services Program to employees that were not in any way affiliated with it. The Community Services Programs is funded by fines paid by convicts that is supposed to fund a diversion program that offered alternatives to jail. This should all sound familiar to you folks in St Slammany that read Slabbed.
I just had a conversation with a source that I will describe as not a politician or member of the investigative community but who possesses specialized knowledge of the operations of the Barbour Administration. Biloxi Blues has come very close to nailing it in comments twice now:
I had to laugh at the remarks of one of the assembled defense attorneys, who made my acquaintance today telling me how much he enjoyed my Louisiana coverage. The assembled media included Warren Kulo, Ruth Ingram, Doug Walker, Jeff Amy and Anita Lee plus one blogger.
Ironically the session started off with what was billed as a quick true up hearing for a civil case that quite frankly caught my interest as much as the Janus plea hearing. Judge Starrett knows his damages including exhibiting some specialized knowledge of the sand and gravel business that was quite impressive. I’ll leave the inside chatter on the inside but Judge Starrett continued the hearing because the numbers did not make sense to him. I followed the lawyer out of the courtroom with my business card (day job) in case the Plaintiffs decided to reach out for some help. Damages I know.
Lest I digress there are three points I want to make but before I make them we need to visit with the best two accounts of the hearing in no particular order:
The land deal closed 12 days before Scott Walker’s final, lump-sum payment was due on a loan at Merchants & Marine Bank, Jackson County land records show.
Walker had used the property in July 2008 as collateral on a $310,590 loan, which called for monthly payments of $2,775. The balance and all interest payments were due July 25, 2011, although the terms did allow for loan extension or modification.
Tattoo? I heard that word most from investment bankers doing M&A work a decade or so ago. Tatoos are not easily removed, especially those given a bank by a family member to induce the extension of credit to someone that is not otherwise creditworthy enough on their own to nab a $310,590 loan.