And that includes Slabbed New Media because even though Slabbed got that special knock on the door at HQ as part of the aftermath of the Team Letten internet commenting meltdown all any of us have to offer is speculation absent seeing the fabled “Horn Report”.
When the subject matter becomes door knock serious I prefer not to speculate about the identities of the commenters here on Slabbed to the Aaron Broussard – Jefferson Parish landfill investigation, Telemachus being the most frequently speculated upon. Unlike NOLA.com, Slabbed never received any comments from a DOJ IP address on the Broussard investigation, which in turn explains the continued interest from the media on this general topic since Slabbed uncovered so much.
Along those lines Mark Moseley at the Lens did some great work on Commentgate and yesterday he checked in with another installment. From a big picture standpoint I’m uncomfortable with private citizens with a brain and writing skills being subjected to scrutiny by officialdom due to the quality of their commentary, Muspench being such an example as Mark points out:
To understand Commentgate is to understand it was more than just the DOJ digging dirt on anonymous internet commenters. This I know, the impacts of the meltdown of Team Letten reverberate across Gulf Coast to this day.
The reader comments sum things up nicely. I’ll add I contacted the FCC after the T-P put all the meat on the bones of a story Slabbed broke in December 2010 (on the down low) in the Robinette Federal grand jury subpoena as it is very clear the people at Entercom Communication’s WWL AM/FM are not to be trusted to report news in the public interest.
Garlandfill’s microphone cost a man of Fred Heebe’s wealth a relative pittance and at scandals end it is the briefcase boy that ended up with a lifelong case of the mookie stinks. It is a recurring theme in the human condition.
I’ve been pretty speechless since I heard about this because I have NEVER seen anything like this in 17 years with the federal government. NEVER saw the government let someone off the hook by publicly announcing that they are NOT going to indict him OR publicly stating that they were ending an investigation. Of course, the government closes investigations all the time–but NOT with a public announcement.
It is so highly unusual that I think there must be something HUGE uncovered in the DOJ investigation. First of all the announcement is from the Public Integrity Section, DOJ. From that I deduce the Prosecutorial misconduct is so massive or widespread that don’t want it presented as a defense in federal court. And they are letting high level targets off scot free because of it.
I’m guessing this has gone way beyond Perricone and Mann. Was the online commenting widespread in the office and/or included other high profile federal employeees such as federal law enforcement agents? Have they now learned that this is a problem in other USAOs? Or does it mean that was Letten personally involved? Whatever it is, it should come out and it’s going to be ugly.
The rumor mill has steadfastly maintained at least one more assistant US Attorney commented along with a sitting Judge. I think it is about way more than that however:
It was clear to me that Team Horn was looking at more than just the Danziger Bridge shooting case. The question of getting leaks on the investigation from politicians has stuck with me since that day because it was so far out in left field from what we knew from media reports and the local rumor mill at the time. I do know this, the peeps with whom I speak including my best sources never underestimated Fred Heebe:
I would highly urge everyone to read Judge Engelhardt’s entire 50 page order and reasons to see first hand what a mess liars that continue to lie can make. BTW, before everyone clammed up the Wino did tell me she thinks Fred Heebe has another hole card to play. All I can say is get the pop corn ready ’cause if that’s true, then we have more episodes of Beavis and Butthead coming.
I recently introduced the contributor here. I’ll further generally describe this contributor as a former (pre Katrina) mid level employee of one of the various local governments in the metro New Orleans area that is now a private citizen. In other words way outta the game that unfolds before us today. This person, with the help of reporting by the Times Picayune, Slabbed, American Zombie etc has put together the beginnings of a timeline of the corruption scandal that I now share with you today.
There is one thing I must point out first though because there is a date that belongs on this timeline that is omitted because I’ve not yet shared it before today. What I mean by shared is I have not shared it in context so we must refer back to the following post I did on a Times Picayune story written by Manuel Torres way back in the day: Land swap to give landfill longer life – Council expected to approve proposal. IMHO NOLA needs to reactivate their link to that piece and all the related reporting as Slabbed has learned certain Public Records Requests are being denied on this very topic as it is evidently the subject of the ongoing Federal Grand Jury Investigation into Fred Heebe. Drum roll please as we roll out the players at that point in time:
Tim Coulon, Parish Prez
Aaron Broussard, Parish Council chairman
T.J. “Butch” Ward, Parish Councilman and brother to Albert “Jim” Ward, Fred Heebe’s stepdad.
Gordon Russell updated the saga of the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General’s investigation into Sal Perricone and Jan Mann playing on the internet as the deadline for the delivery of the report to Judge Kurt Engelhardt has quietly passed without a peep on PACER or the peeps running the investigation.
The deadline for a special prosecutor to file a report with a federal judge on his inquiry into possible leaks and inappropriate online commenting by lawyers in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Louisiana’s Eastern District quietly passed last week. But it’s not clear where the matter stands; the special prosecutor, John Horn, who is based in Georgia, declined to make any comment about his probe Thursday.
I have a good idea where “the matter stands” because I met with the gang from DoJ OIG last month and I asked them about the process and how it will unfold. The report is for Judge Engelhardt and I do not think the investigative materials collected in support of said report will ever see the light of day. That said Gordon explains why it was easy for me to say I did not expect to be subpoenaed by Team Horn:
Technically, the Horn probe is part of the Danziger Bridge case — U.S. v. Bowen et al. That’s because it’s an outgrowth of the defendants’ motion for a new trial based on alleged prosecutorial misconduct — highlighted by former Assistant U.S. Attorney Sal Perricone’s admissions that he commented pseudonymously about various federal cases on NOLA.com, including the bridge case.
Slabbed covered the Danziger trial but we simply followed and highlighted the other media reports which made the visit I received from DoJ OIG someone curious at first blush. That said it was clear to me the Horn investigation was broader than USA v Bowen and it should be because Sal and Jan commented upon a wider array of topics than the Danziger shootings including USA v Broussard, a topic where Slabbed is at the razor’s edge leading the local news coverage. I know my Jefferson Parish corruption folks and I think the visit I received confirms that fact.