Sal under the bus? The reasons come into much sharper focus.

Yup folks, Slabbed has been very consistent in predicting that Sal Perricone will end up under the bus when this whole US Attorney internet commenting scandal is said and done.

I’ve never shared my reasons for the Perricone Postulate but I’ll add it is derived via process of elimination.  Even better, Mark Moseley hits a grand slam analyzing that video of Big Jim going postal explaining O’Keefe’s side of things in his confrontation with Big Jim. It is an absolute must read.

The O’Keefe/Letten dust-up at Tulane: more there than sound and fury? ~ Mark Moseley

For those of you that have no clue what I am talking about, click here and here.

Gee, did anything happen while I was away?

Whewwwww doggie were things happening! I’m not sure where to start and that does not count a new development here on Slabbed.  Both chapters of the Slabbed Nation are lumped into one post for the sake of expediency so we gotta start with Former Goatherder in Chief Aaron Broussard’s REJECTION by Judge Head:

Aaron Broussard won’t get hearing to explore alleged prosecutorial misconduct, judge rules ~ Manuel Torres

Even worse for the others trying to make hay outta Sal, Jan and allegedly others playing on the Internet:

Aaron Broussard’s failed try for new hearing is a bad sign for others alleging prosecutorial misconduct. ~ Manuel Torres

We gotta get Manuel a nickname. Lest I digress as Judge Head, on loan from Corpus Christi Texas is known as a seasoned jurist that does not tolerate fools or tomfoolery as these Robing Room reviews illustrates:

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 1852
Rating:7.5
Comments:
Brilliant but ill-tempered. Equal opportunity ass chewer though-no one is exempt from his wrath.

and this one which nails it: Continue reading “Gee, did anything happen while I was away?”

If I may be so bold as to suggest those wanting perspective on Heebe’s internet commenter witch hunt….

You should click here because the harassment first became manifest when former NOLA City Attorney Bob Ellis threatened Jason Berry at American Zombie with a SLAPP suit.

Less than one year later Interim parish Prez Steve TheRiot sued the blogosphere conducting a witch hunt for certain online critics. Slabbed was mentioned in TheRiot’s suit in a clear shot across our bow.

And then there are the SLAPP suits from Canada, well covered here on Slabbed.

The dots are all out there folks, they just need connecting.

Let’s drill down a bit on the latest developments in USA v Broussard: A playing on the internet update.

OK folks have we thought about this enough?  We have a federal subpoena out to the folks at NOLA Media Group asking for all the skinny on 11 internet commenters.  One of the post Katrina NOLA police murder cases involving civilians is in danger of getting verdicts set aside.  And the former Goatherder in Chief has asked for an evidentiary hearing. Days later Federal prosecutors contested Broussard’s motion arguing his guilty plea precluded such a line of inquiry.  And then I started getting emails from observers with criminal defense experience and those off blog comments were enlightening.  I’ll preface the rest of this post by saying I know very little about the practice of criminal law in the Federal Court system beyond the fact it is hard for a defendant to win at trial.

With that said there are some important points that were made and the first regards the Team Horn subpoena to NOLA Media Group for information on those 11 commenters. I’ll let a knowledgeable reader explain:

As part of their law enforcement mission the Feds can issue a subpoena to ensure that the law is being observed. They don’t need even a suspicion that the law may have been violated to issue a subpoena. That the newspaper is (1) objecting, (2) asking the Feds to disclose the basis for the subpoena, and (3) questioning whether the DOJ has authority to request the information under the Inspector General Act is curious and raises issues. For example, if the DOJ indulges the newspaper’s opposition and does not respond by saying, “Make the return on the subpoena or we’ll seek a contempt citation against your publisher.” it will indicate a lack of resolve and perhaps a political approach by the DOJ in the investigation.

Insofar as the merits are concerned, the paper can’t object, because it is not any of the commenters who have that right instead. The newspaper has no standing to act to ensure the DOJ is complying with law. That’s a right that belongs to the commenters and there’s no 1st Amendment issue involved. If there were it would have been asserted already. Furthermore, federal law enforcement need not give a basis for issuing the subpoena. They can issue a subpoena to check whether the law is being observed even without a suspicion of criminal activity. They need not give the basis to the newspaper. Asking for the basis for the subpoena is like asking for information so the paper can expand on the story. Thus, not only are the merits entirely in favor of the DOJ, the paper insulted the DOJ.

The newspaper is defending itself, not the commenters.

This raises interesting questions and lots have been raised of late regarding that Federal subpoena to NOLA including by Jason Berry over at AZ. The rumor mill is in overdrive as to any connection between the subpoena and Fred Heebe’s various defamation lawsuits against former members of the US Attorney’s office.  Until something else comes out I’m sticking with my theory that Heebe did not need an insider beyond his own legal team to divine Perricone and Mann were posting to NOLA.com. Continue reading “Let’s drill down a bit on the latest developments in USA v Broussard: A playing on the internet update.”

Blissfully disengaged…………:-)

I’ve taken a few days away from Slabbed but I noticed all hell has broken loose over with the good folks over at NOLA Media Group. The long and short of it is I received numerous inquiries yesterday if Slabbed had been subpoenaed by John Horns folks from Department of Justice. Those inquiries were prompted by this Gordon Russell story regarding the subpoena NOLA received requesting user and IP information on 11 alaises that commented on certain Times Picayune stories posted to NOLA.

Some of the commenters are defending themselves on Gordon’s story, which makes for an interesting read all on its own. My own instant reaction is that Horn has issued a very broad subpoena and the reason for that will be fun to figure out. It appears a legal fight is brewing between DoJ and Advance Publications.

In any event I’m tuning back out but am interested to hear View From Hell’s take on all this as I know View is a regular reader. Continue reading “Blissfully disengaged…………:-)”

Monday Links: The implosion at Jim Letten’s hastens

Lots of good stuff this afternoon from NOLA’s JP beat team.  First up is Manuel Torres and his piece on the problems with Jefferson Parish procurement that features the Citizens for Good Government.  Next, Drew Broach gave us a hat tip in his piece on Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts being sued for a business loan on his Quizno’s. I thought that was nice.

Next up is the ghost of Ronald Bodenheimer continues to haunt the court system as Paul Purpura covers a case of outrageous prosecutorial misconduct by Bodenheimer when he was still a prosecutor in Mamou’s office involving a capital murder that landed Manuel Ortiz on Angola’s death row.

Jim Letten is the news gift that keeps on giving as the crash and burn of his office has attracted the attention of the New York Times Editorial Board, who are calling for an independent counsel to investigate the prosecutorial misconduct in his office. This editorial comes exactly one day before Letten admits in a letter to Judge Hayden Head that Jan Mann fibbed earlier in USA v Broussard regarding the online activity in his office and manned up that Jan was indeed “eweman”.  Next up, who is Martyfed?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XynIMOmFxF0

Chilling Effects: “In case you were thinking of leaking to the press, think again”

In another stroke of irony, an article relating the events resulting in the dismissal of charges in the Ruehle matter was circulated by email to the attorneys in the United States Attorney’s Office on December 15, 2009, by First AUSA Mann with the notation: “In case you were thinking of leaking to the press, think again . . . A case in California was dismissed for prosecutorial misconduct after the AUSA admitted leaking among other problems.” ~ US District Court Judge Kurt Engelhardt

Well folks, being in Team Unwashed Masses has its benefits as Jan Mann and Sal Perricone evidently preferred Legitimate Media™ types for their leaking, not that there is anything wrong with that as rumors are swirling and the Wino, in a drunken stupor mentioned “the chilling effects” Kurt Engelhardt’s order is having on the discussion, even in the depths of the gutters at Lafayette Square. In fact, observing the social chatter in the local media congroovancy bears out that fact, due to the new 500 pound gorilla in the room.  Judge Engelhardt explains:

With regard to the Rule 6(e) issue presented in this matter, the Court has reviewed the Fifth Circuit’s guidance set forth in In Re Grand Jury Investigation (Lance), 610 F.2d 202 (5th Cir. 1980). In Lance, the Fifth Circuit discussed the analysis required when a district court considers an allegation of a violation of Rule 6(e) based upon news media reports. First, there must be a clear indication that the media reports disclose information about “matters occurring before the grand jury.” Secondly, the article or articles must indicate the source of the information revealed to be one of those prescribed by Rule 6(e), which prohibits disclosure by attorneys for the government. Third, the Court must assume that all statements in such news report are correct. Fourth, the Court considers the nature of the relief requested and the extent to which it interferes with the grand jury process. Fifth, the Court must weigh any evidence presented by the government to rebut the assumed truthfulness of reports which otherwise make a prima facie case of misconduct.

In this case, the Court finds that the first factor is satisfied, and the second factor has been met pursuant to Lance, which referred to the phrase “sources close to the investigation” to find an inference that the source of the information disclosed is the Justice Department, or the attorneys conducting the grand jury investigation, since they are the persons most likely to know when the presentation of evidence will be completed, and when a proposed indictment might be voted upon by the grand jurors. As to the third factor, the undersigned assumes that all statements in the news reports cited by defendants are correct. The fourth factor, which requires the Court to consider the nature of the relief requested and the extent to which it interferes with the grand jury process, is practically moot. In this case, the grand jury has completed its work and returned an indictment against these defendants (and those that entered guilty pleas to lesser charges), such that any relief granted herein would not interfere with the grand jury process at all. As to the fifth factor, the Court has not been provided with any affidavits or acceptable rebuttal evidence other than the tainted June 27, 2012 Report of Inquiry from former First AUSA Mann. The Report, however, does not contain sworn denials set forth in an affidavit, or any other testimonial refutations to contradict the prima facie case of misconduct. See Lance, 610 F.2d at 219-220.

Under these circumstances, the Court cannot rule on the defendants’ motion for new trial until the DOJ rectifies the present inadequacies. Prosecutorial misconduct in this case is a very near and present thing; however, the possibility of it ripening into grounds for relief remain somewhat distant. At this juncture, the Court is unwilling to find that Defendants have met their burden; but it is also unwilling to find that Defendants will not be able to meet that burden. In the meantime, the Court intends to follow the advice of Washington himself: “There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily.”

And this is why I happily get all my leaks from the gutter because we’re truth seekers here at Slabbed too and if we were seeking the truth in this matter, a good way to get to the bottom of things would be to ask the media where they got their information.  Even better, if you are an inquisitive type that sports a badge…..Judge Engelhardt explains: Continue reading “Chilling Effects: “In case you were thinking of leaking to the press, think again””

If I could impart a general idea of the battle going on in Jefferson Parish……

River Birch’s Fred Heebe shouldn’t be suing prosecutors while halting suits against himself, filing argues ~ Manuel Torres NOLA Media Group

You can always count on the folks at Smith Fawer to make things interesting.  😉  Those  interested to see how Slabbed fits into this melee should click here.

 

The cancer in Jim Letten’s office diagnosed as metastatic and the patient is terminal. A playing on the internet update. (Updated)

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.

Update

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).

Gotta give both Fred Heebe and the Wino their due….

I’m certain the Wino would tell you I give her too much credit but folks Slabbed’s deep throat source on all things Jefferson Parish has hung some skins on the wall and then some.  I mention this because back in March when Fred Heebe filed a defamation suit against Assistant US Attorney Sal Perricone the Wino told me then Heebe never would have rolled with Perricone when he did unless he had something else better to use down the line.  The Wino knows all from the depths of the gutters at Lafayette Square.

I mention this for obvious reasons, unless you’ve been under a rock since late yesterday morning that is, as bad news Friday struck with Heebe filing another defamation suit against Jim Letten’s right hand lady Jan Mann.  Like the Perricone suit Heebe’s latest legal strike is bullshit from a legal standpoint but that is also besides the point as this news lead off every TeeVee newscast last night and has dominated the web site of the NOLA Media Group, first with Editor/reporter Gordon Russell followed by Rich Rainey’s in-depth piece which ran last night.

The bottom line is the evidence that “eweman”=Jan Mann looks strong albeit circumstantial.  Clearly Sal Perricone had a playmate on the internet at his office as I offer the Wino’s analysis in a rare direct quotation with one minor redaction:

OK several things jump out at me… one eweman not only defends Sal…this person has knowledge from either the inside of the investigation or was in parish government in the 90’s…. those that know Mr XXX was XXXXXXXX would be a small crowd. Continue reading “Gotta give both Fred Heebe and the Wino their due….”