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:
I was asked if I got any leaks from politicians.
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.
In hindsight the micro signals were all there. I think the spectacle of Aaron BrousStar’s sentencing gave us a sneak peek at what was coming. Incroyable as noted by Empire Parish nailed the source of Judge Head’s discomfort: Continue reading A couple of thoughts on yesterday’s River Birch bombshell
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.
So what in the blue hell does all this have with Fred Heebe’s internet commenter witch hunt and the harassment of those commenting on the scandal in Jefferson Parish by the Goatherders? I dropped a hint not long ago and I’m going to drop the same hint again courtesy of Jason Berry at AZ: Continue reading Slabbed examines the harassment of internet commenters and Fred Heebe’s witch hunt for private citizen’s expressing their opinion: Part 1
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
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?
Drew Broach’s report on same for the NOLA Media Group is very good but the reader comments are even better:
What is taking the justice dept so long to send this scum bag to jail.
If it were me meting out the punishment, I would throw this clown in a pit with three hungry lions.
At this point in time, I would recommend that Judge Head set aside Broussard’s sweetheart Letten plea, order a trail date and change the venue to Corpus Christi.
Clearly Broussard does not understand the implications of pleading guilty as reflected by his continued filing of these frivilous motions. Enough said, go to trial with a jury and let the dice roll like St.Pierre.
Broussard pled guilty because is WAS guilty. Same with Wilkinson. They need to go to jail. Mann and Perricone and Letten should also be charged. They should also all go to jail. Connick should be charged with failing to do his job and corruption. He should go to jail. I’m sick of the corruption, cronyism, and thievery. Put them all in jail (sic). This includes Heebee and Ward, Shane Guidry and his wife and Robert “money bags in the dumpster” Guidry. Thank you.
this baldheaded crook should get the maximum prison time allowed by law and all of his personal property that he acquired from his thieving ways forfeited.
“District Attorney Paul Connick Jr. was out of the office Friday”
No way, you’ll never convince me of that.
Oh Aaron…. Continue reading Former Goatherder in Chief Aaron Broussard now claims he gotta bum rap…..
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.
I do not have much time this morning so here is a quick rundown of three stories I followed over the past week or so:
Mark Titus’ wife claims most of the assets government plans to seize ~ Manuel Torres
Run “Mark Titus” through the search box on the right sidebar to find Slabbed’s previous coverage of USA v Titus. Manuel posted a comprehensive update to the forfeiture portion of the prosecution and Mrs Titus has changed lawyers and is fighting for her share of the property subject to Judge Lemelle’s forfeiture order. I recall getting a bat signal from Team Titus before Christmas that went something along the lines that NOLA commenter JPChirper was an idiot. I’ll continue to keep an eye on this case.
Aaron Broussard’s prosecutors dismiss his attack as ‘fishing expedition’ ~ Drew Broach
I’ve gotten some reader email on this story. It is a complicated critter as Judge Head just may hold an evidentiary hearing to DQ the local US Attorney’s office from his case due to press leaks and Sal Perricone / Jan Mann playing on the internet. I’d be dishonest if I did not say this latest turn of events has continued to fuel speculation that Slabbed will be subpoenaed by John Horn’s folks at DoJ but I have no indication such is forthcoming. If something does happen you guys know the drill by now.
Finally Paul Purpura checked in with the social promotion revolving door that exists between the 24th JDC and the Louisiana 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. The bottom line is despite several openings on both courts there is only one opposed seat up for grabs as all the other judges get a freebie pass to their new jobs.
And this folks is a stunning turn of events given that every media outlet reported she went out with her former boss Jim Letten.
I bet these are interesting times indeed on Camp Street. There has to be a reason Mann is staying because I can’t imagine she is very popular with the gang given her misrepresentations in two high profile cases cost her boss his job. Whatever the reason it looks to be the act of a completely selfish person from the outside looking in.
Meantime a reader caught this John Simerman story on a 10 year sentence given Mitchell Marks for perjury.
“Be careful not to mistake insecurity and inadequacy for humility!
Humility has nothing to do with the insecure and inadequate!
Just like arrogance has nothing to do with greatness!” ~ C. JoyBell C.
“Arrogance diminishes wisdom” ~ Arabian proverb
OK folks I know some of y’all must be scratching your heads at the post title and my choice of quotes that frame this post but bear with me. First off for all my peeps in the TeeVee media I watched most of the coverage last night. Lee Zurik over at Fox 8 and Chick Foret at Channel 4 get attaboys, Zurik because it looks like he is trying to think outside the box on Letten’s replacement and Chick Foret for his brutal, yet accurate assessment of how the axe came down on Jim Letten. I viewed this as a business decision and once people began to say, accurately IMHO, that Letten did not know about the online activities of Jan Mann, Sal Perricone and a rumored 2 other DoJ employees such was a clear sign he was a figurative dead man walking. And while I’m certain feelings are running high at Team Letten right now I think Mr. Letten would be the first person to say that entering the chop shop is the proper last act in these circumstances.
So if Letten is penitent then we must look elsewhere for the arrogance so now we examine a small snippet from Gordon Russell and John Simerman’s comprehensive Jim Letten resignation story for NOLA.com:
Because of civil service protection afforded to federal prosecutors, neither Letten nor his superiors was likely able to fire Mann immediately, according to lawyers familiar with federal rules. “If she wants to hunker down, she can,” said former U.S. Attorney Harry Rosenberg. “He cannot summarily fire her.”
This is a clear reference to the local rumor mill on Mann. Unlike Sal Perricone, who fell on his sword quickly, Jan Mann stayed on refusing to resign until yesterday when the issue was forced via the forced resignation of her boss. Rumor holds the big guy himself asked Mann to man up and leave. The same rumor said Mann made like Nancy Reagan and just said no. If that is true and I think there is at least a kernel of truth in the rumor so everyone should now understand the lead off quotes I chose this morning.
This brings me to former US Attorney Harry Rosenberg’s last quote in the story I linked above: Continue reading Jim Letten resignation fallout: “Hold on to your wallets. The crime families are back in business”
U.S. Attorney Jim Letten announces resignation ~ Gordon Russell
Virginia federal prosecutor named as interim replacement for Letten ~ DoJ Press Release via NOLA.com
Ladies and gentlemen all hell has broken loose. Jan Mann best lawyer up now as she may well need a criminal defense attorney.