Illinois gaming officials show Louisiana video poker mogul the door ~ Joseph Ryan, Chicago Tribune 7/20/12
Video poker protections questioned ~ Joseph Ryan, Chicago Tribune 10/6/13
But in the denial of one application, court records show the Gaming Board took issue with the criminal record of one of (Nicky) Nichols’ Illinois partners and Nichols’ association with his father-in-law, Robert Guidry, who once testified to paying bribes to land a Louisiana casino license.
The Gaming Board also said Nichols “engaged in questionable business practices related to business transactions” with Tim Whitmer, once a Louisiana parish official.
Whitmer had a deal to invest in a gambling firm co-owned by Nichols at around the same time that firm was seeking approval from Whitmer’s parish to build a truck stop casino, the Times-Picayune reported in 2009. (A parish is Louisiana’s political equivalent of a county.)
Whitmer later pleaded guilty to covering up a felony in an unrelated federal case.
Transparency, you bet – easy to see right through action of Jefferson Parish Council ~ Whitmergate comment bump
This says it all as I quote Click Jeff’s Walt Bennetti:
At the last council meeting, Councilwoman Cynthia Lee-Sheng was criticized for receiving tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions in a single day from a group of businesses owned by the same individuals. “I’m not going to apologize for receiving campaign contributions,” Lee-Sheng said. “I’m happy to help my contributors.
Those businesses and their owners just so happen to be in the video poker truck stop gaming business as her father was and that she is by inheritance. And one of the most repulsive sidebars to this is yet again gambling crap, is the corrupting influence of that supreme POS Bobby Guidry. It is his son-in-law, Nicky Nichols, through his Redman gaming business, that entered into contract negotiations with Whitmer and the Coulons, Tim and son Chris, for the proposed new video truck stop on HWY 90 past Westwego. A location necessitating Byron Lee’s sponsorship of a zoning change to accommodate all the ‘connected’ parties; and a Parish Council voting to exempt Redman from Code requirements in direct contravention to the opinions of the JP Planning Dept.!!! Continue reading “Meantime in Louisiana nary is heard a discouraging word……..”
Including being the address for one of those famous Bobby Jindal Charter Schools. I wonder what classes Aaron Broussard taught before he took his timeout? Given the place was raided by JPSO and the owner charged with Cocaine Distribution, I bet Red Ribbon week is a hoot!
In any event here is the bio page for the President of this institution. Click the pic to score the 306 page PDF:
For true they do. Allow me to present some documents in reverse order:
Next up an exhibit of why the mutual affection from Tim Whitmer’s November 2009 email inbox as originally published on Slabbed back in January 2011: Continue reading “Jim Hudson: Iberia Bank supports its local crony felons”
For themselves of course.
It is at this point that I feel compelled to take the Jefferson Parish legislative delegation for a trip down memory lane to the last time the Parish council wanted a law changed that attracted the attention of good government activists across the parish. What makes the similarity in my mind between the stripping of a civil right from the populace in removing the provision for a public vote on the sale/lease/management of the two public hospitals and the “tweaking” of the public records statute on the behalf of TheRiot is both involved major losses of public transparency. Of course it was the behind the scenes deal making that brought the taxpayers both the Performing Arts Center and River Birch Landfill debacles so you’d think the gang on the 10th floor of Yenni along with the Parish Council would have at least had the sense to consider all the ramifications here. Instead I sense the politics of self enrichment are at play, likely with a heavy dose of crony capitalism on top.
In the Spring of 2010 TheRiot asked Louisiana State Senator Danny Martiny to change the Louisiana Public Records law drawing the ire of good government activists in Jefferson Parish. Slabbed made an editorial decision to become involved and I subsequently welcomed Senator Martiny to the legendary Warren Suite at the Do Slabb Inn. Within a few days Martiny appeared on Fox 8 cryin’ that people thought he was some kind of crook. The Parish Council ran for the hills pulling the rug out from under Martiny and this in turned caused me to opine Senator Martiny was a stooge. Now Slabbed has since gone easy on Senator Martiny as he really is not the devil reincarnate as he was the guy that pushed the Louisiana version of the SPEECH Act through the legislature so we obviously share some common ground.
So with that set up let’s review a few of the points in Drew Broach’s story on this topic:
- The Parish council met last week in secret with hospital officials and others. Out of that meeting came the request to change LA R.S. 46:1064.2 which would exempt the hospital from the public vote provisions in that law.
- Both hospital boards are stacked with political insiders and are notorious troughs where crony capitalism, double dealing and self enrichment are the rule of the day.
- The request to change the law was done with “no public discussion, and no dissenting vote on the council.”
- Potential public opposition was cited by Sheriff Noodles Norman as the reason for stripping this civil liberty from the taxpaying public. Sheriff Noodles, when he is not palling around with washed up actors like Steven Seagal or arresting criminals is the Chairman of the East Jefferson Medical Center Board of Directors.
- Chris Robert$, Cynthia Lee $heng, Elton LaGa$$e are all responsible for the River Birch debacle and their judgment is not to be tru$ted.
- Cockroaches like to operate: Continue reading “Coming soon from the gang that caused the Performing Arts Center and River Birch debacles. Let’s make a new deal!”
I got a bat signal from my all things JEDCO source, who was amused that Lee Zurik went after ye ol’ TBL and former executive director Lucien Gunter stiffing the taxpayers for a few drinks. The big story is in the emails Metairie based developer Henry Shane is trying to cover up what sources describe as JEDCO engaging in partisan political activity with respect to the last set of Jefferson Parish School Board elections. This would be illegal/prohibited on two different levels.
I’m told Shane’s relationship with Jefferson Parish Councilwoman Cynthia Lee Sheng and the comprehensive ordinance on Fat City business zoning is also very fertile ground for exploration.
Lee better be careful because he is tip toeing awfully close to station owner Tom Benson’s social network.
Speaking of Tom Benson I am hearing tales of Benson’s Superbowl party at City Park a couple of weeks back that involve our own Magnum. Tighten up dude.
Allow me to summarize the latest Waste Management lawsuit against Jefferson Parish:
1. From 2007-early 2010 Jefferson Parish was run by self admitted felons
2. Even after those self admitted felons resigned in disgrace TheRiot continued their dirty work during his interim reign of terror.
3. Now the cat is out of the bag so Mini-me is gonna have to write another check with other people’s money, about the only thing the guy is good at. That is, of course if him and Elton LaGasse don’t burn another $500,000 defending the indefensible paying the hollow suits at Phelps Dunbar before they write that check to Waste Management.
Click the pic to get the pdf.
A quick review – Cockroaches:
1. Operate in the shadows and under the cover of darkness.
2. Operate as a group.
3. Scatter when light or sun shine is applied.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Telemachus and ‘Gate, take a bow. Paul Rioux has the must read story on the topic Slabbed broke earlier today. We got a hat tip in fact. The list of River Birch’s lawn politicians is indeed impressive.
So the campaign cash conduit to the politicians is laid bare as expertly as the money train to Heebe’s local media shills. In other related media news we continue to get google search referrals under the search string “why was Val Bracy fired?” Damn good question IMHO.
Actually the annual audit the parish pays for should identify all the major internal control problems in the Parish’s financial system so the latest news the Parish is looking to hire a CPA firm to do what their auditor should already be doing strikes me as a bit of a waste. And besides the Legislative auditor made clear in their report the source of the problems with the internal controls system as it related to the Jefferson Parish Performing Arts Center derived from management overrides of existing policies and procedures, including Cynthia Lee Sheng’s council mate Elton Lagasse pushing thru a bogus change order via Tim Whitmer that included a huge delay claim.
That said it helps to have a CFO with some sack and both the Waste Management lawsuit and the Performing Arts fiasco clearly indicated Gwen Bolotte was a highly paid doormat. It was an open secret that John Young was looking to upgrade the position and he got his way as Bolotte has taken it to the house.
We’ll keep an eye out on this.
The lede of Joseph Ryan’s Chicago Tribune story is compelling and the cast of miscreants I mean characters (or lack thereof) is stunning:
Nicky Nichols became a major player in the Louisiana world of video gambling while cutting key politicians in on the game. Now he has brought some notable business partners to his Illinois ventures: Louisiana legislators.
Folks it appears Robert Guidry is still a very busy man these days as the Guidry family’s move into emerging gaming markets in places like Pennsylvania and Illinois is well chronicled in the Joseph Ryan story linked above. This is also a classic case study in self-serving double-dealing politicians rationalizing their greed. You good folks up in Illinois that regularly read us (you know who you are) please visit our prior coverage of the Perdigao saga for a possible explanation why Guidry was allowed to keep his gaming license by former US Attorney Eddie Jordan in Louisiana despite the fact he testified to bribing Gov Edwin Edwards to get it. Video Poker in Louisiana is rotten to the core IMHO, a stench filled world where a corrupt and broke local sheriff can become a video poker magnet in his own right leaving the local taxpayers the legacy of his corrupt political hack daughter who is very ably filling daddy’s shoes in the criminal enterprise that is Jefferson Parish Louisiana.
I’ll add that Illinois Legislator Lou Lang from Skokie (aka Hoboken Midwest) appears to be as crooked as they come. In so many ways the marriage of crooked Louisiana and Illinois legislators is a match made in pay to play heaven.
I fully understand that many people are upset by these transactions and on a personal level I am certainly angered as well. However, my official duties require that my actions are legally sound and conform to the Parish charter, applicable ordinances and any applicable employment law to ensure that we don’t risk having to pay damages at a later date. I assure you we are working diligently on this and it has my full attention. Just today I received correspondence from the Parish Attorney on this matter in excess of 30 pages. There are also 3 separate, investigative agencies looking into this matter, one of which (Ethics Board) was initiated by the Parish Council.
As for my term, I was elected to office for the remainder of Ms. Jennifer Sneed’s term, which by the end will be 2 ½ years. If that is the full extent of my time on this Council, I believe I will look back on this time grateful to have served this Parish knowing that I tried my best to executive my duties in a responsible, fair and honest manner.
If the council had only been so diligent with litigation, especially the suits they filed, when they sanctioned the shithouse deal with River Birch….
Here you go folks, Cynthia Lee Sheng in her own words. We’ll get to the special part later.