Admit that putting up Elton LaGasse for Parish President was a savvy political move. It not only clears the way for Cynthia Lee Sheng to slide over to the vacated At Large council seat it sets up a bruising battle between LaGasse and Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni, who is also rumored to be in the race to succeed John Young as Parish President. Gretna Police Chief Arthur Lawson is backing LaGasse with his West Bank political base along with Roberts and his base there in Terrytown.
Meantime over at Louisiana Lite Gov this could be Nunny’s year.
Ramon Antonio Vargas tells the story behind the story of a determined litigant in former Jefferson Parish CAO Heather Hilliard and her two and a half year journey to justice for the New Orleans Advocate that is good reading as another news story originally broke by Slabbed New Media (here and here) completes its cycle through the news. Looks like I’ll need to shake the tree to see what is happening these days up on 10 at Yenni. 😉
Management’s Responsibility for the Financial Statements
Management is responsible for the preparation and fair presentation of these financial statements in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America; this includes the design, implementation and maintenance of internal control relevant to the preparation and fair presentation of the financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.
You would assume someone that has been in a senior management role at SRHS for as long as CEO Kevin Holland would understand these things but my experience is when the shit hits the fan, the stuffed suits typically pretend they don’t know jack while trying to cover things up and this is indeed the route senior management at SRHS has been taking since last March. Preserving talking points seems to be the paramount concern at SRHS these days and the public money being thrown at the KPMG lawsuit endeavor will be both copious in amount and represent a good example of the wasting of assets, all while management at SRHS tries putting the screws to its own retirees.
The business world always slows down in advance of the Christmas holiday so yesterday I took advantage and headed to US District Court in New Orleans and a major pretrial hearing in the Heather Hilliard civil suit against Jefferson Parish. The hearing was attended by all the finest people but before I get to that the following is spreading like wildfire in the NOLA legal community:
The judge also raised concerns Wednesday that the sprawling jail litigation has become “overlawyered,” noting Gusman now has two private law firms handling the case, while Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration also has engaged two firms. The city remains actively involved in the litigation because state law requires it to pay for inmate care.
Williams, of the firm Gauthier, Houghtaling & Williams, has joined attorney Blake Arcuri and the Usry, Weeks & Matthews firm in providing legal services to the sheriff. The city, meanwhile, has relied on Harry Rosenberg, a former U.S. attorney who works for the firm Phelps Dunbar, and Ralph Capitelli, of Capitelli & Wicker, in addition to the advice of City Attorney Sharonda Williams.
The mounting legal fees are being doled out even as the city and the Sheriff’s Office continue to fight over how to spend limited resources on changes at the jail. “The taxpayers are paying for it at the end of the day,” Africk said.
It’s not clear why Gusman decided to hire a second law firm, though the sheriff has faced a torrent of litigation prompted by OPP’s violent conditions, even apart from the consent decree proceedings.
Spokespeople for Gusman and Landrieu did not respond to questions Wednesday about how much the Sheriff’s Office and city are paying the attorneys.
And it is only right that Slabbed reveal those sides given that I broke the coverage of management team turmoil in the Young Administration back in January, 2012 which was joined almost immediately by the big media outlets in NOLA. The story went straight down into the gutter with tales of workplace sexual harassment that used terms like “Thong Thursday”, “Booty Call” and “Ass Chaps” in reference to certain female employees or official acts involving them.
Employees resigned under duress and eventually the female employee that brought the original complaint, Heather Hilliard, was terminated. She then filed suit against Jefferson Parish, ultimately hiring Bobby Truitt to represent her. This story’s time in the sun has mostly passed but just like with Bay Tech I kept a watchful eye on PACER and I have a doc from earlier this week in the case that I gotta share. But then today an Easter egg came in the form of the deposition of a member of John Young’s security detail that is simply priceless and it is there we begin as Slabbed explores the many sides of Parish Prez John Young:
There’s 365 days to a year, 30 days to a month, whatever, 12 months to a year, however you want to look at it. John Young’s got 365 dispositions, okay? One for each day, so pick a day.
As we have been consistently saying on Slabbed for almost a year now. Slabbed is told it is not likely Councilwoman Cynthia Lee Sheng will seek the Parish President’s job given the untimely passing of her husband earlier this year and resulting family considerations. All eyes on Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni and Parish Councilman Chris Roberts for Parish Prez. All eyes on Nunny and John Young for Lite Gov. I now return you to our regular programming.
Jefferson Parish President John Young spent an hour on the witness stand Friday in the Hurricane Katrina flood trial, distancing himself from his predecessor, Aaron Broussard, and vowing that drainage pump operators will never leave the parish on his watch. “I disagreed with it then. I disagree with it now,” Young testified…
To me the question is how will a jury view all the testimony they’ve heard to date. With all the contradictions between the testimony of the elected officials opn who knew what, where and when I think the jury will either:
Take it out of Aaron Broussard’s hide, which in turn would give me a nice warm fuzzy feeling.
Tune all the testimony out and punt.
My guess is they will take it out of Broussard’s hide but let’s not count our chickens just yet. Mantime Jeff Adelson over at the Advocate also wrote an account of Young’s testimony yesterday:
Folks don’t get mad, get Slabbed. I’m not certain why Ms. Hilliard changed counsel midstream but I certainly think she nabbed a fine lawyer. Newbies can find vital background here and here plus generally here. It is another example of a Slabbed scoop on the Jefferson Parish beat.
I’ve had a few things in my inbox on this and the Broussard flood suit for well over a month that need examining. Plus this Jefferson Parish hospital deal has people talking and they are not talking about the extensive coverage afforded to Councilmen Chris Roberts and Ben Zahn by NOLA.com and the Advocate or the quality of care provided by the various competitors to the deal. I’ll see if I can get something semi coherent together on that issue while I have a sliver of time to spare. It sounds like classic cesspool politics based on what I know at present.
The latest email blast from Jefferson Parish Citizens for Good Government came late last night. Speaking of Ben Zahn:
Supporters of Good Government:
The Jefferson Parish Council will meet this Wednesday, September 18th at 10 a.m. on the West Bank at the General Government Building. As we have been doing at every council meeting for the past three years, Citizens for Good Government will again present information from our Campaign Contribution Table shown below. The information which we present is summary information which supplements the contractor campaign contribution information read aloud by Council Clerk Eula Lopez. We have factually and precisely identified the entries in our table as total campaign contributions of at least $1,000 made during the PAST FOUR YEARS to our councilmembers by contractors and subcontractors on whom the Jefferson Parish Council is scheduled to vote at the next council meeting. The contractors and subcontractors in our table were obtained from resolutions in the Agenda for the council meeting and from the affidavits attached to the online Agenda Items. Continue reading “I hear Heather Hilliard has a new lawyer: Jefferson Parish Omnibus”
A few days back I left a comment which implicated Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts as the source of the press leak regarding the amount of the Parish’s settlement with Anne Marie Vandenweghe, the terms of which I understand were confidential. My assertion regarding Roberts being the source of the leak was incorrect.
“Sometimes I do,” he said. “Like when I see this mess with the National Flood Insurance (Program) — Congress holding a gun to people’s heads and the best they’re offering is a year extension.”
It’s frustrating, he said, the inflated premiums, “which will adversely effect so many people down here and knowing that I know there’s a better solution.”
Indeed there is a better way. Michael and Karen’s piece also solved a mystery as the Dunbar Pier is close by. Altis Tenuibusque comes at a price thus my surprise at seeing the public pier fixed a few weeks back and not knowing it was a community production. And yeah Gene, please run because this area needs you in Washington!
That said the advantages of Altis Tenuibusque are also very clear as today’s missive will illustrate but first we have major news from the New Orleans Media Congroovancy as Ace Investigative Reporter Nell Nolan leaves the House of News to join the Lucky Coin Today. A fair read of these pages well illustrates why Slabbed New Media has come to conclude that Nolan was Ashton Phelps best hire bar none during his tenure as publisher of the T-P and Nell goes back farther than that to the old States Item, which I well remember because we used to get it in Waveland back in the olden days. Plus if Nell ever decides to leave the news biz a very lucrative career pumping the pinks awaits. Either way I’m a fan for life.