Lights Camera Action!: A Jefferson Parish Political Corruption update

OK folks time is short today but we had additional coverage of yesterday’s resignation of disgraced former Parish Attorney Tom Wilkinson that included a new revelation by Fox 8 reporter Val Bracy that I want to make certain is not overlooked. Before we get to that lets begin with the WWL TV story on Wilkinson’s resignation:

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more about “Jefferson Parish attorney resigns | N…“, posted with vodpod

We also have a copy of Wilkinson’s resignation letter courtesy of WWLTV and Scribd: Continue reading “Lights Camera Action!: A Jefferson Parish Political Corruption update”

Slabbed updates the Jefferson Parish front: Redflex reveals more under the table payments. Wilkinson “Broke the Parish’s law”

I’m reworking the post that was scheduled for publication yesterday in response to some new information so while the Slabbed nation waits we have a pair of stories from Fox 8 that directly touch on topics we’ve blogged on: The red light contract and Parish Attorney Tom Wilkerson’s double-dealing. Let’s start with Redflex:

Jefferson Parish President Steve Theriot says he’s started getting answers about the red light camera program.

In particular, he’s focused on the names of all subcontractors who will make money off the deal.

Theriot asked Redflex Traffic Systems two weeks ago for information on who would get money from the contract.

He finally got that information today.

Already mentioned was local insurance agent Bryan Wagner and Julie Murphy, who is the wife of Jefferson Parish judge Bob Murphy. Continue reading “Slabbed updates the Jefferson Parish front: Redflex reveals more under the table payments. Wilkinson “Broke the Parish’s law””

There is a Broussard in the woodpile part deux: The Times Picayune carries water for DA Connick and misses a chance for Jazz. Slabbed passes out the Razz.

Over the two plus years Nowdy and I have done this blog I’ve had occasion to take employees of news organizations out to the woodshed from time to time for sloppy reporting. Notice I did not use the term journalist or journalism as such implies a level of professionalism which is invariably missing when I bring the wood. With few exceptions my poison missives are directed at the national financial media, which in reality is a collection of well read parrots and whores such as AP reporter Ieva Augstums or Reuter’s Kevin Drawbaugh (The brothel over at CNBC is another post). After reading my poison posts invariably I’ll get an email from a real journalist with the question along the lines did you email them for clarification before you ripped them? While I don’t normally waste valuable finger time with financial reporters that should know better I will go out of my way for the  local press and that brings us to today’s topic of Craig Codina, a serial drunk driver that I introduced to the Slabbed nation early this month where I profiled the politics of drunk driving in Jefferson Parish and identified the unqualified political hack responsible in former Parish President Aaron Broussard’s daughter in law Norma. And it is with Craig Codina’s recent plea to his 4th drunk driving offense, the one that finally killed an innocent motorists that we’ll visit with next. Times Picayune employee Michelle Hunter filed the story:

Craig Codina, a multiple DWI offender from Destrehan, pleaded guilty Monday to vehicular homicide and third-offense DWI in connection with two separate Metairie car crashes.

Codina, 26, also pleaded guilty to first-degree negligent injuring before Judge Conn Regan in Gretna’s 24th Judicial District Court, according to Trooper Melissa Matey, spokeswoman for the State Police.

The homicide and negligent injuring charges stem from an Aug. 1 wreck on Airline Drive in Metairie that killed Sandra Stevens, 30, of New Orleans, and severely injured Santos Garcia, 28.

Codina pleaded guilty to third-offense DWI as well as careless operation of a motor vehicle in connection with an October 2008 accident on Causeway Boulevard in which he crashed into the back of a vehicle driven by a teenager. She was not injured.

Despite the fact that the August fatal wreck was Codina’s fourth arrested for driving while intoxicated, he was booked only with second-offense DWI for both that crash and the Causeway Boulevard wreck.

That’s because the Jefferson Parish district attorney’s office was erroneously informed that Codina’s first conviction in St. Charles Parish in 2001 was for underage DWI, which can’t be used to enhance penalties for subsequent offenses.

The mistake came to light after a Times-Picayune article in August about Codina’s record. Codina actually pleaded guilty to first-offense DWI in 2001. Prosecutors upgraded the charge in the October 2008 crash to felony third-offense DWI, after learning about his past record.

Regan sentenced Codina on Monday to 30 days in parish prison for the careless operation charge. Neither Codina, nor his attorney, David Motter, could be reached for comment Thursday.

Codina and his attorney David Motter were not the only folks unavailable for comment as I sent Ms Hunter an e-mail seeking clarification of the paragraphs I highlighted above: Continue reading “There is a Broussard in the woodpile part deux: The Times Picayune carries water for DA Connick and misses a chance for Jazz. Slabbed passes out the Razz.”