Public outrage on display Part 1: Some thoughts on the Broussard sentencing.

A day has elapsed since yesterday’s sentencing hearing for Karen Parker, Tom Wilkinson and Aaron Broussard in Judge Head’s temporary courtroom on Camp Street and the accounting by the media of yesterday’s events is almost complete, “almost” being because I have not chipped in my two cents worth. First up I need to highlight Jason at American Zombie, Editilla at the Ladder and Mark Moseley aka Oyster over at Your Right Hand Thief for the hat tips and support. There are people taking real personal risks telling this story besides me and they deserve the recognition. To those guys I’ll add I have sources whose families have been threatened because word has gotten out they spoke with me. I can honestly say I’ve never been prouder of those of you that have entered the crucible with me despite the personal risk telling this story entails.

Next I need to point everyone to Drew Broach’s second story on the Broussard sentencing because it is good and he can actually spell sophomoric correctly.  He hits all the high points save one so I’ll highlight how the media portrayed what I am talking about and hopefully convey a deeper understanding of what went down yesterday so let’s start with this snippet from Drew’s story:

Head said he considered a series of regular payments from Kenner businessman Bill Mack to Broussard as a single bribe for parish business, not several. And he downplayed Broussard’s “leadership role” in the payroll fraud conspiracy that gave the parish president’s then-fiancée, Karen Parker, a public job for which she was not qualified and at which she rarely worked.

As a result, the judge calculated the sentencing guidelines range to be 46 to 57 months.

And a few of the other media accounts:

Gambit

Broussard faced a maximum of 15 years for the crimes, a sentence likely cut down because of his clean criminal record and his cooperation. Head, a Texas judge appointed to the Broussard case, further reduced the sentence, citing a number of disagreements with recommendations from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the federal probation office.

The government recommended sentence enhancements for accepting multiple bribes from Mack. But, Head pointed out, those bribes resulted from a single agreement.

“A bribe paid in a series of installments is one bribe,” he said.

Head also struck down an enhancement based on an assertion that he was the organizer of a bribery conspiracy involving five or more people. The deal, the judge said, was strictly between Broussard and Mack.

Fox 8:

Broussard originally faced 58 to 72 months behind bars, but U.S. District Judge Hayden Head reduced the sentencing guidelines and only ended up giving Broussard 46 months. In court, Judge Head, brought in from Texas, disagreed with prosecutors on how some of the charges were counted, thus deciding to change the sentencing guidelines.

WWL TeeVee

Legal expects (sic) expected Broussard to receive a sentence in the five to eight year range. The Texas judge handling Broussard’s sentencing said prosecutors had double counted his bribe payments.

Judge Hayden Head also appeared to downplay the hiring of Broussard ex-wife Karen Parker as a paralegal supervisor even though she lacked the proper credentials to do the work.

He said from the bench: “This was not a sophisticated operation. It must be common procedure to put people on the payroll.”

The apparent light sentence caught many court-watchers by surprise, given the nature of the public corruption charges.

“He gave a lecture to the U.S. Attorneys Office, to the probation department and he calculated the sentencing guidelines differently than the probation office had calculated them and that worked to the benefit of Aaron Broussard,” said Eyewitness News legal analyst Donald “Chick” Foret. “He was not impressed with the payroll portion of the case which dealt with Tom Wilkinson and Karen Parker. It was almost like he was trying to talk Tom Wilkinson out of his guilty plea at times.”

Drew Broach got it the closest while the Gambit oversimplified things to the point of being misleading.  I did not expect much from the TeeVee media though Chick Foret’s analysis always seems both informative and amusing.

First we need to dispel the notion that Judge Head gave a downward departure from the sentencing guidelines because that is simply not true.  As I previously said in comments Judge Head called the case straight so in my opinion the criticism he is taking in comments to the various news accounts is neither warranted or deserved. Second Slabbed’s legal experts had no preconceived expectations of Broussard’s sentence though I’ll add NOLA Born, a former Federal prosecutor has opined the sentence handed down is in line with the crime and fact pattern as submitted to Judge Head. Continue reading “Public outrage on display Part 1: Some thoughts on the Broussard sentencing.”

Aaron Broussard due in U.S. District court this morning

Drew Broach has the skinny on today’s festivities scheduled in Judge Head’s courtroom including new business with the newly flipped former Parish Attorney Tom Wilkinson.  Also on tap are change of venue and Broussard’s earlier motion to have the  bulk of his indictment tossed.

That said I want to talk 404 and not the internet variety, rather I’d like to take a second to address rule 404b, Federal Rules of Evidence and those recent motions made under that rule specifying evidence of other crimes involving Aaron Broussard including his use of his property in Nova Scotia Canada at the resort at Trout Point as a conduit for bribery.  Saturday, Drew Broach checked in with news Team Broussard had filed their reply to the government’s rule 404b notice, linking the salient Broussard pleading, which came to me via email with the following comment from an attorney not affiliated with the case:

As far as legal brief writing, this pleading is D, maybe D-, work. Poor grammar, syntax and typos abound. It’s also hard to understand the presentation of the case law that is supposed to be supportive of AB’s position.

What I thought was interesting was on page 2 of the brief Team Broussard summarized the “other criminal acts” mentioned in the US Attorney’s motion but spent the rest of the brief trying to debunk the campaign contribution and ethics board investigations without mentioning Broussard’s property in Nova Scotia again until the last paragraph of the brief. Continue reading “Aaron Broussard due in U.S. District court this morning”

Are there more charges coming against Goatherder Aaron Broussard along with Tom Wilkinson? You betcha!

You bet your sweet bippy there are folks.  One of the first tips I got on the scandal in Jefferson Parish was the fixing of DWI cases in exchange for legal payola and I have heard rumors from several sources that indicate the Feds are also now wise to the Broussard / Wilkinson scam of getting kickbacks from lawyers that had lawsuits involving the Parish.  The final piece of that puzzle came today thus allowing this disclosure. This would mean by extension there are members of the NOLA area bar that should also be scared shitless and I’m assuming they are folks.

It strongly appears as if Team Uncle Sam will not stop until Head Goatherder in Charge Aaron Broussard is completely crushed, along with Tom Wilkinson. That is all.

sop

BREAKING: Aaron Broussard Laundered his money through Nova Scotia!!!!! A Trout Point Update

Folks, the walls must really be closing in on the girls methinks given the nasty grams and such they have been sending me of late. Well folks, Rich Rainey of all people has the skinny on Karen Parker’s plea and “factual basis”, which contained the following tidbit:

Additionally, from approximately 2004 through 2010, Broussard received monies, totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, that were characterized as, among other things, “retainers,” “consulting fees” or “finder’s fees” with various contractors and vendors, all of whom were doing business with Jefferson Parish during the period of time Broussard was the President of Jefferson Parish. Moreover, Broussard was a majority owner in a holding company which owned an investment property in Canada. Broussard received income from this Canadian property. This property was partially funded by individuals and/or entities who were contractors and/or vendors doing business with Jefferson Parish during the period of time Broussard was the Jefferson Parish President.

Folks all I can say is Leary and his wife Vaughn Perret, owners of the Trout Point Lodge in Nova Scotia and fiscal agents for Broussard’s real estate holdings at the Trout Point development have actually threatened to do what I told them they had to do originally; namely if they wanted to sue me they had better come to the US. So girls, you’ve been living on Slabbed lately and talking lots of trash so this is my official answer to you and rest assured I have a compete series of posts coming that will explore both Karen Parker’s latest revelations and soooo much more. ~ sop

Update:

WWL Tee Vee’s Mike Perlstein had this on this twitter timeline.

Fox 8 and WWL TeeVee is reporting Karen Parker will be in court to plead guilty to Misprison of Felony.

Aaron Broussard’s ex-wife is due in court this morning folks to change her plea in the payroll fraud portion of what we call the Jefferson Parish Political Corruption Scandal. Worth noting is Miss Parker was cut in by her then hubby Aaron Broussard on his portion of the development at Trout Point in Nova Scotia, another tentacle of the ongoing investigation into the most significant political corruption investigation in Metro New Orleans in a generation.  I’ll update this post today as the story on Parker’s change of plea and agreement to cooperate with the FBI and state authorities in the ongoing investigation develop.  Sources indicate Miss Parker can avoid jail time completely under the terms of her plea.

sop

The media in Nova Scotia pick up on the Broussard indictment and State Ethics Board Investigation.

I love local lore and history folks so the story in today’s SouthCoast Today on Aaron Broussard’s legal troubles and connections to Nova Scotia is right up my alley and ranks as a must read folks.  Here is a snippet:

On Februray 28, 1765, less than a month after being chased by the British government in Nova Scotia out of the colony for his murder, mutilation and scalping of hundreds of British subjects, famed Acadian firebrand Joseph Beausoliel Broussard stepped off a ship in New Orleans, where his progeny have multiplied and still reside. One of the most famous of those today is Aaron Broussard, alledgedly one of the most corrupt officials in a notably corrupt region…..

Read more at the SouthCoast Today.

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Broussard Indictment Links: “This is the end of the beginning” as Val Bracy shines on….

One of yesterday’s top search strings to Slabbed  yesterday was “Val Bracy fired”.  I was curious about the source of the googles and found it on Fox 8’s own website as they ran large segments of the Aaron Broussard extended interview, parts of which are subject to a libel suit against Fox 8 filed by Trout Point Lodge  and its owners Broussard legal associate Danny Abel, Charles Leary and Vaughn Perret as they evidently did not like the end result of what Broussard had to say on his ownership of a vacation lodge in Nova Scotia run by (and since sold to) Trout Point Lodge.  Unfortunately Fox 8 updated their video archives for the late newscast reports but the newer story still has excerpts of Val’s Broussard interview sans the credit. Speaking of Fox 8, their segment with Margie Seemann can be found here.

Channel 4 has 2 stories up on their website.  They garnered reaction from Aaron Broussard’s criminal lawyer Robert Jenkins, who does not get high marks from Slabbeds legal team. The Gambitman also chimed essentially saying Aaron, Tom and Karen, you guys are so fucked. Folks if you think Aaron Broussard crying on NBC after Katrina was bad wait until he reports to the federal pen.  BoP may need to start a tissue drive now to stock up.

Channels 6 (NBC) and 26 (ABC) also had coverage.

Over at the Times Picayune the editorial board tackles the newest legal strategy used by the Parish to void the shithouse deal Broussard cut with the River Birch Landfill.  They also covered yesterday’s recusal from the case of every federal judge in the LAED. I pair these two stories as a commenter to each exposes the logical flaws in both.  That recusal in particular stinks in that if these judges can’t deal fairly with the brother of a Magistrate, WTF is Ginger Berrigan doing presiding over the related case involving the son of a senior federal judge Fred JR Heebe, a jurist she once clerked for that also presided over a curious case involving Carlos Marcello back in the day? This makes absolutely no sense given Judge Vance’s started reasons for the enbanc recusal.

The T-P also filed stories on Broussard’s marriage to his former council aid that ended in both divorce and indictment. Curiously absent from Rainey’s coverage is former journalist Ken Trahan who was being paid by the Parish while he worked at the Saints Museum or drunken Constable Antoine “Tony” Thomassie who likely drank to his paycheck.  The T-P’s coverage of the indictment can be found here.

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Jefferson Parish District Attorney Paul Connick, Jr.: A mantle of malfeasance Part II. A guest post by Whitmergate

Aside from the obvious and expected role of a District Attorney, to enforce the criminal laws of his Parish and State, that office is also charged in many instances with the obligation to seek and recover monetary restitution from any individual and/or any legal entity that has, in violation of parish or State law, profited from their wrongful conduct by way of a civil lawsuit.

As it concerns public officials, elected or appointed, DA Connick has failed to investigate, indict, prosecute or convict any officials suspected or known to have broken the laws of Jefferson Parish or the State of Louisiana. The fact is, DA Connick’s intentional refusal and/or gross negligence by not bringing any of these individuals to justice has resulted in unjust economic gains to these same miscreants at the prejudice of the taxpayers who have a right to honest services from their public officials, including HIM! To put it another way, we, the citizen/taxpayer, deserve to receive what we paid for, expecting public officials to do the right thing; not what these officials believe they deserve by covering up for each other and distributing our tax dollars to benefit themselves, family, friends and cronies as they deem fit.

There are also provisions under our laws that provide for both civil and criminal penalties in addition to any recovery. This too is ours, the taxpayers’ just reward for the punishment of these wrongdoers.

Mr. Connick is most certainly guilty of malfeasance, and most probably misprision of a felony. I will in a subsequent post detail a litany of wrongdoing by individuals seemingly protected by DA Connick, including Council members and contract/personal service campaign contributors. For the moment however, there is no other person than former Parish Attorney Tom Wilkinson, whose conduct while in office provides undeniable credibility to my belief that Mr. Connick has failed us; he has betrayed his oath of office. Continue reading “Jefferson Parish District Attorney Paul Connick, Jr.: A mantle of malfeasance Part II. A guest post by Whitmergate”