And folks he added a good bit of detail to the Pappy Kershenstine arrest warrant saga in a story that is a must read. This snippet confirms who did the dropping of the charges against Kershenstine:
Sheriff’s Office spokesman Col. John Fortunato said the warrant was recalled at the request of the district attorney’s office.
That said I am hearing rumblings certain contractors are receiving a fresh looksie from certain interested parties. We’ll see.
Yesterday afternoon Hammerman checked in with a Home Elevation grant update highlighting the guilty plea copped by home elevation consultant Rickey Davis, who bribed state officials to get lists of the names of homeowners in the program. Davis is the tip of the iceberg of wrongdoing in the program that appears to have double dealing built into every level of state government with oversight responsibilities and the guilty pleas indicate Team Letten intends to roll up the entire rotten bunch.
Hammerman has the following quote from Jim Letten’s courthouse step presser that is worth highlighting as the same concept was mentioned on these pages well over a month ago:
The program is financed by FEMA as a part of its Hurricane Katrina recovery aid, and U.S. Attorney Jim Letten’s office noted that the profit margins built into the state grants of up to $100,000 were so high that elevation contractors were willing to pay Davis $10,000 a pop for a signed contract.
Does everyone remember in the early days after Hurricane Katrina when FEMA was paying for hotel rooms for the displaced? Remember how artificially high the room rates were, pushed up by the rate FEMA was paying? The same concept is at play here as FEMA capped the number of houses to be raised for the money that was allotted thus effectively and drastically raising the market price to elevate a house. The increase in pricing, based upon the calculations of bureaucrats that evidently have no clue how much it costs to raise a house, greatly increased margins which in turn attracted the dregs of the business world to the program turning it into a cesspool of waste and corruption.
Now speaking of dregs, cesspools and corruption it is only fair Slabbed advances the discussion as I was leaked a few docs that illustrate the point. One of the things certain unscrupulous contractors were doing was forgiving initial “promissory notes” that were executed in advance of the funds flowing to a particular project essentially rebating up to $30,000 of FEMA funding to homeowners in the program as a sweetener to sign up with a particular contractor. I have two examples of this the first being from Goatherder elevation company Coastal Shoring (click the pic to get the 2 page pdf): Continue reading “Rickey Davis cops a plea: A Louisiana Home Elevation boondoggle update.”
In early March I highlighted a bit of Goatherder legal jackassery when I profiled Danny Abel’s attempts to quash an arrest warrant for Coastal Shoring owner Jerl “Pappy” Kershenstine using civil litigation tactics. Those tactics did not work out so well for Kershenstine in the courtroom.
That said the homeowner in question was amenable to any reasonable offer Coastal Shoring would make to resolve the situation and so with Plan A of passing civil litigation threats etc not proving very effective someone with some sense must have grabbed Pappy by the ear and convinced him to make the homeowner whole and thus happy. It was a sound strategy regardless of how it came down as the homeowner has been released to hired another shoring company and the fraud charges against Kershenstine have been dropped.
In this morning’s T-P we learn a few things from Hammerman’s analysis of the YouTube vids posted by the New Orleans Observer including the Observer’s likely identity as someone affiliated with the Cumberland Investment Group, an Orleans Shoring competitor. Because of the money involved the market competition has devolved into the business world’s version of a street fight as the public learns the extent of Julie Quinn’s financial involvement with Orleans Shoring while proclaiming to be some sort of consumer advocate, a routine she has used to double deal as a State Senator dating back to the Chinese Drywall scourge that afflicted this area after Hurricane Katrina.
Hammerman notes Quinn is the COO of Orleans Shoring and discloses the worst of the abuses Orleans documented in its own undercover sting are not present in the NOLA Observer’s video. That said Hammerman also brings up two things that are disturbing in the use of $100 Walmart gift cards to score appointments, a practice Orleans was made to discontinue and the disturbing implications of an Orleans Shoring direct mail solicitation and for that we visit with Slabbed commenter Fedupwithitall:
The salesman from Orleans Shoring arrived at this homeowners home with paperwork all filled out including square footage, entrances, name and even Road home number. Is this guy psychic? How can this be? This salesman mentions looking on a list that was not supposed to be used but was magically now able to be used. Lo and behold this homeowner is approved! This Orleans Shoring salesman then tries to scare the homeowner by describing that the homeowner may lose their chance to get their home elevated if they don’t choose Orleans Shoring since Elevation Shoring went out of business 6 months ago per the Orleans Shoring salesman. (Elevation Shoring is still in business). The Orleans Shoring salesman then politely informs the homeowner that they have a NEW Mitigation Analyst named Hank. What a well-informed, nice guy.
How was this information obtained? Orleans Shoring all of the sudden has a list? Oh my! Is this a new list or and older one purchased from Kurt Wiltshire of New Path Recovery? (Kurt Wiltshire of New Path Recovery worked for Christian right after he quit working for OCD_HMGP)
Fedup is referencing the ongoing criminal saga involving the selling of the homeowner lists as well as earlier Hammerman reporting I added in hyperlink to his comment above. The targeted mailing indicates there were other possible leaks involving the program and since a picture is worth a thousand words the mailing is below: Continue reading “Orleans Shoring’s questionable sales practices scrutinized by Hammerman. A former State Senator Julie Quinn double dealing update.”
Folks we’ve occasionally covered the ongoing boondoggle involving the FEMA funded Louisiana Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and the money involved has caused people to do some batshit crazy stuff to satisfy their greed. The program itself is fatally flawed in its design but I’ll save that part for another post. In this post we’ll feature a saleman from Orleans Shoring doing some very sleazing things and it is only right it sees the light of day as Orleans used an undercover employee to document many of the same abuses last fall and it created enough of a stir to merit federal grand jury attention. It is my hope that despite the fact former State Senator/rumored judicial candidate Julie Quinn is heavily involved with Orleans Shoring as a paid shill all the abuses, including those involving Orleans Shoring, are fully vetted by the same investigative bodies and any criminal wrongdoing identified be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The Orleans video itself is in 3 parts embedded below the fold: Continue reading “”
Sunday, the T-P’s Hammerman checked in with another good installment covering the Home Elevation Grant boondoggle. It is a long story that I will not rehash today but the bottom line Hammerman found a bit of silver lining to homeowner protections belated added to the program by the Jindal Administration. I will not dispute the silver lining part but there was one part of the story where a huge red flag was raised and I say that as someone who knows a thing or two about construction finance. Let’s highlight it:
Of the 12 busiest elevation contractors, only the two with the richest share of the grants — Orleans Shoring and J-Con/Davie Shoring — have managed to get final payments on more than 80 percent of their projects. The state has signed off on nearly 500 jobs done by Orleans, and on 439 for J-Con/Davie.
The next closest is Coastal Shoring, with 290 jobs that received advance grant payments. But fewer than 60 percent of Coastal’s jobs have received final payment, and there’s a warrant out for owner Jerl Kershenstine’s arrest on contractor fraud charges for allegedly collecting grant money to lift a Kenner house, failing to do the job and refusing to let the owner change contractors. Kershenstine is arguing it’s a false arrest.
More troubling is that Coastal is far from the only firm taking more than six months to finish lift jobs after getting 80 percent of the money up front. The state considers more than a third of the 242 contractors with active, grant-financed jobs “noncompliant” because more than half of their projects are still unfinished six months after they were paid the advance. Continue reading “Puttin’ the Hammer down: Home elevation horror stories and rumored happy endings (Updated)”
Folks do you get the feeling the Aaron Broussard cronies at Coastal Shoring are feeling a bit paranoid these days? Before we get to the latest jackassery from Danny Abel let’s review:
Did I say there was a warrant issued for Jerl Kershenstine’s arrest? Actually I did and it is true as it is alleged Kershenstine’s company, Coastal Shoring, helped itself to money that it was not entitled from a grant recipient. Now we’ve covered Coastal Shoring some here on Slabbed and it was in fact this post which contained a good bit on Coastal Shoring that finally pushed the Goatherders to SLAPP sue me in Nova Scotia. And that doesn’t count Lockem’s guest post on the topic.
As the above links indicate, Coastal Shoring has a few management problems to go along with the psychological ones and those would certainly Continue reading “About all this brouhaha surrounding Jerl Kershenstine’s arrest warrant: They call me quashed”
Yep they changed the bonding requirements again. I’d like to add at this point that residential construction and homebuilders rarely, if ever, are required to post performance bonds which is why imposing a performance bond requirement on home elevation contractors effectively shuts so many out of the market. You see sureties require things to make their credit underwriting decisions such as CPA audits or reviews that can’t be done overnight. This limits competition. Now if performance bonding requirements had been put in up front you’d have none of these problems now.
Particularly disturbing is the rumors I’m hearing of inexperienced contractors being exempted from the contractor’s license testing requirements if they paid consulting fees to the right people.
The state Office of Community Development’s handling of this whole deal has been a disaster. Dysfunctional corrupt government, brought to you by Bobby Jindal.
Folks we have some new developments in the home elevation boondoggle program as Orleans Shoring is now in some trouble due to the fact its owner, Christian Cancienne, is alleged to be a lying sack of shit like his political lapdog Quinn. You see folks, Cancienne’s prior criminal history was left off his application for Contactor’s license with the contractors licensing board. At this point I’ll note that Cancienne’s prior criminal record was the topic for discussion in comments on this NOLA story we highlighted in this post but predictably the folks at NOLA deleted the comments thus leaving Slabbed as the best online source for Cancienne’s prior life dealing drugs.
So yesterday there was a public hearing on the after the fact rule changes spearheaded by Quinn, Cancienne and Orleans to eliminate smaller competitors from the market place. The legislators evidently did not buy into Quinn or Orleans becoming novice private investigators in the public’s interest either. The Hammerman filed a report on the meeting but folks his story left off a very important detail: Orleans Shoring has now been suspended from the elevation program! Luckily for us Channel 9 out of Baton Rouge covered that aspect of yesterday’s developments.
Now something tells me that December 16th meeting at the contractor’s licensing board will be very well attended by Cancienne’s competitors, especially the ones he tried to hose with his PI sting but given they already trotted out Julie Quinn out in a micro mini skirt may I be so bold to suggest they get her into her stripper outfit for her next lobbying visit to Governor Jindal’s office. I mean it can’t hurt and with each skimpy costume change we get a better idea what Quinn really does for a living because she isn’t much of a lawyer judging from the remarks made at yesterday’s hearing about the Orleans sting operation.
As always there will be more to come folks but I’d like to add we are quickly becoming fans of state senator Ed Murray. You go Ed.
Folks all I can say is the latest news of Orleans Shoring running undercover stings to eliminate the competition brings this whole home elevation deal to a level of nasty not seen since Julie and Patrick Quinn’s divorce proceedings were raging as the general public gets a peeksie at some of the reasons that Quinn was redistricted out of the State Senate (and John Young’s bed).
I mention this because last night we received a contact or two on the topic including one person that gave us the skinny on Orleans Shoring owner Christian Cancienne’s prior criminal record distributing hard drugs. We already knew Christian Cancienne from the Katrina litigation folks and he was about as useless as Eric Paulsen’s legal team in Paulsen v State Farm. But ol’ Christian does have a nice jingle and some of the best former politicians money can buy to snap up a cool quarter of the market.
Hopefully in the process folks I hope everyone will understand how absolutely feckless the current contractor licensing process in Louisiana is in its current incarnation and that is the real story here.
Meantime people are looking to Slabbed to cover this issue and something tells me there is plenty enough dirt on Quinn and Cancienne to make this topic a good fit here.