Jefferson Parish judge finds JEDCO emails are public documents ~ Paul Purpura
Several of my peeps, very well placed in the JEDCO community, are urging me to send a PRR on the Henry Shane-Lucien Gunter email flap for Slabbed New Media. I also happen to know a public records expert or two….maybe even three. With that in mind I and others are wondering what makes Judge Ansardi’s decision in Shane v Parish of Jefferson a “first of its kind” ruling. My understanding is there is a ruling out of the LA 1st Circuit directly on point. First of its kind in the 24th JDC/LA 5th Circuit maybe, but the jurisprudence is there. I wish Paul had elaborated more on that as I have a heightened curiosity on this general topic.
With that said and now that certain redactions are in order per Judge Ansardi, I’ll share that the most vexing thing in my expansive PRR on the bad old days during the Goatherderian reign of terror last year was this exact issue. Ken Krobert at the Parish Attorney’s office and I would politely agree to disagree and move along but I was well aware that certain redactions were going to be applied to the documents.
In fact this is what made this whole Henry Shane – Lucien Gunter email thing smell to me was the fact that Team Foshee has absolutely no problem telling Slabbed no on this issue. In fact I submit they have every incentive to do just that as being seen cuddled up too closely with Slabbed would be frowned upon by the 5AM Potty Krewe on the Parish Council. The fact I got my docs, with certain redactions, proves the Parish Attorney is committed to following the law which is why the gang on 7 greenlit those emails between Gunter and Shane to begin with. I hope the taxpayers can recover the costs of defending these frivolous suits from Team Shane.
So a fair read of the Judge’s decision would mean that if Shane said in emails that certain potential candidates were eliminated from consideration due to race, color and/or creed those names would all be fair game. Or is his ruling confined to declared candidates? The devil is in those details. I know this folks, this is how the public ended up with Pat Tovrea on the School Board.
That’s right folks, in proverbial smoke filled rooms paid for by the taxpayers but for which serve the self interest of the politically connected. I mention this because Paul Purpura has the skinny on Judge Glenn Ansardi blowing a bunch of smoke about whether private citizens using public accommodation such as email servers to conduct private and potentially illegal activities is somehow exempt from the Louisiana Public Records Statute. It is the biggest bunch of BS I’ve heard in quite some time outta the Gretna Courthouse, now nationally infamous in the aftermath of Operation Wrinkled Robe and the Impeachment of Tom Porteous as one of the worst cesspools of corruption in the country.
Worth noting is Fred Heebe’s legal team is representing Henry Shane trying to keep these specious communications secret, while simultaneously suing multiple people associated with the Heebe prosecution for defamation just one Parish over. What the public will find are that the two most abusive Jefferson Parish School Board members, Pat Tovrea and Michael Delesdernier are Henry Shane tools who used JEDCO to push their campaigns for office according to sources speaking with Slabbed on the condition of anonymity.
Not mentioned by Paul is the fact that some of those 9000 apartments and at least one Shane condominium are here on the coast so if he is buying politicians in Louisiana it is a safe bet he’ll export the model here as well. It should be lost on no one that when these self interested misers are done screwing up their communities in Louisiana they inevitably end up over here on the coast because no one wants to live in the cesspool, not even the ones that created and financially benefited from it.
Now Paul did something I was asked not to do several months ago and he threw a nice hat tip to the gang up on 7 at the Yenni Building so I sense opportunity:
Broach initially sought the e-mails from JEDCO. After JEDCO declined, Broach sought them through the parish and filed a public records request with the parish attorney’s office. Assistant Parish Attorney Kenneth Krobert concluded the e-mails were releasable but gave anyone else with interest time to object. That’s when Shane intervened.
I’ll add Ken is one heckuva nice guy and a consummate professional possessive of a temperament well matched to the trade. He is a Kenner guy made good that is well respected by the Slabbed legal team and this despite the fact he came from an insurance defense firm. He was kind enough to share some of those older experiences with me which was nice as Slabbed’s initial focus was the post Katrina policyholder court battles with insurance companies. In return the gang got to see life through the eyes of a new media guy on a mission. Continue reading “Conducting the peoples business in the shadows: JEDCO case illustrates how business is conducted in Jefferson Parish”
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.
Folks that has certainly been my experience after covering Judge Ross LaDart’s attempted home cooking of Anne Marie Vandenweghe’s public records suit back in 2010 and 2011 so along those lines it comes as no surprise that Judge Glenn Ansardi, a close friend of the disgraced former Goatherder in Chief and the Kenner political mafioso would issue an injunction against the release of public records that would expose JEDCO, specifically wealthy developer/Goatherder Henry Shane and company engaging in prohibited partisan political activity.
Political emails sent through Jefferson Parish agency shouldn’t be released, judge says ~ NOLA.com
A state judge Friday ordered Jefferson Parish not to release politically themed emails that an economic development official exchanged through his public agency’s account during the runup to the 2010 School Board elections. A court hearing has been scheduled Wednesday to consider the issue further.
Judge Glenn Ansardi of the 24th Judicial District Court in Gretna issued the temporary restraining order at the request of Henry Shane of Kenner, one of Jefferson’s most politically influential businessmen, who sued to block release of the correspondence. NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune and The Advocate had asked for the emails under the authority of Louisiana public records law.
I first heard about the use of JEDCO to push the political campaigns of certain school board members such as the now infamous kook Michael Delesdernier and Tom Capella political hack/thug Pat Tovrea at the time JEDCO’s Lucien Gunter announced he was stepping down as executive director. Slabbed has excellent sources in both JEDCO and the Jefferson Parish business community as a whole that were horrified that the organization had been hijacked by the likes of developer/crony capitalist Henry Shane and people are talking. It appears both NOLA.com and the Advocate have taken an interest in this story and it is a good one IMHO.
So why is Ansardi interested in doing the bidding of Henry Shane? Perhaps for reasons related to both the Internal Revenue Service and the prohibition on certain nonprofits engaging in partisan political activity and/or even better, Car 54. Drew Broach explains: Continue reading “Is the Louisiana 24th JDC incapable of dispensing justice in public records cases involving the politically connected?”