I often save what I’ll term a “fragmentary tip” because of the subject matter. From my standpoint writing for Slabbed this is a warm and fuzzy moment because almost exactly 3 years ago to the day I got a tip alluding to a connection between Northshore businessman Bay Ingram, Ted Cain along with certain high profile targets of a now defunct Federal criminal investigation that I will not name at this time. Armed with that fragmentary tip and with the magic of the right google search strings Slabbed can verify the connection Mssrs. Ingram and Cain mutually share. Let’s begin with some must read links:
A major contributor to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s campaign, Ingram was appointed by Jindal to the state Mineral Board in March 2008. A the time he was listed as being the president of Healthcare Holdings of Louisiana and Ingram Investments.
In 2006, Ingram was caught up in a controversy involving the sale of a former golf practice facility along Interstate 12 near Slidell to St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain’s office.
Ingram and frequent business partner Don McMath bought the property for $2 million, then sold it to the sheriff’s office for $2.4 million a few hours later. Strain defended the move as a good value for the money.
Ingram is a man that got around in metro New Orleans business circles and was very active in the healthcare industry on the Northshore including bringing Doctors’ Hospital in Slidell out of bankruptcy with a capital infusion. As a young man in his 20s he owned Bimini Bay in Slidell for those that remember that particular Slidell drinking establishment. Before I make the connection there is some additional vital background that is revealing IMHO:
In the BP case, federal prosecutors say Ingram fabricated documents to grossly over bill the oil giant for a helicopter and helipads used to help the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office do recovery work after the April 2010 oil spill. Ingram invoiced BP for more than $1.4 million despite never receiving proper approval for use of the helicopter. Once BP denied payment, Ingram enlisted the help of then-Sheriff Jack Stephens to press the company and eventually sued BP. But according to the bill of information filed against him, Ingram had falsified flight logs and forged documents provided to BP.
It has been unusually busy here today in advance of the holiday weekend but I’d like to take a second to let everyone know that I confirmed the recent incidents being cited in comments to yesterday’s post on Slabbed’s hacker. The comments in question start here which involve adultery, porn on state computers along with various and sundry other peccadilloes.
As for Slabbed that Horne contract has remained stuck in my craw since early June. We got to dig down on it just a bit deeper and we will.
What would appear at first blush to be a straight forward post has gotten a tad more complicated so what I am going to do is identify what the crackerjack Slabbed Investigative Journalism team found plus a bit more and then put some more meat on the bones in subsequent posts.
I guess the first question would involve identifying Waldo and for that we turn to this Google search string to accomplish that. I used Google instead of homegrown Slabbed links to illustrate that the gang at Frontier Strategies has attracted a good bit of statewide media attention and that attention has not necessarily been positive. I’ll let Wayne Weidie explain via this post on the Weidie Report dating back almost a year ago concerning the bruising primary battle between Senator Thad Cochran and State Senator Chris McDaniel that left the incumbent Senator in second place behind the newcomer McDaniel. Here is a snippet:
Poor campaign decision from the start
For his campaign leadership, Sen. Cochran had Kirk Sims and Josh Gregory fostered on him by Sen. Roger Wicker and Gov. Bryant. Sims was Bryant’s chief of staff before he was named campaign manager. No small factor is that Sims is Wicker’s son-in-law. Gregory has always been the man behind the throne for Bryant, and Gregory is already looking for his next horse to ride into the Governor’s Mansion after Bryant presumably is re-elected and serves his second term.
While the Cochran campaign had other able campaign professionals, by any measure, the management of the campaign was a disaster.
For people that make their living doing political coms consulting, the golden children of the Boss Hogg administration have not fared as well since Boss’s coattails departed the Govs mansion back in 2011 and the above criticism, from an well known, seasoned political operative had to sting. And yet it is more than just giving bad campaign advice as issues involving the maturity certain of the GOP golden boys have also been raised right here on these pages but the focus of my search was for Frontiersman Joe Cloyd and his long rumored no bid contracts with Mississippi DMR that morphed into a long term project.
You see folks normally you’d head straight over to the Mississippi State Transparency portal and pull up all the contracts by state agency and then locate the one you’re looking for – wham, bam, boom its done. But nothing connected with Joe Cloyd ever came up thus the issue became one of resolving the information imparted to Slabbed by sources in the Bolton Building Janitorial Department, an impeccable source of information on all things DMR without cluing the General in as to which sanitation engineer was leaking Slabbed New Media. Continue reading “Where’s Waldo Part 1: Hiding in the no-bid DMR Consulting Contracts that’s where”
Welp folks, I got another Department of Marine Resources care package that contained some pictures, including a few Silver Dollar group photos. But what was most interesting was a tip I received on the Slabbed Action Line involving alleged family-blood and/or in-law relationships in the current DMR senior management team but the tip was not specific enough for me to pursue.
I’ll see what I can develop and present from the care package and tip.
There is something about the narrative that does not make sense and that would be why it wasn’t the House version of the funding split that was not ultimately passed if the versions between the House and Senate bills were so radically different. Has Hancock County’s allocation of Tideland’s money been cut overall? If the answer to the second question is no, then perhaps the respective Hizzoners should have engaged the process in the State Senate.
At the bottom of this is a failure of leadership and that stretches beyond eliminating the wave break from the construction plans for the Bay Harbor.
Per Anita Lee’s story on yesterday’s sentencing of Joe Ziegler, Ziegler claimed he had nothing to do with the foundation but instead was the DMR lobbyist for the legislature. Trinity Walker begs to differ. I’m hoping some of you old DMR salts can help reconcile the difference.
This is what happens when, by design, the oversight board for an agency is structured to be captured out of the gate and people with an economic interest in specific outcomes allow their personal financial interests to trump the public interest:
Of course the people with the economic interest in specific outcomes were the same people who brought the public Billy Walker and his reign of thievery. That said there is one person on the CMR who is actually looking out for more than just himself:
Those same concerns were echoed by DMR scientists, as the CMR considered a limited dredging season this year.
“The areas where there’s a high recruitment and a good spat set, I think we need to look at limiting those,” said the DMR’s chief scientific officer, Dr. Kelly Lucas.
Commissioner Ernie Zimmerman said he couldn’t go against that recommendation.
“What scares me to death is letting these fishermen go make a dollar today and take two dollars out of their pocket next year,” said Commissioner Zimmerman.
Cuevas also said, “The department was being run like it had no oversight and the people in charge ran it like they owned it.”
That one statement sums up the DMR scandal better than anything written before or since. Why Governor Bryant and his legislature refuses to require every state agency to be audited annually defies the imagination…that is until one logically concludes that what we saw at DMR more than likely repeats across every state agency.
As for Cuevas, the man who knew where all the bodies were buried ended up with the best deal.