Could the Chehardy PR blitz be a prelude to a run for Parish Prez….

After all folks, no one in their right mind spends their own money running farewell ads unless they are gearing up to run for another office.  Now leaving aside the fact the ads are frankly silly IMHO as the good folks in Louisiana are taxed to death he leaves out that the pols need your tax dollars to loot out on the back end of earmark scams and to employ their cronies.  IMHO career politician Lawrence Chehardy is simply a slicker version of Byron Lee and a guy who probably never missed a chance to double dip his entire career.

In respects what we are seeing unfold Continue reading “Could the Chehardy PR blitz be a prelude to a run for Parish Prez….”

Slabbed catches up with the original Jefferson Parish deadhead worker as Norma Broussard comes out of hiding.

I was amused Wednesday evening when Ignatius stopped in with a comment on a comment (since deleted by NOLA.com on their site) regarding the second Times Picayune news article that appeared Wednesday evening on Team Theriot suing the blogosphere. The second article was modified by T-P editor Drew Broach whom evidently maintains ties to Team Theriot and who slipped the word “deadhead” into the lede along with changing the author from Rich Rainey to himself. Now I honestly could not tell our readers exactly what a newspaper editor does besides proofing stories but one thing is certain, Mr Broach must have had his head firmly inserted in Mr Theriot’s hiney when we profiled a true deadhead worker in Aaron Broussard’s daughter in law Norma, the lady responsible for keeping a drunk in Craig Codina on the road until he finally killed someone. The other posts in our original series on Norma Broussard and how a lawyer with little to no experience was put in charge of the prosecution of every traffic offense in Jefferson parish can be found here (We busted the Picayune making excuses for Norma) and here (Tax Assessor Lawrence Chehardy’s law firm could not “de-Norma” their website fast enough after our first post).

Norma and her handlers must have thought the coast was clear after months in hiding from the media, so this past week she got up with Times Picayune reporter Melinda Morris. The story is sadly of the variety that I term “lazy journalism” and not because of the big wet kiss the Picayune planted on Norma but rather because it touched on very important constitutional issues the reporter flat-out missed (along with any semblance of reality about life in local traffic court). Let’s begin with Ms Morris’ report from team Broussard:

People arrested on suspicion of DWI know it’s harder for them to get convicted if they refuse the breath test, so they often do refuse, according to a Jefferson Parish prosecutor. Continue reading “Slabbed catches up with the original Jefferson Parish deadhead worker as Norma Broussard comes out of hiding.”

Slabbed again visits the topic of drunk driving as we tie a few things together. Craig Codina meet Scott Walker.

Driving under the influence has been very topical of late here on Slabbed as we’ve ended up with a series of posts that began with Jim Brown’s January 12, 2010 column on Louisiana’s dysfunctional DWI laws, continuing with our examination of why DWI enforcement in Jefferson Parish Louisiana stink as we examined the case of Craig Codina, a serial drunk driver who ended up killing 30-year-old Sandra Stevens of New Orleans in August 2009. For those newer readers who want to catch up, the short version of the Jefferson Parish story is that the attorney position responsible for overseeing prosecution of such matters in Jefferson Parish is filled by a political hack in disgraced former Parish President Aaron Broussard’s daughter in law Norma. Of course incomps have to be put in such positions and Slabbed rightfully called out Norma’s boss DA Paul Connick and the Times Picayune for making excuses for him in straight news reporting. (I’ll be circling back to that Connick post in a bit.) Not one to be left out, we next profiled Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand, a lawman who must be a big believer in second chances as he finally got rid of drunk deputy Dominick Imbornone after he was caught dead drunk behind the wheel of his police car for a second time! As the video embed followup I posted clearly indicates dead drunk was not too strong a phrase to describe Imbornone.

Now that everyone is caught up lets begin by catching up the coverage here at Slabbed as Codina finally received justice after killing Ms Stevens in his 5th DWI as Paul Purpura reported for the Times Picayune: Continue reading “Slabbed again visits the topic of drunk driving as we tie a few things together. Craig Codina meet Scott Walker.”

Jefferson Parish News Miscellany: Item 84 on display as we enter the Jefferson Parish Council Twilight Zone

Paul Rioux waded into yesterday’s Parish Council meeting and agenda item #84 full-bore for today’s Times Picayune. We’ve covered the issues and concerns  held by Parish residents plus some yesterday on Slabbed. The Times Picayune stuck with the narrow issues in their reporting choosing to leave out the citizen questions about Paul Connick’s law firm providing the parish with  professional services. He is just a minor partner there so I guess its is all good.

Next up is a story by Ed Anderson reporting on a bill sponsored in each chamber by two Metairie legislators that would that would strip corrupt public servants of their retirement bennies. Evidently in Louisiana the right of a corrupt pols to their retirement benefits is enshrined in the State constitution.

Next up is today’s editorial on the use of change orders to extend Parish Contracts. From the reporting and now this Oped it is clear the current meme that the current state of affairs is mostly Aaron Broussard’s fault remains alive and well though they did mention the Parish council. With few exceptions, given the campaign cash these “evergreen” contractors tossed to the members of the Parish council I have a hard time branding the contractors with the scarlet letter in isolation. Simply put the system would not exist if there weren’t corrupt pols on the other end of the transaction. Continue reading “Jefferson Parish News Miscellany: Item 84 on display as we enter the Jefferson Parish Council Twilight Zone”

If not for a conflict of interest, DA Connick and family would have no interest at all. A Parish Council meeting update. (Corrected and Updated)

Folks we’ve passed from the ridiculous to the completely over the top as my phone and email in box are getting a heck of a workout this morning.  Let’s start  with my comment to last night’s post that tied a few things together:

We’ve been told item #84 passed unanimously. We’ve also been told that Interim Parish Attorney Peggy Barton fired assistant Parish Attorney Steve Mortillaro.

Ms Barton seems quite the interesting character as I’m told civic activist Margie Seeman used my post to challenge councilman Chris Roberts on agenda item #84 which would allow the Parish President Theriot to explore the possibility of bringing in-house the legal services that are provided by outside lawyers. The warning flag was contained in my post on the Tuesday Night Massacre where Deputy Parish Attorney Louis Gruntz referred to Tom Wilkinson as his client. Parish residents following the situation saw the resolution as a way to open the door to allow the Parish Attorney’s office to represent the recent offenders before the Personnel Board.

That said I did not do agenda item #84 complete justice so we need to again circle back to a question/comment left by Telemachus on last night’s post:

Question about Resolution 84, what does that mean? Does it mean the Parish Attorney’s office is about to take on civil stuff now done by firms like Chehardy, Sherman or Connick’s firm? I’m guessing not? It means the in-house work relates to clean-up relating to the mess left by the in-house people themselves, so that the in-house is really now in the out-house?

The answer and a whole lot more comes courtesy of Unslabbed who was obviously in attendance: Continue reading “If not for a conflict of interest, DA Connick and family would have no interest at all. A Parish Council meeting update. (Corrected and Updated)”

I pulled the post on DA Connick and conflicts of interest…

Folks events are moving so quickly I had to pull the post as it contained a major factual error. DA Connick’s firm Connick and Connick is not representing Tom Wilkinson or Ken Trahan nor is the Parish as of yet paying their legal bills. I have not been contacted by anyone in Parish Government but in talking with other sources it became clear the accounts I received were confused somewhat. DA Connick’s firm does do work for the Parish just not in the capacity representing potential criminal defendants. We apologize in advance for any confusion this erroneous posting may have caused as we are committed to getting this story right.

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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.”

Channel 4 explores Broussard curatorships and makes more connections on the double dealing in Jefferson Parish Government

Last month we highlighted the first investigative report on three judges in Jefferson Parish with a penchant for giving former Parish President Broussard legal work as a curator while he was serving as Parish President. Bigad Shaban at Channel 4 has kicked things up a notch by focusing in on one judge, Glen Ansardi and frankly the stench emanating from the hive is beginning to smell worse than three day old road kill in July.

At first blush I thought this was a Broussard family re-run as we find out that besides being DA Paul Connick’s main girl prosecuting traffic tickets and DUIs Norma Broussard also is in the notary business courtesy of Judge Ansardi. Then we are introduced to a new player in the Jefferson Parish Nepotism game, Judge Ansardi’s daughter Jennifer.

Evidently DA Connick’s attitude toward traffic enforcement is something along the lines of so what if a few schmucks die on the road because an incompetent fluffer is in charge of traffic violations so long as everyone on the inside gets their slice of the pie. When this is said and done it is my hope these miscreants are sentenced to attend the funeral of a 5 year old killed by a drunk driver so that maybe they’ll understand the depths of their greed driven depravity.

I threw props yesterday to Fox 8 and the Times Picayune for their investigative coverage of this unfolding scandal. With last night’s investigative report Channel 4 is letting everyone know they are not going to be a shrinking violet when it comes to this story. Before we get to the video embed lets highlight some of the key points from the transcript that accompanies Bigad Shaban’s report starting with some background on curatorships:

Most know Broussard as the now former leader of the state’s largest parish. Some at the university of New Orleans remember him as a political science professor. But according to documents obtained by Eyewitness News, Broussard actually had 185 other jobs while parish president, little known jobs called ‘curatorships.’ Continue reading “Channel 4 explores Broussard curatorships and makes more connections on the double dealing in Jefferson Parish Government”