To understand the SLAPP suits filed by Aaron Broussard’s former business associates one must understand what the posts reveal……

This post is one Charles Leary, Vaughn Perret and gang at Trout Point Lodge took particular umbrage. In that post, I linked a Tripadvisor review on River Bend Lodge, one of several cottages and outbuildings Leary and Perret managed for Aaron Broussard in a way that was indistinguishable from the Lodge itself. Later the pair would sue the Times Picayune claiming the assertion made in a series of stories, now retracted, that Aaron Broussard owned Trout Point Lodge was somehow defamatory toward them.

And that Tripadvisor review I linked way back in August, 2011? It is now deleted but luckily for everyone I well excerpted it on Slabbed:

We rented River Bend which is a huge cottage. There were 3 couples traveling and this was perfect in size. Trout Point is about 35 to 40 minutes from any town, so you will want to bring food. When we open the front door there was mouse droppings, lots of it! Now we are out in the woods so we weren’t too upset but the Innkeepers could have swept it up before we arrived. The Innkeeper gave my husband the extension to call the front desk to make breakfast reservation. She gave us the wrong number! I had to drive back to the lobby to make the reservation. Breakfast was fine, nothing special, potato cakes, waffles and fresh fruit and 1 muffin that was very good. We were expecting more because of the culinary reviews. After breakfast we asked the cost for dinner. We were infomed that breakfast was $22.50 and dinner was $143.00 for two. We opted not to have dinner. Dinner in town for a full lobster and mussels runs about $30.00. The next day at check out we were hit with a 18% gratuity on the whole bill!!! and breakfast was $22.50 per person!! When I say whole bill, I mean including the lodging. No one ever came and cleaned our rooms when we were out. We stayed two days. So why the 18% gratuity on the lodging?? All the information we read about Point Trout never mentioned the 18% additional charge and I am in the process of contacting my credit card company to reverse that charge. If you have any questions about the area or about the Inn then you will have to look for the Innkeeper because they are never at the front desk.

We will not stay here again. It was a beautiful place but this place is very deceptive in their charges.

River Bend Lodge? Where have I heard that name before???? Oh yeah, it shows up in this court filing that I linked in a recent comment. Here is the salient screen capture: Continue reading “To understand the SLAPP suits filed by Aaron Broussard’s former business associates one must understand what the posts reveal……”

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.”

Slabbed examines the harassment of private citizens expressing their opinion on Jefferson Parish Corruption: Part 2

The post was insanely good except for one part but before we get to the post and part to which I refer, let’s visit with this New York Times story from 5 days ago:

The question is no longer who has been hacked. It’s who hasn’t?

The Washington Post can be added to the growing list of American news organizations whose computers have been penetrated by Chinese hackers.

After The New York Times reported on Wednesday that its computers as well as those of Bloomberg News had been attacked by Chinese hackers, The Wall Street Journal said on Thursday that it too had been a victim of Chinese cyberattacks.

The above illustrates the vulnerability of sophisticated corporate networks to hacking but we also learned that from News Corp in the UK in 2012.  I mention this because last month the Times Picayune’s Gordon Russell wrote a story on Fred Heebe’s witch hunt for a private citizen that used the guest computer at the International House Hotel to comment on NOLA.com about the scandal in Jefferson Parish, specifically Dutchie Connick’s role in the alleged conspiracy between the River Birch Landfill and the Broussard Administration to put in the fix in favor of River Birch and close the Parish’s own landfill.

And that brings me to that insanely good post I mentioned at the beginning as I have previously linked it twice on Slabbed, Jason Berry’s A corner piece of the commenter puzzle.  I featured that post in part 1 of this series and I need to feature it again to set up the balance of this post, which will be both long and thorough. Jason set up 4 possibilities which would explain how Fred Heebe ended up knowing the mystery commenters opined on Dutchie Connick from the International House computer along with the email address that he used to register with NOLA.com and I summarize:

1.  The IP information of this commenter was obtained from a second party marketer or vendor?……..
2.  Someone within the NOLA Media Group or Advanced Publications shared the IP and identifying information with Heebe’s defense team that allowed them to track the commenter back to the hotel………
3.  Advanced Publications/Nola.com servers were hacked………
4.  Heebe’s team somehow knew that the commenter was using the hotel’s computer already and they put a keystroke recorder on it in order to track down the exact time and date the commenter was using it……….

He then opines that the application of Occam’s Razor results in bullet point #2 being the most likely scenario. I disagree and will add a 5th possibility. None of the above. Continue reading “Slabbed examines the harassment of private citizens expressing their opinion on Jefferson Parish Corruption: Part 2”

Reality check time for Trout Point Lodge. A Eco-Libel Tourism Update

There is a country saying about poseurs that is a personal favorite folks and it is time I shared it with everyone.

Big hat, no cattle

Why do I mention this? First allow me to quote that phony news story dated December 21, 2012 by the Halifax Chronicle Herald’s Bill Powers on Slabbed’s historic SPEECH Act victory over the SLAPP Happy libel tourists at Trout Point Lodge:

Perret said he and his business partner will consult with their lawyer on the ruling and are tired of commenting on the case.

“We do not have high expectations of ever collecting any part of that $425,000. This was never about the money,” he said.

Unfortunately this is pure fantasy as Perret and his hubby Charles Leary tried enrolling the money portion of the specious Nova Scotia judgment against me in Hancock County Circuit Court earlier this year. Later they would ask for relief they did not plead in enforcement of the very broad injunction Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Suzanne Hood also issued.  Judge Guirola found both the money judgment and Hood’s injunction repugnant to the constitution of the United States under the SPEECH Act but Perret and Leary are in full tilt damage control mode after Guirola’s decision.  I’d submit Perret, a self proclaimed Park Avenue lawyer is fooling only himself, beclowning himself in the process.  Why do I mention this?

TPL v DKH Doc 37

Alas this is not some small time local yokel courthouse in BF Egypt of the type preferred by Charles Leary and Vaughn Perret. Federal Court is no place for boys to play a man’s game as put up or shut up time has arrived. Continue reading “Reality check time for Trout Point Lodge. A Eco-Libel Tourism Update”

Self control was never one of Aaron Broussard’s strong points

Go ahead, make my day

Attorney for the former Goatherder in chief, Robert Jenkins amuses with his latest installment of Goats on a rope but before we get to that lets set the atmosphere in the spirit of the season with the following reader suggested video from the good people at Giggle with the goats:

Yesterday Robert Jenkins took a break from representing the disgraced and soon to be indicted former mayor of New Orleans Ray Nagin to register indignation with Judge Head over Sal Perricone and Jan Mann playing on the internet. Drew Broach had all the skinny for NOLA including Jenkin’s motion which caused some “organic laughter” here at Team Slabbed.  Judging from the reader comments both on Drew’s original and updated story (linked above) Jenkin’s assertion that Broussard actually had a good reputation to lose pretrial is the stuff of sheer fantasy but the comment of the day goes to David Chistenson, whom I’ll publicly thank for all the new Google search referrals related to that pesky Katrina virus:

Greed is a terrible thing. Shut up and take the few years you are going to get. The DOJ will pull the plea and move the trial. Don’t be stupid.

This would be the best advise anyone has ever given Broussard but as they say on finance “Pigs get fat, Hogs get slaughtered”.

OK, time for another video: Continue reading “Self control was never one of Aaron Broussard’s strong points”

Wash, rinse, repeat: Aaron Broussard’s former property managers in Canada again sue Slabbed for defamation in Nova Scotia

Alternate Post Title: When the FBI comes knocking you know Slabbed’s House be rockin’!!

Trout Point Lodge SLAPP Happy Duo of Charles Leary and Vaughn Perret / Image by Kara Crowell / TORONTO STAR

Last month I attended a settlement conference in Magistrate Roper’s chambers at the US District Courthouse in Gulfport. Typically all the parties to the litigation must attend settlement conferences but the court excused Charles Leary and Vaughn Perret from attending due to the associated travel cost from southern Nova Scotia, which is literally isolated in the middle of no where due to the lack of ferry and air service.  Southern hospitality is a good thing IMHO.

I mention this because we were advised by their US based lawyer Henry Laird that Charles Leary and Vaughn Perret were going to sue Slabbed again, despite the fact that everything I have written on the topic of how they fit into Aaron Broussard’s corrupt bribery scheme has panned out 100%.  Clearly they do not want their role in this, as Broussard’s American expat Canadian based SLAPP attack dogs exposed but the multiple libel and defamation suits and threats against the news media well tell that sad tale.

Even more amazing are Canadian judges trying to dictate what American citizens are saying online about an American political corruption scandal but there was a good reason the SPEECH Act was passed unanimously by the US Congress in 2010. Canadian libel laws outside of the province of Quebec are subject to great abuse and that is certainly true in the case of Aaron Broussard’s former property managers at the Resort at Trout Point Nova Scotia, Charles Leary and Vaughn Perret along with Aaron Broussard’s law partner at the Super 8 Motel on Clearview Parkway, Trout Point Lodge co-owner Daniel “Danny” Abel. I have been advised that, based upon the experiences of Slabbed New Media, certain free speech advocates are currently working on tweaks to the law.  Simply put, the use of foreign courts to harass American Citizens commenting online is a national issue and Slabbed is “lucky” enough to be at the center of things.

I mention this because we told Magistrate Roper that if Leary and Perret wanted to come sue me here in the US where the story is, I welcomed the chance to vigorously defend my reporting.  But I think it is now clear Leary and Perret want no part of me in an American courtroom as they have again sued me in Nova Scotia, amazingly asking the Supreme Court there to decide the case under American law.  It is a clear attempt to find a sneaky way around the SPEECH Act and is transparently phony but it is what it is folks.  Before I share the suit I think we can deduce a few things so here goes: Continue reading “Wash, rinse, repeat: Aaron Broussard’s former property managers in Canada again sue Slabbed for defamation in Nova Scotia”

Please stand by for an important announcement from Slabbed New Media LLC

Newbies should note these type post generally involve litigation. Enjoy the nice elevator music while I finish conferring with the legal team. Thank you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dn4QwQAQnHc

Trout Point Lodge, Cerro Coyote, Aaron Broussard and others named as co-conspirators/defendants in federal racketeering suit.

For true folks they are so named as the Concrete Busters lawsuit has been removed from the Orleans Parish CDC to the US District Court in New Orleans.  My perusal of the docket indicates this case is filed under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act as it looks to me like certain Goatherders are in BIG trouble. :-) Slabbed’s previous coverage of this aspect of the larger corruption scandal in Jefferson Parish can be found by clicking here.

Click the pic to get the 4 page pdf of the removal.

The 54 page amended state court petition attached to the federal suit can be found here. Continue reading “Trout Point Lodge, Cerro Coyote, Aaron Broussard and others named as co-conspirators/defendants in federal racketeering suit.”

Updated and Featured: South Coast Today adds to their continuing coverage of the unfolding scandal at the resort at Trout Point

New Orleans politician Aaron Broussard’s federal prosecution for fraud took another big step forward in New Orleans last week, when the disgraced Jefferson Parish president pleaded guilty to a number of charges, which he and his lawyers had previously denied.

One of the allegations made against Broussard by his ex-wife and others is that he used his ownership in Nova Scotia vacation properties and property firms to “shake down” individuals and businesses wanting to do business with the most populous parish in New Orleans. Broussard’s connection to Trout Point Lodge and to the Trout Point region in trhe Kempt Wilderness has been a frequent issue in various lawsuits and media reports surrounding Broussard over the past two years or more.

The Lodge was built ten years ago by well-connected New Orleans lawyer Danny Abel, former New Orleans Lawyer Vaughn Perrett and wild mushroom expert Charles Leary. The lodge and neighboring properties have been a home away from home for ther creme-de-la-creme of New Orleans political royalty and has been the frequent subject of travel and food magazines the world over. Media stories describe Abel, Leary and Perret as “friends for decades”. Abel reportedly “infused” the project with funds from his successful law practice, while the couple managed Trout Point Lodge, then the Cerro Coyote property in Costa Rica and a small hotel and cooking school in Granada, Spain.

Continue Reading at the South Coast Today

Dirty deeds done dirt cheap: Slabbed explores the genesis of the Trout Point Development and certain land sales to Aaron Broussard and his cronies.

Trout Point Lodge Owners Vaughn Perret, Danny Abel and Charles Leary

July 22, 2001 Sunday
Nova Scotia Nirvana; Trout Point Lodge is rich in Louisiana roots, an hour from the Evangeline Trail, co-owned by New Orleanians who used to make cheese at the north shore’s Chicory Farm. But it’s decidedly Canadian, an unparalleled wilderness experience in the lap of luxury.BYLINE: By Millie Ball; Travel editor
SECTION: TRAVEL; Pg. 1
LENGTH: 2229 words

EAST KEMPTVILLE, NOVA SCOTIA — Once a month, from May through October, New Orleans lawyer Daniel Abel catches a flight to Maine and then a boat to Yarmouth, a town at the southern tip of Nova Scotia. By the next morning, Abel has settled into another week-long stay at Trout Point Lodge. It’s his idea of heaven. Others agree, including Food and Wine magazine, which raved about it last month. The 10-bedroom lodge is surrounded by 200 acres of spruce and pine and birch and maple trees and overlooks the Tusket River and a pond that reflects the clouds and skies above Nova Scotia. The interior is Metropolitan Home rustic, with kilim rugs and furniture crafted from tree branches. The comforting smell of earlier fires that crackled in the many fireplaces mingles with fresh scent of spruce logs that were trucked in to build the lodge.

Abel’s one of the owners. He knows how to find Trout Point, which isn’t easy. It’s an hour north of Yarmouth and an hour east of the Evangeline Trail, the heart of Acadian Nova Scotia.

“Go past East Kemptville to East Kemptville Road” — a dirt road, by the way — “then turn at the lodge sign and follow the electrical wires to the end,” said Vaughn Perret, Abel’s business partner with Charles Leary. Perret was talking on a cell phone that kept fading in and out.

Perret and Leary run the lodge, now in its second season, as well as a nearby cheese dairy farm similar to their last project, the north shore’s Chicory Farm, which gained some renown in the mid-1990s.

So said Millie Ball way back in 2001, This is important for several reasons, one of which I can’t speak about on the advice of my attorney but before I get to that we need to visit with Millie’s travel piece for the Times Picayune a bit more: Continue reading “Dirty deeds done dirt cheap: Slabbed explores the genesis of the Trout Point Development and certain land sales to Aaron Broussard and his cronies.”