And history will note the saga of the workplace retaliation taken against whistleblower Anne Marie Vandenweghe is Slabbed’s second real time account of such events lest we forget Cori and Kerri Rigsby. I know it certainly would not appear this way to Team Vandenweghe, but against State Farm the thugs in Jefferson Parish Government are mere pikers. Nonetheless, I’d like to congratulate the Young Administration and Team AMV for resolving this matter in the best interest of the local taxpayers.
Details of the deal are confidential and it is a safe assumption that there is a golden handcuff component because I did not hear about the finalization of the settlement, first reported on Slabbed, from anyone connected to Team Vandenweghe. Then again my sources in Jefferson Parish are second to none despite the fact I generally do not play with politicians as a general rule.
I mention all this because I intend to tell the story from my perspective of a journalist that witnessed many of the events from my perch at Slabbed real time over the past 3 plus years including the events that I think led to what became the prosecutions of Aaron Broussard, Tom Wilkinson, Tim Whitmer and Karen Parker. I hope Nassim Taleb approves because it is truly a tale of chance mixed with epic douchebaggery that resulted in multiple felony convictions against multiple parties.
But before that happens I have one small matter in the NOLA CDC that will need to be tended to as Aaron Broussard’s former partner in the legal department of the Super 8 Motel on Clearview Parkway, Danny Abel has filed another defamation suit against me, Vandenweghe as well as every one of my Louisiana based attorneys in Bobby Truitt, Scott Sternberg, Brodie Glenn and Baldwin Haspel managing partner Paul Vance as well as the law firm itself via a screed that is essentially a recycled version of the defamation suit Abel walked away from in the LAED back in May of this year on the eve of my special motion to strike his complaint under Louisiana’s Anti SLAPP Statute. Judge Piper Griffin has been assigned the case.
They did folks. In fact Concrete Busters amended complaint filed Wednesday against The River Birch Landfill et al unifies several themes we’ve covered here on Slabbed through time. But alas those nasty Goatherders and I have an outstanding matter in United States Federal District Court in Gulfport before Judge Louis Guirola that my lawyer, Bobby Truitt has me barred from commenting upon. But that does not mean that we can’t let Concrete Busters tell part of that story as I invite everyone to consider the implications for quarter 4 sales for the good folks over at Carmex. Let’s start with this snippet from the beginning of the suit:
I will vigorously defend our fair use of any material we find that enables this media organization to expand the public’s knowledge of the systemic corruption in the New Orleans Metro and the newspaper that aides and abets it.
Now you gotta deal with me as I am responsible for the content on this site.
I recently had one of those famous Slabbed Ah-Ha moments where what seemed to be unrelated events clicked. The result is this post as we can examine the recent events that ended with Mr Theriot withdrawing his very ill advised lawsuit against the blogosphere in context. Unfortunately I’ll also explain why the Slabbed Nation should remained armed and vigilant as the thugs on the Parish Council and their waterboy Steve Theriot are busy hatching the next scheme to eliminate dissent inside Parish Government and trample the free speech rights of those who comment on Parish Government from the outside. Let’s begin with the Ah-Ha moment which came courtesy of a recent article by Rich Rainey at the Times Picayune:
The Internet has become an electrified third rail in Jefferson Parish government.
Most recently, interim Parish President Steve Theriot sued to uncover the identities behind anonymous user names on the website www.NOLA.com. After enduring days of public scoffing, he dropped the lawsuit this week.
But his administration’s wrestling with the online world goes back further.
Folks it is not that Theriot is dumb or a fool. Rather he thinks the general public are idiots. Here is the hot off the press release:
Regarding the lawsuit recently filed by the Parish of Jefferson and Steve J. Theriot against John Does 1 through 100 and the subpoena issued to New Orleans, Net, LLC;
This lawsuit was never intended to silence individuals from expressing their views or suppressing any First Amendment rights. Rather, the focus was on the detrimental consequences that stem from false and injurious statements being made by anonymous posters and bloggers in Cyberspace. With the increase use of the internet, anonymous blogging or blogging by speakers using pseudonyms (fictitious name used by an author) has dramatically increased. Those who are victimized by such anonymous postings or blogs often do not know what recourse they have to seek redress. I sought redress, but the matters I attempted to address by the lawsuit have been and were totally misperceived and mischaracterized; therefore, at this time, I have decided to pursue the matters needing to be addressed through alternative avenues.
Yesterday, I instructed the lawyers to withdraw and dismiss the lawsuit.
TheRiot and his band of idiots on the Parish Council have gone national folks but before we get to that let’s highlight more local media reaction beginning with Louisiana political pundit CB Forgotson who composed a post titled Just a friendly little defamation suit that is very good. Here is a snippet:
I’m sure it was just a mix up in communications with Theriot’s lawyers. They thought he said “sue the bastards.” What Theriot apparently said was “invite those citizens to lunch so we can learn more about their concerns.”
We lawyers often get the terms lawsuit and lunch confused.
Theriot was brought in to restore confidence in Jefferson Parish government. If that is still the goal, it’s time to go to Plan B.
I’m sure I will be hearing from Theriot’s lawyers to get more of my input.
Interim Jefferson Parish President Steve Theriot obviously does not value the 1st Amendment and the right of free speech in this country. He used parish funds to file a lawsuit against anonymous bloggers who criticized his administration in Jefferson Parish. This is an irresponsible and outrageous use of tax dollars. Residents should demand that Theriot drop the lawsuit and focus on his real job, like fixing some of the problems outlined by the bloggers. Continue reading “More media reaction to Theriot v the Blogosphere. TheRiot makes the New York Times.”
The editorial board of the Times Picayune has added their two cents to the topic that has consumed my blogging time this week in Theriot’s SLAPP suit against the Blogosphere that is well worth the read. Here is a small excerpt:
Most people, though, wouldn’t expect a government to seek information about suspected misconduct by suing its critics for defamation. Yet that’s how Jefferson Parish interim President Steve Theriot is defending a lawsuit seeking the identity of anonymous online critics of his administration.
This suit is a public relations disaster and likely a waste of taxpayers’ money.
Public relations disaster indeed as the master of disaster in the executive suite and his minion at the Yenni Building swung from this:
What has become known here on slabbed as the Jefferson Parish political corruption scandal is a multi-faceted affair that would take several posts to recap. In my opinion the big Kahuna is the River Birch landfill but we also have the petty corruption in the Redflex Contract along with some garden variety payroll fraud, and of course the blatant double-dealing which started it all in Bill Hubbard, his girlfriend, Tim Whitmer and Lagniappe Industries among other things. As Jim Letten’s boys began to examine all these items via subpoena there was commonality between all the scandals in the person in the Parish Attorney’s office whose job responsibilities included most all record requests in Anne Marie Vandenweghe.