I had to laugh at Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes dismissing the Sierra Club and other environmentalists as special interests while pouring perfume on the Landfill Sleaze from New Orleans that have been courting Gulfport city politico$ for year$ now. But all the money the Wards have been spreading out can’t take away the stench of the kind of people that want to come to Gulfport and bulldoze more wetlands in the name of progress that Billy Hewes now attempts to prettify:
BILLY HEWES: Don’t squander a second chance at Turkey Creek
The first sign the public should be harbor great dubiety is that Hewes is from the government and claims he wants to help. Normally this means helping himself by helping the monied special interests that want to fill in wetlands to the detriment of the local residents. If I lived downstream in the floodplain I think I’d be highly skeptical. Make no mistake folks, Poppa Ward is still calling the shots here.
One thing I’ve learned doing Slabbed is established print media do not mix and match their state lines. Here at Slabbed the only rule is there are no rules. The benefit to this philosophy today is the following Anita Lee story, which traces its family roots to Thomas “Butch” Ward of the River Birch Ward family. Everyone should therefore read it.
EPA wants Port of Gulfport projects studied ‘holistically’ ~ Anita Lee
So much for MDOT taking the whole enchilada in the Turkey Creek watershed.
I recently introduced the contributor here. I’ll further generally describe this contributor as a former (pre Katrina) mid level employee of one of the various local governments in the metro New Orleans area that is now a private citizen. In other words way outta the game that unfolds before us today. This person, with the help of reporting by the Times Picayune, Slabbed, American Zombie etc has put together the beginnings of a timeline of the corruption scandal that I now share with you today.
There is one thing I must point out first though because there is a date that belongs on this timeline that is omitted because I’ve not yet shared it before today. What I mean by shared is I have not shared it in context so we must refer back to the following post I did on a Times Picayune story written by Manuel Torres way back in the day: Land swap to give landfill longer life – Council expected to approve proposal. IMHO NOLA needs to reactivate their link to that piece and all the related reporting as Slabbed has learned certain Public Records Requests are being denied on this very topic as it is evidently the subject of the ongoing Federal Grand Jury Investigation into Fred Heebe. Drum roll please as we roll out the players at that point in time:
- Tim Coulon, Parish Prez
- Aaron Broussard, Parish Council chairman
- T.J. “Butch” Ward, Parish Councilman and brother to Albert “Jim” Ward, Fred Heebe’s stepdad.
- Donald Jones, Parish Councilman
- Tom Wilkinson, Parish Attorney
- Tim Whitmer, CAO
With that laid out and without further adieu following are 8 pages of a timeline that begins with the Dutchie Connick memo: Continue reading “RICO Part 1: The beginnings of a comprehensive timeline, from a Slabbed contributor”
Anita Lee has the story concerning the promised second Gulfport redistricting hearing that now includes 2 new ward maps, one of which is specifically drawn with the public’s previous input in mind. Long story short Butch Ward and his boy are the fighting eminent domain on their property fronting I-10 between Canal Road and US 49 while they quietly tried to put the inside fix in against the historically black Turkey Creek community by moving the land from Councilwoman Hine’s Ward to Team Ward friendly Councilwoman Pucheu’s Ward. (Whew that is a lot of Wards)
Those wanting to catch up on this facet of the now multi-year Ward family saga in Gulfport can click here for those posts.
Folks, organized crime operate a myriad of scams the only common denominator being garnering ill-gotten loot at the end. Paul Rioux at the Times Picayune outlines a time-honored scam in the construction industry albeit taken to its most brazen level as Fazzio is alleged in the his indictment to fictitiously billed Garner Services around $1MM with the help of Garner COO Mark Titus. Normally the way this scam works is a rogue employee of the contractor will assist a subcontractor in getting inflated bids by circumventing the procurement process and a kickback is paid at the end to the rogue employee by the sub in question. According to the government Fazzio and Titus took it to a whole new level and indeed having the COO of the contractor running the inside interference certainly helped that illicit process. I’ll add that Garner needs to work on its internal controls because hiding the payments likely involved cost shifting and other nefarious construction accounting tricks.
Of course the government has some time-honored tricks of its own and to the extent Fazzio is ass deep in business with Team River Birch and its management team of Fred Heebe, Jim Ward and his bro Butch (now stinking up the coast) squeezing his balls may be an easy shortcut to getting more dirt on the doings at River Birch, which we already know stinks worse than the landfill on a summer day and Fazzio certainly knows where all the bodies are buried.
When I get back to my office later today I’ll try to dig up the indictment via PACER but in the meantime Rioux’s story is well worth the read.
I have a few observations to make concerning Anita Lee’s front page story for the Sun Herald today. One observation is that Councilwoman Cara L. Pucheu of Ward 7 whose district is proposed to expand into a commercial area with few voters can only mean a few things none of which are complimentary to Pucheu, who is evidently either a stooge to Mayor George Schloegel or sold out to the Ward family a la former Gretna City Councilman Jonathan Bolar, now a resident of the Grey Bar Hotel at Club Fed.
The folks in Gulfport City government must certainly be ignorant of the massive federal corruption probe which is happening one state over in Louisiana with Team Ward at its epicenter or they would never be toting water for this notorious family. I’ll add that Holmes-Hines does no one, especially her constituents, any favors by serially playing the race card as this is not a matter of black and white. The color here is $olid green folks.
We’ll have more on this as Slabbed answers the question recently posed to me by a Jefferson Parish politician “What’s it to you”? If only the corruption in Jefferson Parish would stay in Jefferson Parish that’s what.
Michelle Krupa and Gordon Russell at the Times Picayune out did themselves folks.
Folks, we’ve consistently heard the racketeers behind the River Birch landfill owned both land and politicians here in Mississippi and as proof I offer today’s update by the Sun Herald’s Anita Lee on the lawsuit filed by Jerald Ward, mini me to Jim and Butch Ward against MDOT and the Army Corp of Engineers. The irony of people known inside Mississippi environmental regulatory circles as “wetland pirates” casting themselves as environmental saviors is rich but unluckily for the taxpayers in Gulfport, myself included, the fleecing continues as Mayor George Schloegel and the City have joined the Ward’s lawsuit over the Turkey Creek wetlands, which the Wards wants to fill in to build retail. The ultimate irony however, is that this land could well be subject to forfeiture when the coming RICO indictments against certain members of Team River Birch are handed down in New Orleans.
To catch our newer readers up, Gulfport Mayor Schloegel is former CEO of Hancock Bank and IMHO it is a reasonable guess that Team Ward had considerable money (from which they may have also paid considerable bribes) with Schloegel and Hancock Bank. That said and regardless of any prior connections between Schloegel and the Wards, when MDOT announced they wanted no part of the Ward family in Mississippi both the Wards and Mayor Schloegel took umbrage and ol’ George marched mini me Ward down to the Sun Herald so they could get the word out. The fly in the ointment is we also got the word out that Schloegel needed a long shower after the association but it appears George prefers the company of racketeers or more specifically racketeers with money.
This brings us to today and Anita’s latest story, which also contains Judge Ozerden’s ruling on Team Corp of Engineers motion to dismiss as she updates the behind the scenes events that have taken place over the past year. My own experience is that criminal prosecutions have a way of making civil litigation from Team Defense evaporate so there is lots of uncertainty inherent to this litigation but we’ll be keeping this case on our radar screens regardless. Mississippi does not need these flies buzzing around period as we have enough of our own.
Rut roh. But look at who the Judge and Magistrate are. Lemelle, who could fuck up a one man rock fight, and Roby, whose husband reportedly has been under investigation by the FBI, which is why she has recused herself from federal criminal matters.
I’ll let our readers identify the nukes including who has been left out and why that is important. Fire 1, Waste Management’s counterclaim, which could “cost Jefferson Parish millions” according to the consensus of the Slabbed legal team, especially as more of the shit house details come out on how the River Birch “fishing expedition” was conducted.
Fire 2: Like the FBI, Waste Management is firmly grabbing hold of Team Heebe’s balls. Here is the River Birch motion to quash a Waste Management subpoena of their records. I for one, would love to see the contents of the Dutchie Connick file identified in the Government’s filings in the related criminal investigation. Time will tell what River Birch is trying to hide from Waste Management in the civil case.
We’ll be doing a couple of follow-up posts as time allows.