Friday Links: The apple does not fall far……

First up from the land of Dizzy Dean:

Stone County attorney disbarred over misappropriated funds ~ Robin Fitzgerald

Let’s count some apples shall we. Dad gets off very light with house arrest after the family drug running enterprise blew up in the 1990s while son Eddie got 7 for his participation. Now Tadd nabs client funds outta the law firm trust account and is disbarred. How times have changed over the last 20 years In Stone County as Boss Hogg finally passed. Moving right along.

Sal Perricone was still Sal Perricone on the Internet ~ Jarvis DeBerry

You tell ’em Sal. ūüėČ Next up is someone that flew under the radar.

Ex-DMR exec Ziegler pleads guilty to helping conceal mail fraud ~ Paul Hampton

Given that misprision of felony is not a major felony (every felony is major, some more than others) it is very possible Ziegler gets house arrest. Here is the salient text of 18 U.S.C. §4:

Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

Do Bay St Louis and Ocean Springs need to swap City Councils?

How dark are the finances for Ocean Springs ~ Karen Nelson

Some people say we’re in the dog days of summer as the Times Picayune wanders off Half Moon’s reservation around 2 weeks too late

Folks it didn’t take long for my email in box to start buzzing with this Michelle Krupa story on Diana Bajoie, a Dollar Bill Jefferson political hack with an extensive background in conprofit earmarking. The buzz of course relates entirely to the fact that none of what Krupa reported save comments from Team Bajoie is new, as it¬†appeared¬†here on Slabbed¬†back on June 6th but more important relates to an exhaustive investigation into the whole “conprofit” earmarking scam done by my¬†colleague¬†Jason Berry over at American Zombie as it related to now congressman Cedric Richmond, whom the Times Picayune¬†enthusiastically¬†supported editorially for the office. ¬†The long and short of it folks is if you want the T-P’s endorsement for political office it clearly helps to be as dirty and on the take as possible. ¬†Jason wisely asks that we all reserve judgment on this story as the behind the scenes is likely to be complex. That said the remainder of this post will examine that complexity.

It all started back in 2010 when Jason began running an expose on Cedric Richmond’s past career as a career politician/political hack in state government. ¬†The return on searching for the truth where ever it led was catching hell from democrat political operatives, duplicity from the GOP side of¬†aisle¬†and grief from the Times Picayune, who took pot shots at him in service to Mayor Half Moon, who backed Richmond to the hilt. ¬†All this caused Slabbed to jump in supporting Jason’s excellent investigative work and in the process, applying the concepts Jason pioneered, Slabbed explored¬†similar¬†taxpayer funded scams in Jefferson Parish involving then Parish Councilman Byron Lee. ¬†I am not claiming Slabbed trail blazed this topic though we did greatly help advance the conversation.

So here we are almost 2 years later and Mayor Half Moon’s pick to serve as interim city council member, Diana Bajoie skated past the local main stream media without so much as a notice of her involvement in the Dollar Bill Jefferson scam despite the fact it was reported in the Times Picayune during the¬†course¬†of their coverage of the Rene Gill Pratt trial. That is until last night. Continue reading “Some people say we’re in the dog days of summer as the Times Picayune wanders off Half Moon’s reservation around 2 weeks too late”

Prisoner’s Dilemma back in the news….

Stephanie Grace and James Gill tacked the topic of the 7 year sentence given Rene Gill Pratt for her role in the Jefferson clan scheme to loot out bogus charities funded in part by state/federal earmarks.   We saw the outrage at the sentencing disparity between Betty Jefferson and Rene Gill Pratt on these pages late last week as the topic is framed that Gill Pratt got a stiff sentence because she elected to go to trial and fight the charges while Betty Jefferson essentially received a free pass.  My own opinion is I do not accept that argument to frame this issue.

Way back on these pages I revealed I was a student of low-level game theory and certain related branches of¬†mathematics.¬† Game Theory 101 includes the concept of prisoner’s dilemma, a topic that has appeared several times¬†on these pages. The bottom line is that the person in legal trouble who cuts the first deal¬†gets the best deal and those that do not roll over end up steamrolled if guilty.¬† For example, in¬†the continuing¬†criminal investigation involving shit house double-dealing¬†in the Nagin¬†Administration, Greg Meffert wisely chose to cut a deal¬†and will no doubt get a much lesser sentence than the one given Mark St Pierre. St Pierre thought he could con his way out to the bitter end and the results were very bad for him.¬† Was the sentence a punishment for¬†electing to fight until the bitter end or is it the well deserved fruits of his illegal activity, proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law?¬† I¬†gravitate to the latter point of view personally.

None of this means that Betty Jefferson isn’t a piece of walking excrement Continue reading “Prisoner’s Dilemma back in the news….”

Rotten to the core: A few stories I am following today.

Folks each of these news stories deserve their own post and in time most will be featured but for now here are some links that interested me this morning. Please feel free to add your own in comments that fit the theme: ~ sop

Today's rapid fire segment is sponsored by Bellesouth and Blue Moon….

A couple of days ago we¬†welcomed a new commenter on an older post that brought word¬†of a Jimmy Gates¬†story in the Jackson Clarion Ledger that is related to our and Bellesouth’s ¬†coverage of the arrest of Oxford lawyer/blogger Tom Freeland. Hatfield later was kind enough to¬†share the hyperlink to Jimmy’s story.¬†The short version is Team Freeland has done some medicare/medicare fraud criminal defense work winning a notable trial last year in Hattiesburg.¬† A short while ago they lost a similar case in Jackson and the Doc in question in that case, Cassandra Faye Thomas is staring at a very long stretch of time in the pokey now convicted for fleecing Medicaid/Medicare to the tune of $6.9MM.

A¬†top shelf criminal defense in complex white-collar litigation does not come cheap folks and bet Doc Cassandra had to dig very deep to hire Team Freeland.¬† I’ll be honest and say my initial reaction was to chalk this one up to a desperate person doing anything and everything they could to avoid the pen but then I checked in with Bellesouth and¬†my reaction to her post was¬†HOLY CRAP! There may be a sliver of hope for Doc after all.

Next up is Hizzhonner Half Moon after I received an email and one comment on the veracity of Supasleth’s bombshell comment yesterday evening¬†regarding Henry Mouton’s cooperation with Team Letten¬†that included serving up Ann Duplesiss and Rene Gill Pratt. Duplesiss is a key member of Team Half-Moon and Gill Pratt is facing retrial on Dollar Bill Jefferson related corruption charges as I write this.¬† Jason was kind enough to stop by and help us close the circle on Duplesiss.¬† So the question is whether the assertion true or not.¬† We have no way of knowing for sure but our search for the truth has us on a path leading us back to the tip.¬† For our newer readers I’ll add the Sleuth has been a fairly reliable commenter here over time and Jason is certainly no slouch in that department either. Continue reading “Today's rapid fire segment is sponsored by Bellesouth and Blue Moon….”

This just in from Team Gill-Pratt….

By rights I shouldn’t know this given my previous¬†cyber assault on Sandpaper Mike Fawer, lawyer for Renee Gill Pratt but his people have been talking to our people and this is what I can say for sure.

I can readily think of three bigger SOBs than your truly, Mike Fawer being one of them.¬† He honestly doesn’t give a shit what I post or think.¬† That is probably a good trait for someone in his line of work.

Like IMA said, Fawer¬†isn’t scared to take a case into the courtroom, where¬†the Times Picayune recently acknowledged his style as “feisty”. That pays benefits when an incompetent judge is involved in the proceedings such as Judge Lemelle.

The bottom line here is Team Fawer will take one which ever way they get one. Continue reading “This just in from Team Gill-Pratt….”

Change some of the names and you got Jefferson Parish…..

You know folks maybe I was being a bit hard on Mike Fawer for bringing the Renee Gill Pratt portion of the Dollar Bill Jefferson saga to trial.  Make no mistake, Fawer abrasive style will insure Gill Pratt gets the book thrown at her but the testimony this past week gives the public another good peek into the way business is conducted in the NOLA metro area thus the title of this post.

For our many readers that are not in this area¬†who are hooked on our Jefferson Parish coverage we’ll start with¬†a must read in the Times Picayune story Gill Pratt racketeering trial offers glimpse into inner workings of a political machine. The unbridled greed is breathtaking and provides probably the best reason for banning¬†earmarks since it appears most of it is looted out by cronies of corrupt politicians¬†who are incapable of making an honest living.

Next up is T-P columnist Stephanie Grace who wrote a column on the testimony of two DaimlerChrysler execs in Gill Pratt’s trial last week. This is also a must read as Grace describes the impact of these prosecution witnesses on the Judge and jury: Continue reading “Change some of the names and you got Jefferson Parish…..”