I understand the Vandenweghe settlement has been signed, sealed and delivered

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.

Other Voices| SouthCoastToday.ca: Disgraced New Orleans politician begins prison term

Corrupt New Orleans politician Aaron Broussard enters federal prison in North Carolina Monday after being convicted of a rash of charges of fraud and bribery, some with connections to businesses and property he owned or managed in the Kempt Wilderness in Nova Scotia. He was sentenced to three years, ten months in a minimum security facility.

In a TV interview over the weekend, Broussard described how he entered politics forty years ago fighting the political machine and “good old boy” system, only to become the poster child for political corruption in a notably corrupt town. Broussard was president of Jefferson Parish, the largest in the state. “I’m leaving politics as a good old boy in disgrace,” Broussard told reporter Travers Mackel.

Broussard’s criminal case involved several charges, of which he insisted he was innocent and would fight to the end.

He finally admitted in court to scheming in 2003 to give his then-girlfriend — later his wife — a public job for which she was not qualified and at which she rarely appeared. He also confessed that he took bribe payments totaling $66,000 to help steer public contracts to a Kenner businessman. His ex-wife, his chief administrative officer, his parish attorney and the businessman also pleaded guilty to federal charges.

“If you’re involved in a scandal, then you wear the scarlet letter for the rest of your life, and beyond the grave,” Broussard told another reporter. “I regret every single act and thing that I did that leads me to walk into the prison gates on Monday.” Continue reading “Other Voices| SouthCoastToday.ca: Disgraced New Orleans politician begins prison term”

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:


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.”

Must Read: 4 years in prison for New Orleans corruption figure with Nova Scotia ties

Racketeering claims reach into wilds of Kemptville

Aaron Broussard arrived in a New Orleans court Monday morning, where his 35-year political career ended with a 46-month prison sentence for fraud committed while he was president of Jefferson Parish, the most populous New Orleans suburb.

Broussard, who must also repay $280,000, apologized “for bringing dishonor to my position. I will pay for that dishonor for the rest of my life.” He requested he be sent to Pensacola Prison when his term starts on April 8.

Before the massive political corruption scandal that rocked all of New Orleans, Broussard was most well-known for his shameful and histrionic display of “crocodile tears” on national television in the USA following the Katrina disaster in New Orleans. It was charged by some that Broussard’s actions in the wake of Katrina caused tens of millions of dollars in damages to hundreds of New Orleans properties due to avoidable flooding. Continue Reading at SouthCoastToday.ca………

Broussard sentencing links

Aaron Broussard sentenced to 46 months in prison; Wilkinson, Parker get probation ~ Drew Broach

Former Jefferson Parish president sentenced to 46 months ~ Charles Maldonado

Aaron Broussard Sentenced: Former Louisiana Parish President Gets Four Years For Giving Wife Fake Job ~ Janet McConnaughey

Aaron Broussard sentenced to 46 months on federal corruption charges ~ Travers Mackel

Former JP President Aaron Broussard gets 46 months in jail ~ Meg Gatto

Aaron Broussard gets 46-month prison sentence ~ Paul ‘n Chick

Behold the terrible price to the taxpayers for electing crooks and buffoons to the Parish Council…

Allow me to summarize the latest Waste Management lawsuit against Jefferson Parish:

1. From 2007-early 2010 Jefferson Parish was run by self admitted felons

2. Even after those self admitted felons resigned in disgrace TheRiot continued their dirty work during his interim reign of terror.

3. Now the cat is out of the bag so Mini-me is gonna have to write another check with other people’s money, about the only thing the guy is good at. That is, of course if him and Elton LaGasse don’t burn another $500,000 defending the indefensible paying the hollow suits at Phelps Dunbar before they write that check to Waste Management.

Click the pic to get the pdf.

Waste Management of Louisiana v Parish of Jefferson Doc 1

A quick review – Cockroaches:
1. Operate in the shadows and under the cover of darkness.
2. Operate as a group.
3. Scatter when light or sun shine is applied.

Let’s drill down a bit on the latest developments in USA v Broussard: A playing on the internet update.

OK folks have we thought about this enough?  We have a federal subpoena out to the folks at NOLA Media Group asking for all the skinny on 11 internet commenters.  One of the post Katrina NOLA police murder cases involving civilians is in danger of getting verdicts set aside.  And the former Goatherder in Chief has asked for an evidentiary hearing. Days later Federal prosecutors contested Broussard’s motion arguing his guilty plea precluded such a line of inquiry.  And then I started getting emails from observers with criminal defense experience and those off blog comments were enlightening.  I’ll preface the rest of this post by saying I know very little about the practice of criminal law in the Federal Court system beyond the fact it is hard for a defendant to win at trial.

With that said there are some important points that were made and the first regards the Team Horn subpoena to NOLA Media Group for information on those 11 commenters. I’ll let a knowledgeable reader explain:

As part of their law enforcement mission the Feds can issue a subpoena to ensure that the law is being observed. They don’t need even a suspicion that the law may have been violated to issue a subpoena. That the newspaper is (1) objecting, (2) asking the Feds to disclose the basis for the subpoena, and (3) questioning whether the DOJ has authority to request the information under the Inspector General Act is curious and raises issues. For example, if the DOJ indulges the newspaper’s opposition and does not respond by saying, “Make the return on the subpoena or we’ll seek a contempt citation against your publisher.” it will indicate a lack of resolve and perhaps a political approach by the DOJ in the investigation.

Insofar as the merits are concerned, the paper can’t object, because it is not any of the commenters who have that right instead. The newspaper has no standing to act to ensure the DOJ is complying with law. That’s a right that belongs to the commenters and there’s no 1st Amendment issue involved. If there were it would have been asserted already. Furthermore, federal law enforcement need not give a basis for issuing the subpoena. They can issue a subpoena to check whether the law is being observed even without a suspicion of criminal activity. They need not give the basis to the newspaper. Asking for the basis for the subpoena is like asking for information so the paper can expand on the story. Thus, not only are the merits entirely in favor of the DOJ, the paper insulted the DOJ.

The newspaper is defending itself, not the commenters.

This raises interesting questions and lots have been raised of late regarding that Federal subpoena to NOLA including by Jason Berry over at AZ. The rumor mill is in overdrive as to any connection between the subpoena and Fred Heebe’s various defamation lawsuits against former members of the US Attorney’s office.  Until something else comes out I’m sticking with my theory that Heebe did not need an insider beyond his own legal team to divine Perricone and Mann were posting to NOLA.com. Continue reading “Let’s drill down a bit on the latest developments in USA v Broussard: A playing on the internet update.”

Friday Jefferson Parish Omnibus: Mark Titus, Aaron Broussard and the 24th JDC

I do not have much time this morning so here is a quick rundown of three stories I followed over the past week or so:

Mark Titus’ wife claims most of the assets government plans to seize ~ Manuel Torres

Run “Mark Titus” through the search box on the right sidebar to find Slabbed’s previous coverage of USA v Titus. Manuel posted a comprehensive update to the forfeiture portion of the prosecution and Mrs Titus has changed lawyers and is fighting for her share of the property subject to Judge Lemelle’s forfeiture order. I recall getting a bat signal from Team Titus before Christmas that went something along the lines that NOLA commenter JPChirper was an idiot. I’ll continue to keep an eye on this case.

Aaron Broussard’s prosecutors dismiss his attack as ‘fishing expedition’ ~ Drew Broach

I’ve gotten some reader email on this story. It is a complicated critter as Judge Head just may hold an evidentiary hearing to DQ the local US Attorney’s office from his case due to press leaks and Sal Perricone / Jan Mann playing on the internet. I’d be dishonest if I did not say this latest turn of events has continued to fuel speculation that Slabbed will be subpoenaed by John Horn’s folks at DoJ but I have no indication such is forthcoming.  If something does happen you guys know the drill by now.

Finally Paul Purpura checked in with the social promotion revolving door that exists between the 24th JDC and the Louisiana 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. The bottom line is despite several openings on both courts there is only one opposed seat up for grabs as all the other judges get a freebie pass to their new jobs.

WWL TeeVee reported last night Jan Mann DID NOT resign……

And this folks is a stunning turn of events given that every media outlet reported she went out with her former boss Jim Letten.

I bet these are interesting times indeed on Camp Street. There has to be a reason Mann is staying because I can’t imagine she is very popular with the gang given her misrepresentations in two high profile cases cost her boss his job. Whatever the reason it looks to be the act of a completely selfish person from the outside looking in.

Meantime a reader caught this John Simerman story on a 10 year sentence given Mitchell Marks for perjury.