Moving on and movin' along: LSU fills van Heerden's old position, Ivor signs with BP and where is Tim Whitmer these days? Corrected

Let’s start todays job hunt round robin with LSU, which appears to have contradicted their own testimony on why Ivor van Heerden was let go per this Bill Barrow report:

Ivor van Heerden, released from his Louisiana State University faculty post, has cited new evidence in asking a federal judge to reconsider his rejected request to get his old job back.

The high-profile coastal researcher accuses LSU of parting ways with him because he so vocally blamed the Army Corps of Engineers for the levee breeches that flooded much of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

In seven pages of filings, van Heerden tells U.S. District Judge James Brady that the LSU Coastal and Environmental Engineering Department on June 1 voted to hire a new associate professor, the same rank that van Heerden held until his contract expired last month. Making that new hire, van Heerden argues, is in direct conflict with LSU’s previous statements citing budget constraints to justify not renewing van Heerden’s deal.

Brady cited that defense when he declined on May 27 — five days before the College of Engineering’s new hire — to issue an injunction ordering LSU to hold van Heerden’s faculty spot open pending a jury trial on his claims.

A rolling stone gathers no moss but a coastal scientist in need of work these days ain’t smellin’ the oil and a BP Contractor, in a PR master stroke, has snatched up van Heerden. Editilla at the Ladder scooped that piece of news: Continue reading “Moving on and movin' along: LSU fills van Heerden's old position, Ivor signs with BP and where is Tim Whitmer these days? Corrected”

Slicked and SLABBED – and just flat overwhelmed

Nowadays, the process of selecting a post topic is akin to a game of disaster roulette.  As a result, I was “slicked and slabbed” by “writer’s block” – the chief symptom of same, a growing file of drafts but no post.  Fortunately,  “writer’s block” is not contagious nor does it limit reading.  Thus, I begin my recovery with an update on issues I’ve been following:

Ivor van Heerden lost the second round of his fight to regain his position with LSU:

A federal judge scolded LSU late Thursday for not being “much more professional’’ in parting ways with Ivor van Heerden, but said the respected coastal researcher failed to show that LSU retaliated against him for openly blaming the U.S. government for the levee failures in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

U.S. District Judge James Brady’s refusal to issue a preliminary injunction in van Heerden’s lawsuit against LSU means van Heerden, who has worked at the school for more than 15 years, must clean out his office.

Van Heerden’s attorney, Jill Craft, had asked Brady to “require LSU to keep his position on the books.’’

Craft said she now will move for an expedited jury trial of van Heerden’s suit. Brady said he would entertain such a request. h/t New Orleans News Ladder

Chip Merlin’s Back on the Texas Ranch-Hurricane Litigation and Settlement Discussions are Raging brings us up to date on litigation following Hurricanes Dolly and Ike with news that “TWIA is in trouble”: Continue reading “Slicked and SLABBED – and just flat overwhelmed”

Judge issues TRO: van Heerden reinstated until further Order of the Court – Hearing continues next week

It’s not over until it’s over but van Heerden will be reinstated under a Temporary Restraining Order issued at 10:10p.m. last night by Federal District Judge James J. Brady, Middle District Louisiana:

Upon consideration of the Motion for Temporary Restraining Order, the record of this proceeding, the Verification and Affidavit of Irreparable Harm, the law, the evidence adduced, and in order to create a state of affairs in which effective relief can be awarded to either party;

IT IS ORDERED that a Temporary Restraining Order be and is hereby entered directed to the Defendant, Board of Supervisors of Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, prohibiting said Defendant from terminating and/or otherwise terminating Plaintiff’s employment, ordering the immediate and temporary reinstatement of Dr. van Heerden to his position in the faculty ranks of LSU and, further enjoining this Defendant, its agents, employees, and assigns from infringing upon Petitioner’s rights under the United States and Louisiana Constitution and under Federal law, and harassing or retaliating against Petitioner, until further order of this Court at the conclusion of this hearing.

A related Minute Entry on yesterday’s hearing provides background on the TRO: Continue reading “Judge issues TRO: van Heerden reinstated until further Order of the Court – Hearing continues next week”

The Daily Reveille sounds the bugle on LSU’s silence on the van Heerden lawsuit. Brings up an important public policy point we’ve tackled on Slabbed

With a tip of the hat to Editilla I’m highlighting yesterday’s oped from the LSU student newspaper for two reasons. First because we signed on to the van Heerden justice league and more important the editors tackled a public policy subject that we’ve also highlighted on Slabbed in the confidential settlement which we think is a tool for corporations to buy their way out of egregious behavior. I’ll link our post on the topic below the op-ed:

Those students, faculty and staff who were personally affected by Hurricane Katrina remember the frustration of the years that followed. Countless people across the Gulf South struggled to rebuild their lives, and figures across the spectrum of leadership pointed fingers at each other. We still aren’t exactly sure five years later what went wrong, why it went wrong or who was responsible.

One of the most high-profile — and important — battles from that time flared up again recently. And Louisianians have a rare, short window of opportunity to get some answers.

Ivor Van Heerden, a former University professor who made national headlines for his criticisms of the collapsed levees constructed and maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers, officially filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the University and several high-ranking administrators. Van Heerden claims he was forced out of the University because his criticisms of the Corps endangered federal funding. Continue reading “The Daily Reveille sounds the bugle on LSU’s silence on the van Heerden lawsuit. Brings up an important public policy point we’ve tackled on Slabbed”

just in case hell really does freeze over – a mention of USA v Minor, Van Heerden v LSU and a strange Louisiana ruling in Katrina litigation

Some thought hell would have to freeze over for the Who Dat’s to win a Super Bowl – but they did and, lo and behold, snow may cover what looked like the gates to hell after Katrina.

Just in case hell really does freeze over.  USA v Minor co-defendant,  John Whitfield filed a Motion for Release Pending Resentencing and Appeal the very day SLABBED reported the Government’s opposition to the requested release of Minor co-defendant former Coast judge Wes Teel.

Both co-defendants are requesting release on the same general basis – the 5th Circuit’s recent decision reversing part of their bribery convictions and the pending USSC decision on the constitutionality of the honest services statute, the likely-to-be-tossed basis for the remaining portions of their sentences.

The news of the day, so to speak, is Paul Minor is the only defendant that has not filed a motion for release pending appeal with Judge Wingate.  In light of these apparently very significant developments, why not?  Minor has hasn’t hesitated to file for a lawful get out of jail free card in the past.  If his case is as strong as he keeps saying it is, why does he appear fearful now?

Could Minor’s behavior be another indication that hell may indeed freeze over?

Over at the Ladder, Editilla’s update on Ivor van Heerden’s wrongful dismissal lawsuit included the story appearing in the NYT.  A recently posted update to the update calls van Heerden’s case a whistleblower lawsuit! Continue reading “just in case hell really does freeze over – a mention of USA v Minor, Van Heerden v LSU and a strange Louisiana ruling in Katrina litigation”