Give me something for lagniappe – the Times Picayune links Tim Bonura, All South Consulting Engineers to Whitmer’s insurance business

Lagniappe“a word worth traveling to New Orleans to get,” according to Mark Twain – wasn’t in my vocabulary until college friends from Louisiana introduced me to the word and the custom.  Perhaps that’s why the irony of Lagniappe Industries as the name of former Jefferson Parish executive Tim Whitmer’s insurance company escaped me until Sop tossed me Jefferson Parish contractor linked to Tim Whitmer firm on his way out the door.

Though the word is included in English dictionaries it is used primarily in the region influenced by New Orleans…It has a restricted meaning, but I think the people spread it out a little when they choose. It is the equivalent of the thirteenth roll in a “baker’s dozen.” It is something thrown in, gratis, for good measure. The custom originated in the Spanish quarter of the city. When a child or a servant buys something in a shop — or even the mayor or the governor, for aught I know — he finishes the operation by saying — “Give me something for lagniappe.”  The shopman always responds…

Although I was a slow to catch the significance, I suspect any contractor Whitmer handed a Lagniappe Industries business card caught on immediately –  solicitation by double entendre.

All South Consulting Engineers, a Jefferson Parish contractor, also had private insurance business with Tim Whitmer, the parish’s former top executive, Whitmer has confirmed.

Documents, including a 2007 e-mail from Whitmer to All South and a 2008 partial fax from All South President Tim Bonura to Whitmer, indicate that a relationship existed between the consulting company and Whitmer’s insurance work…

An e-mail — dated Oct. 31, 2007, and sent from Whitmer to an All South e-mail address — referenced the renewal of a workers’ compensation insurance policy from Nov. 1, 2007, to Nov. 1, 2008. Whitmer signed the e-mail as an agent for Lagniappe, which he co-owns with his wife, Dawn. Bonura was copied on the exchange.

Also, a partial fax from Bonura to Whitmer on March 25, 2008, and entitled “insurance requirements” described the “minimum limits of insurance” on policies for commercial general liability, automobile liability and workers’ compensation and employer’s liability.

The Times-Picayune obtained only one page of the seven mentioned in the fax.

Frankly, a lot of people go into public service because the increased visibility is good for business.  Whitmer simply appears to have gone too far.

All South is the seventh parish contract to be linked to Whitmer, his insurance agency, Lagniappe Industries, or his business associates. While acting as the No. 2 executive in one of Louisiana’s largest parishes, Whitmer was drumming up insurance business among parish contractors and public agencies, evidence shows.

The [Parish] council awarded All South at least nine contracts or contract extensions in 2009, totaling at least $1.27 million, parish records show. All South’s projects range from building a new waste transfer station on Lapalco Boulevard to evaluating Grand Isle’s water system to repairing drainage systems after Hurricane Gustav in 2008, documents show.

Bonura said in his Feb. 12 e-mail that All South, which began working for Jefferson Parish in November 2005, paid half that total amount, $661,870, to “sub-consultants.” He did not elaborate.

Bonura should expect others to begin elaborating about his  “sub-consultant” contracts, particularly if they were lagniappe.  The only question is who will spit out that 13th roll and start talking.

5 thoughts on “Give me something for lagniappe – the Times Picayune links Tim Bonura, All South Consulting Engineers to Whitmer’s insurance business”

  1. There seems to be a series of random occurrences recently that have given many of us pause for concern:

    First, there appears to have been a 10 day period during which no articles by Rainey and/or Prieux were published in the TP. Then within 2 days we read two softball articles dealing with Theriot’s double- babble about reorganizing the 10th floor by eliminating 2 positions (Broussard appointees), then creating two smoked labeled positions that he will appoint. To make the story more ludicrous, Capella and Young “praised” Theriot’s decision. Just when you thought things could not get more depressing.

    Secondly, this article is “revealing” that yet another JP contractor was buying insurance from Whitmer ? This is old news. More importantly why isn’t Theriot cancelling the River Birch contract for the same reasons ? I know, and I’ll discuss that boondoggle at latter date. I read no reference to the Bonura computer contract which dwarfs the insurance BS by leaps and bounds ! What struck me as odd is that Whitmer confirmed this fact to Rainey ! Hmmmm. Am I to believe what I read ? That Whitmer’s lawyer and/or the Government is allowing Whitmer to freely discuss his illegal activity with the press. That’s weid. It makes me think that there are efforts under way to reign this investigation in, to re-focus around insurance only, not River Birch, not JEDCO, not the DA, not the Sheriff, not Judges, etc……..

    Thirdly, I was surprised to learn that Asst. US Attorney Mike Magner has been re-assigned to DC. I find that rather disconcerting news given the profile presented to us in the TP article by Drew Broach, Dec. 4, 2009. Mr. Magner was represented as the Langiappe prosecutor and experienced in Jefferson Parish corruption cases. Given this assertion to be correct, then what the hell is he doing in Washington Mr. Letten ?

    Fourthly, I have yet to read any investigative piece about the Hubbard/Whitmer/Coulon references to Federal Judge Jay Zainey Apparently Hubbard, whose case is in Zainey’s court, e-mailed Whitmer to find out “about” Zainey. Whitmer then proceeds to e-mail Coulon relative to the same, and Coulon e-mails back to talk to him about this on a land line (telephone ?)..So, I want to know, what did they talk about? I am sure most people are unaware that Coulon and Zainey are as thick as thieves and are related through marriages. So Mr. Letten what’s up with that ? Or possibly we could ask Rainey to ask Whitmer now that he’s communicating with him.

    Something’s not right and I can feel it. Reading the testimony of Mr. Mole only adds to my suspicions at the present moment.

    And just in case you forgot , Broussard coined his Nova Scotia investment properties, “PUBLIC WORKS”. Now there’s a double entendre to match Whitmer’s arrogance.

  2. It’s amazing how things are always hidden in plain sight. I want some insurance for Langniappe or whatever “Works for the Public’.

  3. Oh these pesky family connections.

    Tim Bonura is related to Betty Bonura who works for Jefferson Parish. ( Aunt?) Betty was on the JP School Board and on Kenner City Council,

    Barowka & Bonura have entire 9th floor of Yenni building overflowing with IT stuff through the contract their company BBEC has with the Parish. Don’t ask Cherreen Gegenheimer about that though because while she is CAA over Ridley Boudreaux the Director of EIS or MIS or the SS or whatever the moniker is now, she knows nothing about all that. Check out New Era and its Mr. Campbell and his connections and donations. More stuff Gegenheimer knows nothing about. Thank you Sgt Schulz.

  4. I don’t know if there is a family connection, but one could only assume. Bonura’s auto repair has the contract for maintanence and repair of all the EJGH ambulances, and if memeory serves a man named Joe Bonura was the fireman who “forgot” he had thousands of dollars of Katrina Bell fund cash stuffed in a tackle box. I heard that the fireman only got a few days off, because Parish oversight of the money was nonexistent. In fact, Rusty Staub who donated 50K to be used for firefighter’s families demanded the money back plus interest after learning from fireman that none of it had been dispersed.

  5. My good fellow: Ask Greg Giangrosso, the new Public Record Request Czar, about the Katrina Bells fiasco. Oh but he will probably only send you his form letter telling you oh so clearly to _ _ _ _ off. And yet he was the Assistant Parish Attorney in charge of the firemen and the bells issue and the ‘resolution’. JP firemen out on the street corners hawking bells during work hours? Sound familiar Greggie?

    And oh yes again: Giangrosso chats with his good buddy “Tommy” ( as in his former boss Wilkinson) every day.

    If Giangrosso is getting advice from “Tommy” he’d best be ready to visit the Big Courthouse downtown to discuss his obstruction and intentional hindering of access to Public Records.

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