Deep and Wide, there’s a fountain (of information) flowing…New subpoenas issued in Jefferson Parish

Naturally, Val Bracy had the story, Feds widen investigation in Jefferson Parish:
(h/t Fox 8 )

Federal investigators are digging deeper into the scandal in Jefferson Parish. The feds sent two subpoenas requiring the parish to turn over extensive information on the red light cameras as well as payroll discrepancies first reported by FOX 8.

Federal prosecutors want employment records for two current Jefferson Parish employees and four whose jobs were eliminated after the parish uncovered what could possibly be payroll fraud.

Earlier this year, after a Fox 8 Investigates report revealed payroll discrepancies in the Parish Attorney’s Office, the parish eliminated the positions of Sportscaster Ken Trahan, Karen Parker, who is the ex-wife of Aaron Broussard, and Constable Tony Thomassie.

Bracy’s story is so packed with details that it’s difficult to summarize – so I’ll give you a sample and you can follow the link for more details:

Breaking News – Sibley pleads Guilty UPDATE IN READER COMMENT

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Gray H. Miller: RE-ARRAIGNMENT held on 3/12/2010. William Hugh Sibley (5) waived the reading of the Indictment and pled Guilty to Count 1. Plea agreement executed and entered. Order for presentence investigation entered. Sentencing set 6/4/2010 at 10:00 a.m. Appearances: Claude Daniel Hippard, James Phillip Manasseh.(Court Reporter: B.Slavin) Deft continued on Bond, filed.(rkonieczny) (Entered: 03/12/2010)

I received this breaking news in an email message from Sop.  Until he’s back at his computer to follow-up, this is all I’ve got.  However, SLABBED has background on the events that led to the plea and plea agreement: News from the Louisiana Class Action Front: Prominent Lawyer arrested and charged in drug conspiracy case; The Advocate lends background on Hugh Sibley’s unshareable need; Get set for new details about the jet set. Emergent details in the Government’s case against Hugh Sibley; and the recent post connecting the dots,Class action lawyer Hugh Sibley scheduled to be re-arraigned March 12.

At this point, in case you’re wondering,  The Grill Room reclaims its glory, earns ‘Four Beans’ is the lead story on Times Picayune.

Thanks for the update, NAAS!

Judge Barbier shines in Lightell! – Chip Merlin spotlights the Decision

I started my morning read-around with Can an Insured Recover Under a Flood Policy and an All Risk Homeowners Policy for the Same Damage? on Merlin’s blog – and that plus the beautiful sunshine here in the “Bold New City” just made my day.

Chip did his usual good job spotlighting the significant points in the decision and his post in total is below.  However, he didn’t mention the name of the judge and – call it a side-effect of my exposure to the corruption in Jefferson Parish and the pending impeachment of Thomas Porteous- but, nowadays, that’s the first thing I want to know about a Louisiana court decision.  If you follow the link to the case as I did, you’ll find this victory for justice credited to one of the truly Honorable federal district judges in the Eastern District of Louisiana,  Carl J. Barbier.

In Louisiana, the answer is probably “yes.” The FC&S pondered this question in its March 2010 Dec Page report titled, “Recovery Under Flood Policy and Homeowners Policy?” The highlighted case was Lightell v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 2009 WL 4505942 (E.D.La. 2009). The article noted the significant facts and issues as follows:

The insured suffered property damage due to the wind and flood caused by Hurricane Katrina. They collected partial payment of their policy limits from both the homeowners and flood insurance policies. Believing that the payments were not indicative of the extent of the actual damage to the home, the insured filed a lawsuit against the insurers. State Farm, the homeowners insurer, filed a motion for summary judgment.

State Farm asserted that the insured is estopped from recovery related to wind claims because he previously alleged that he was entitled to flood policy limits due to the total destruction of the property. And, the insurer said that the insured has the burden of proving the damage was caused by wind (a covered loss) as opposed to flood (not covered).

The Federal Court wrote an interesting section on estoppel, which arises in these types of cases, and the burden of proof. Regarding the estoppel issue, the Court noted: Continue reading “Judge Barbier shines in Lightell! – Chip Merlin spotlights the Decision”

Monkey Business – Newsweek asks, Is Louisiana the Most Corrupt State?

After a six-hour drive, I was ready to call it a day when I pulled in my driveway this evening – but that was before I checked email and found a thoughtful reader had sent a link to the Newsweek story,  Big Easy Money: In Louisiana, the nation’s most corrupt state, fraud is just good entertainment.

"Sen. David Vitter, with wife Wendy, speaks at a July 2006 news conference after ac-knowledging he had patronized a Washington, D.C., escort service."

In the wake of New York Gov. David Paterson’s latest scandal, The Economist said “Dysfunctional Albany … is frequently cited as the nation’s worst state government—a title for which there is intense competition.”

We at NEWSWEEK are fans of competition, so seven of our staffers made the case for states with which they’re intimately familiar. Here foreign editor Adam Kushner argues for his home state of Louisiana.

The challenge for my home state of Louisiana is not how to prove its mettle in the corruption stakes, but how to compress, into a few homely paragraphs, a raft of evidence that would crash your browser…

Follow the link and read the full story with Newsweek’s version of the picture.