When Steve Theriot was unlawfully appointed by the Jefferson Parish Council to be Parish President as a result of Broussard’s resignation, he chose, in concert with the six Council members who ushered him upon us, to appoint Peggy Barton acting interim Parish Attorney. And what an act it’s been…
It was Deja Vu …and live on Cox TV too. Our backdrop is during one of the Council meetings around the time the public records debate was heating up as a result of a sudden and dramatic shift in policy resulting from Anne Marie Vandenweghe’s reassignment. She was removed from the Public Records Department only to be replaced by Greg Giangrosso, a Wilkinson lackey. Under Vandenweghe’s direction, public documents were just that, Public Records readily available in most instances to those qualified to request the same. Giangrosso’s assignment was and is to stonewall the release of Public Information which he and his superiors, Peggy Barton and Louis Gruntz, have decided taxpayers are to have limited access to in almost all instances. The response that one receives from Giangrosso is a pasted legalese form letter citing erroneous legal precedent for not honoring the Public Records Request. Margie Seemann (CFGG) was pressing the Council to explain why documents regarding information of a similar topic which she had previously received under Vandenweghe’s tenure, was now routinely denied under some broad and vague “governmental” exception. It was at that moment when Peggy Barton opened her mouth to defend the indefensible, everyone in that Council Chamber and watching TV, could foretell the response as though it would have been uttered by her mentor Tom Wilkinson, himself. She looked down at Ms. Seemann, a facial expression of pure contempt and as sarcastic a tone as one could muster, stated that she would review “OUR” records and “SHE” would determine what would be made available to the public at some later date. And there you have it, Wilkinson in drag…without the proverbial…FUCK YOU, SUE ME!
As though it weren’t egregious enough that we would have to suffer Theriot’s illegitimate stint, but to have Wilkinson’s clone of some 12-14 years appointed, was and is adding ‘insult to injury’. That a significant number of Wilkinson’s inept and overpaid posse of Assistant Parish Attorneys are still in the Parish Attorney’s employ, along with Barton, is inexcusable and an abomination. More succinctly put: Peggy Barton is Tom Wilkinson’s constant dark shadow; and his posse, in particular, David Fos and Greg Giangrosso, are bottom feeders at the trough of JP taxpayers’ hard-earned money !
Prior to her appointment and ratification by the Council, allegations of Barton’s most recent unethical and illegal conduct has been documented in Anne Marie Vandenweghe’s Whistleblower Claim. This information was filed with the Jefferson Parish Personnel Board and is as such, Public Records; accordingly all Public Officials were and are, by operation of law, “put” on notice. From my reading of the record, these are some of the possible scenarios which I have deduced:
BARTON AS 1st DEPUTY PARISH ATTORNEY UNDER WILKINSON… Questions of Payroll Fraud and the Alteration of Public Records:
For the same reasons Wilkinson is an alleged conspirator in the Paralegal payroll fraud, so is his alleged co-conspirator Barton, under the provisions set forth in RS 14:26 Criminal Conspiracy.
Allegedly Barton tampered with the Parish Attorney’s Organizational chart after receiving a PRR from Val Bracy of Channel 8 Fox news, for the current chart. Instead of supplying the chart currently in place at the time of the request, Barton allegedly revised the current chart removing the box containing Karen Parker Broussard from under Barton’s administrative control and then allegedly changed the chart again to remove William “Bill” Fortenberry (Risk Management) from the chart also. As Administrative Deputy Parish Attorney since approximately 2007, Barton was responsible for all employees and issued numerous memos regarding Hours, Dress Code, Attendance, etc, and allegedly she did not want to be shown to have been responsible for or have knowledge of the Paralegal “irregularities”. Allegedly she in fact certified that Deano Bonano’s Chief of Security Charlie Knopp was the one in charge of Broussard despite the fact that the Parish Attorney Organizational Charts up to January 27, 2010 showed Broussard being under Barton’s supervision. Allegedly Charlie Knopp had already certified that Karen Parker Broussard was NOT under his supervision, and then attempted to retract after being sent an email from Bonano to ‘see me about this before you reply’.
It would appear that Barton, individually and in conspiracy with others may have violated several state laws governing protection of public records. It should be noted that at all times Barton allegedly altered public records and allegedly conspired with others to facilitate the alteration of records, a Federal Investigation was and still is under way, and the paralegal payroll fraud is a target issue. Accordingly, Barton allegedly committed Obstruction of Justice in violation of RS 14:130.1. And allegedly with the aid of Deano Bonano and Charlie Knopp criminally conspired, as defined by RS 14:26 to hinder access to public records, RS 44:37, concerning the issue of paralegals.
As a result of her alleged alteration of public records Barton would necessarily have violated both RS 14:132, Injuring of Public Records and RS 14:133, Filing or maintaing false public Records.
Barton was a designated Deputy Assistant Parish Attorney, and as such is a public employee and would be subject to prohibitions of Official Misconduct and Corrupt Practices, and so allegedly violated RS 14;134, Malfeasance in Office (2) and (3).
That Theriot and the Jefferson Parish Council appointed Peggy Barton to the office of Parish Attorney, the Chief Legal Officer of both the administration and the Council, is beyond the pale of arrogance, it’s criminal ! Just one more abhorrent insult upon the citizens of Jefferson Parish…why not, what are they going to do about it ?
The Council hired and has paid tens of thousands of dollars to the Phelps, Dunbar Law firm for what ? To Slapp AMV’s Whistleblower Claim; “kill the messenger” tactics without performing the due diligence ethically required of them by first investigating the alleged wrong doings by Barton and others named in the petition. Now it is on the back of the FBI and US Attorney’s Office to sort this mess out.
To date there has still been no action taken by the Council to investigate Barton’s alleged wrongdoings. And why would they? Their conduct appears to be as unethical and illegal as those of Barton herself. SOS…Of course, Jefferson Parish DA Paul Connick, Jr. has up to this date failed and/or refuses to enforce the law as he is obligated to do by his oath of office; his mandated duty. Nothing new here…
BARTON AS INTERIM PARISH ATTORNEY… Questions concerning her Legal Opinions in support of the River Birch Conspiracy and Unlawfulness of the JP Council’s voting of Ordinances:
RIVER BIRCH: Theriot has for months tried to push forward the idea of a review of the non-existent and/or illegal River Birch contract that is the basis of a criminal conspiracy to create a landfill monopoly for the benefit of certain politically influential individuals, including Fred Heebe and the Ward family. In my opinion, Theriot was appointed Parish President to marshal the completion of this conspiracy; this review is a consultant facade to wash clean this non-existent and/or illegal contract.
Without the need to rehash all that I, as well as others, have written on the subject of River Birch which has been thoroughly documented here on Slabbed, I want to draw your attention to the most recent ‘tete a tete’ taking place between Jefferson Parish, through it’s counsel, Parish Attorney Barton and the Citizens for Good Government, a la Margie Seeman and her sister, Margaret Baird. At issue is not only the legal composition of the committee to award a contract to review the River Birch contract, but whether there is a legal River Birch contract to review in the first instance !
There are two documents imbedded herein for reference to this discussion: 1) Barton’s opinion, and 2) The CFGG rebuttal of Barton’s opinion. What becomes most obvious in reading these documents is Barton’s ignorance of the English language compounded by her confusion with the application of administrative law as compared to Ms. Seemann’s ability to not only comprehend what she reads but her command of argumentative style.
I myself have read innumerable opinions issued by the Jefferson Parish Attorney’s Office during the tenure of Wilkinson and those now rendered by Barton’s administration.
I have come to this conclusion: Apparently Wilkinson was the best indoctrinated pupil that the likes of Louis Gruntz and Clem Donelon have ever produced. Wilkinson was presumedly told to forget anything he learned in law school, such knowledge would be of no use to him now that he is Parish Attorney. The law in Jefferson Parish is what we pass on to you: you, Tommy, as Parish Attorney, say what the law is. The people that don’t like it, FUCK ‘EM, LET ‘EM SUE ! And so for some 14 years with cronies that Wilkinson kept in his inner circle, his ‘posse’, he imparted that same arrogant stupidity we now witness in the person of Peggy Barton !
In Barton’s opinion, she first moves to defend and buttress the patently incompetent and unlawful composition of the original RFP committee chosen by none other than one of JP’s starring miscreants, TIM WHITMER. And you wonder why Barton should never have been placed in this position? In fact it is the findings of Whitmer’s appointees, Wilkinson, Fos and Gandolfi that are cited by Theriot as the reason to have this review in the first place. We all know by now that the only qualified person on that committee was Marnie Winter,Phd. Director of JP Dept of Environmental Control; and she was denied voting status by the voting incompetents previously named. After reading through the yada, yada, yada…blah,blah, blah of her non-responsive legal premise, Barton declares that no matter how defective the actions taken by everyone concerned and in subterfuge of mandated procedure as specifically set forth in Parish law legislated by the Charter and/or Code of Ordinances, the Council can illegally vote to do what it wants to do…they can make the illegal legal; even if their vote is illegal…WOW ! Well you should know by now, that’s how things are done in Gretna. Please…how else would Barton’s opinion have read ? She does after all live in Gretna, most recently in a residence she rented from her boss, Tom Wilkinson. ( Begging the question: were her raises tied to her rent?)
Ms. Seemann, in stark comparison to Barton, is not crippled in intellect or expression by the “Gretna Mentality” that is so pervasive throughout Jefferson Parish Government. The thrust of Ms. Seemann’s rebuttal remains constant, clear and decisive: these were and are illegally constituted committees whose conclusions and/or recommendations have been and would be used to “COVER” for the continuing participation by Council members in the ongoing criminal conspiracy to award River Birch a landfill monopoly.
It may be that the FBI raid on the River Birch offices last Thursday will have made this debate moot. Who knows what may be coming this Thursday…a raid on the 10th floor of the Yenni Building ?
Bookmark Slabbed…Part II is almost completed:
Council Votes In Violation Of Jp Code Of Ordinance 23-132.1
Slabbed commenter Whitmergate is a member of Citizens for Good Government and is a resident of Jefferson Parish.
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