Let’s kick start this post on the latest Lee Zurick investigation with a poem.
The smiling face that greets.
Whoever comes to call.
And your hands type the letters.
That go to one and all.
The one who answers the calls.
That come throughout the day.
And no matter what the problem.
You know just what to say.
The one who brews the coffee.
That makes the day go well.
And what your kindness means.
Words alone can’t tell.
The one who is always busy.
Making things go right.
Though it seems we do not notice.
As often as we might.
The spirit of the office.
And well the load you carry.
You are that extra special person.
That we call Secretary!
Folks Lee Zurik got a hot tip that John Young’s former secretary got the job via inside fix to be the $53,000 baby sitter for the Alario Center. They started teasing the 10:00PM Lee Zurik investigative report just ahead of the 9:30pm Bob Breck weathercast and kept teasing it until well after 10, when I finally gave up and went to bed. I’m not sure when the report aired last night but it evidently did air as ‘Gate did a vid capture of the report for Youtube and emailed it to me last night.
The long story short is John Young’s former secretary got the facility manager’s job at the Alario Center, the Parish did not advertise the position and by John Young’s own admission, his fingerprints are all over the hire and he does not regret doing it one bit. The whole story took a surreal turn when Young suggested that Lee Zurik call the man whose name is on the Alario Center, John “Big Dog” Alario himself.
“Senator John Alario has been very impressed with her.” Young notes. “I welcome you to talk to Senator Alario if you want to get a different perspective.”
We reached Senator John Alario, representing District 8 in the state legislature, by phone. He told us the jury is still out on Folse’s overall job performance, but so far she seems dedicated to the job.
For my part I have a unique perspective on the indispensable secretary as my business experience indicates that the long time loyal secretary to the business owner is often one of the highest paid employees in the entire organization. But since Zurik has brought up the topic I have some nepotism to share with the Slabbed Nation but first another ode to the lowly yet indispensable secretary, this time from the field of K-12 education.
Leaps tall buildings in a single bound,
Is more powerful than a, locomotive,
Faster than a speeding bullet,
Walks on water,
Gives policy to God.
Leaps short buildings in a single bound,
Is more powerful than a switch engine,
Is as fast as a bullet,
Walks on water if sea is calm,
Converses with God.
Leaps short buildings with a running start and favorable winds,
Is almost as powerful as a switch engine,
Is faster than a speeding BB,
Walks on water in an indoor swimming pool,
Talks with God if special request is approved.
Barely clears a Quonset hut,
Loses tug of war with locomotive,
Can fire a speeding bullet,
Swims well, Is occasionally addressed by God.
Makes high marks on walls when trying to leap tall buildings,
Is run over by locomotive,
Can sometimes handle a gun without inflicting injury,
Can barely dog paddle,
Runs into buildings,
Recognizes locomotives two out of three times,
Can stay afloat with life jacket,
Talks to walls.
Lifts buildings and walks under them,
Kicks locomotives off the tracks,
Catches speeding bullets in teeth and eats them for lunch,
Freezes water with a single glance,
Since Zurik concentrated on a $53,000/year employee let’s start off on the low-end of the pay scale and profile the hiring of Lauren Barton to Jefferson Parish environmental as it certainly appears to be an inside job. In fairness to Lauren she also met the requirements in the Parish’s job description albeit via formal training instead of experience.
Long time Slabbed readers best know Ms Barton as the interim Parish Attorney that likely doctored the Parish’s organization chart to scrub the fact she was the “supervisor” to all of Aaron Broussard’s cronies that are the subject to a current criminal investigation into payroll fraud in Parish government. In her daughter’s case Peggy says it and Environmental Director Marnie Winter made it happen.
Don’t know how Lauren is doing on the job but that is not the point here as the subject is favoritism and nepotism. But some of the most egregious examples are in the ranks of the 6 figure management such a former Broussard CAA turned Chris Roberts assistant Deano Bonano, affectionately known here on Slabbed as the Master of Disaster as he is incompetence personified. Unfortunately the Jefferson Parish taxpayers pay a big time price because of it. To illustrate one such example let’s visit with the Legislative Auditor’s report on the Jefferson Parish Performing Arts Center.
It is simply amazing that one can’t build a house without building inspections and permitting. That process insures quality construction techniques are used and that licensed craftsmen are employed in vital areas such as mechanical and electrical systems. Personally I wonder how many folks spend big money constructing a building and then not bother to monitor the progress of the project? In Jefferson Parish if Deano Bonano and Tim Whitmer are in charge you fly blind as the following email exchanges between Whitmer, Bonano and Louis Savoye:
And of course it was the blind leading the blind folks:
And the logical conclusion is if the Parish does not permit its own construction then no need to muddy things up by inspecting the project:
So there you have it folks, Lee Zurik has stumbled into a very target rich environment. Let’s see how far this subject gets pushed as the problem goes far beyond a former secretary turned building baby sitter.