Ok folks two reporters go to a house to research a tip the house has a leaky faucet that wastes some water. When they arrive they find the house engulfed in flames. One reporter immediately files a report there is a major house fire in town. The other writes a story about the leaky faucet……
This is the best analogy I can think of to describe Lee Zurik’s “investigation” into John Young’s former secretary folks. Yeah the topic is newsworthy but given all the blatant favoritism that has been on display in Jefferson parish for years that he never reported on, starting off with Young’s secretary is a bit odd. I mention this because after I posited that 2 different observers in Jefferson parish pointed to Big Dog Alario as the source of Zurik’s hot tip on Young’s former secretary taking a $53,000/year job to baby sit the Alario center I heard from others that said it was Mini-me Roberts, not Alario that fed Lee Zurik and this whole affair is just an other extension of the open warfare between the council and Parish President’s office. This makes sense especially since Robert’s was the star of part 2 of Zurik’s “investigation” into the topic of favoritism in Jefferson Parish government.
As I pointed out yesterday this is a target rich environment and I for one am happy Zurik has entered the fray and I look forward to the possibility he will drain the entire swamp beginning with Robert’s supported favorites in Deano Bonano and Peggy Barton. Of course after I opined as much in the post and in emails to readers, I heard from Margie Seemann at the Citizen’s for Good Government who pointed out to me yesterday that she gave Mr Zurik an extensive 12 page research report on the subject of the hiring of the unqualified Nancy Cassagne to be the mid 6 figure figurehead/CEO at West Jefferson Medical Center in early 2010 that Lee ignored, as is his prerogative.
Of course we don’t play favorites here on Slabbed so I’ll begin with a few excerpts from Part 2 of Zurik’s “investigation” before posting the entire 12 page document on the shithouse double-dealing that resulted in unqualified Cassagne’s installation at West Jefferson Medical Center and it there we begin:
Jefferson Parish’s council chairman says the parish president needs to be held accountable.
That comes after a FOX 8 Investigation revealed John Young hired promoted his secretary to a position her resume shows she may not be qualified for.
“She wasn’t put in there because she is my secretary,” Young said. “She was put in there because she can do the job. And she’s done an excellent job.”
“We can’t hold some people accountable to a standard of having to be met, and then on other matters we don’t,” said Council Chairman Chris Roberts. “And I think the question that this particular issue brings about is whether or not we’re being consistent on all levels. And right now it would appear that we aren’t.”
Roberts is an expert on the topic of inconsistency as the Parish routinely has changed job descriptions and qualifications so their pet political cronies like Cassagne can plug into jobs making over $400,000/year and indeed he was a big part of Cassagne’s hiring. Luckily I don’t have to do much work on that topic as it has been done by the Citizens for Good Government and it is there we go next to visit with their 12 page report on the hiring of Cassagne that is has several names that should be very familiar to the Slabbed Nation in Peter Butler Jr, Carol Smith, Pamela Watson, Byron Lee and his looted charities etc. Click the pic to get the 12 page pdf.
Folks I’ve mentioned a few times that the people who were sourcing a good bit of Val Bracy’s reporting did not trust Lee Zurik after Bracy was dumped by Fox8 last August. I say that not to bash Zurik, who won the Peabody after taking tips from the Dambala at American Zombie and running with them on the shithouse dealings in the Nagin administration. I do say it because this is what they are telling me and I mention this again because yesterday’s report did nothing to build any sort of trust as Lee’s infrequent foray into the cesspool that is Jefferson Parish government has fallen flat given his treatment of the subject matter as rumors of relationships to certain folks that are under federal investigation continue to swirl. Tom Benson’s connections to Aaron Broussard via former Saints minority owner Wendell Gauthier are well-known in Parish legal/political circles and speculation he was interfering in the news operations at Fox 8 intensified after Val Bracy was let go. Val’s replacement better work both smarter and harder to overcome those perceptions, especially after news of media plants like Garland Robinette broke here months ago.
To be clear John Young is fair game and I have no interest in covering for him. But considering Roberts has been in hiding from the media after the Legislative Auditor released the report in the Performing Arts Center debacle it sure would have been nice if Lee Zurik had a few tough questions for him as well.