What can I say folks except that I was taken to the woodshed yesterday over my post on a supposed harassment lawsuit filed by John Young’s CAA Heather Hilliard against Deputy COO Richard Hart. Now the person that registered the complaint to management at Slabbed did so very nicely and I appreciate that. The person pointed out 2 things:
- This is supposed to be a confidential personnel matter.
- It was leaked to Channel 6 in order to make John Young look bad.
Naturally this made me think about who in their right minds in the chain of command would leak a confidential investigation to Channel 6 and the community (I got my tip from people outside Parish Government)? I think we can narrow down the list of suspects but first let’s get the skinny from WDSU:
The Jefferson Parish Council has called a special executive session for Wednesday in hopes of learning details about an internal investigation involving a top-level member of the administrative staff, the WDSU I-Team has learned. Continue reading “OK who squealed? Channel 6 picks up coverage of the turmoil in the senior ranks of the Young Administration”
Old ways die hard folks but Friday I received word that the Louisiana Supreme Court denied writs in the matter of the Parish’s appeal of the bitch slap given crooked 24th JDC Judge in Ross LaDart in the matter involving whistleblower Anne Marie Vandenweghe’s public records request for her own emails. This means the case comes back to LaDart, who was pretty much mandated on exactly how to rule in it by the Louisiana 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. The denial of writs was a loss for the Parish’s law firm Phelps Dunbar who simply can seem to win a public records case unless it is fixed in advance. Also losers are the taxpayers of Jefferson parish who see their hard earned tax dollars squandered in legal fees fighting an open and shut case.
Stay tuned folks.
If there is one idea that I’ve tried to carry with me every day since Katrina it is the notion of the true extent of the transitory nature of our existence. Now this notion could indeed be viewed as a bummer because everything is destined to end the only question is when. My reaction is to attempt to recognize the blessings we also receive each day and simply appreciate the people that matter most in everyday life. I mention this because I’ve been mostly away from the blog this week as I have to pull double duty in the day job as a member of the business family deals with such a transition I spoke of above. We all get hit with such realities at points in time on the road of life and in a small shop the business family gets to share both the triumphs and the tragedies that way. One blessing I have is the fact that Slabbed has kept humming right along without me via the open thread among other recent posts kept stocked with material via our great commenters. Thanks to all.
That said there are a few things still happening in the world one of which is Mississippi’s Neshoba County Fair which is a favorite among the political class here in Mississippi, especially in an election year. I tuned into twitter yesterday finding out such great factoids such as no one really paid attention to what Commish Mike Chaney had to say in his speech, that Billy Hewes isn’t afraid to scapegoat welfare recipients and Mexicans to satisfy his lust for lite Gov and that his opponent Tate Reeves has become an expert in making Hewes look exactly like the fool he is. Twitter is a wonderful thing folks and I enjoyed seeing a diverse group of tweeple such as Patsy Brumfield, Alan Lange and Frank Corder covering the speeches.
We have a primary election next week in Mississippi and to the extent the local democrat party does not have a pulse 5 of the 8 statewide offices will be decided next Tuesday in the GOP primary. If you are bright enough to read Slabbed then you don’t need me telling you how to vote but I will disclose that I’ll be supporting Tate Reeves for Lite Gov because he is 1. Not a fluffer like Hewes, 2. Is not a Nationwide Agent representing Team Insurance like Hewes in the legislature and 3. Is clearly the better candidate. If you believe the polling Hewes is on his way to a first class ass kicking and that warms the cockles of my heart. Continue reading “A few quick random thoughts”
OK folks if you want to catch up on the myriad of ways Jefferson Parish strives to continue doing business in smoke-filled rooms with no accountability or transparency you can catch up by clicking here. The long and short of it is that former Assistant Parish Attorney Anne Marie Vandenweghe sued to make the Parish honor her public records request for her own emails generated before she was fired for whistleblowing on corruption in the Jefferson Parish Attorney’s office. The case was assigned to Judge Ross LaDart, a jurist that either incredibly lazy, inept, corrupt or a combination of the three because his swift opinion kicking the case to the curb was just kicked back to him via appeal in a published opinion released today that is not kind to the Judge.
So today Team Vandenweghe wins big and the Parish will likely be forced to give her own emails, which rumor holds contains evidence of additional criminal activity in the Parish Attorney’s office as it relates to the payroll fraud portion of the political corruption scandal. This in turn explains why the perpetrators still employed by the Parish have fought Team Vandenweghe tooth and nail on this. We shall see before this is done IMHO.
There are several clear losers today. First is the firm of Phelps Dumbar and their lawyers assigned to the case who evidently can’t win in the courtroom unless the fix is in via Judges like LaDart. The taxpayers of Jefferson Parish lose because not only are there still alleged criminal perpetrators on the Parish payroll, they also get stuck with the legal tab defending shithouse double dealing on part of parish employees and certain elected officials. John Young loses too Continue reading “That ain't doughnut glaze on Judge Ross LaDart's Chin! Louisiana 5th Circuit Court of Appeals bitch slaps the inept judge, reverses shithouse public records opinion. A Jefferson Parish Political Corruption Scandal update.”
Paul Rioux at the Times Picayune checks in today with a report that is masterful in its nuance as Team River Birch has the full court PR press on and one again they manage to put egg on their own face as well as the Parish, specifically Public Records. There is lots of fodder for discussion in Paul’s lengthy story but since I am time strapped I’m going to focus in on 2 items the first being that thanks to Steve Theriot and John Young it appears Jefferson Parish no longer has a cohesive, functioning public records department. Taken a step further I’ll add Paul conveys the obvious without saying it as it certainly appears the Parish Attorney’s office is simply an adjunct legal department for Freddie Heebe, Jim Ward and the River Birch Landfill. This snippet illustrates that point:
River Birch obtained the notes and other parish documents about the draft study Monday through a public records request and in turn provided them to The Times-Picayune. Parish attorneys denied a similar request by the newspaper for the preliminary study in December, citing an exemption in the state’s disclosure law for documents prepared “in anticipation of litigation or in preparation for trial.”
I will point out that normally newspapers are big on access to public records so the silence on the major problems with public records in Jefferson Parish, well reported here, means the T-P sucked on it in silence for at least the past 3 months. I’ll add that while Jefferson Parish was stonewalling the Times Picayune while giving it all up for Freddie Heebie they also continue to retaliate against the whistleblowers and John Young is ass deep in it right along with his political blowbuddy Tom Capella and their puppets Peggy Barton and Louis Gruntz. As long as the Parish Attorney’s office, at the behest of elected officials work for the River Birch Landfill instead of the taxpayers expect to see more such clusterfucks as the many Paul Rioux details today. Continue reading “Team River Birch beclowns their clowns: A putting in the fix on the inside for River Birch update.”
Two quick notes from the birdies that have been chirping about the recent goings on at the Yenni Building.
The first is Peggy Barton and her new job in HR, taking over for Junior Mendoza. Junior was let go along with Jimbo the Clown’s brother Clem Donelon a couple of weeks ago by Team Young in a move that flew under the radar. Young is proving adept at manipulating the bureaucratic chess pieces and I’ll add there are still senior administrators on staff that are dead men walking at Yenni.
Back to Ms Barton, I opined in comments to the HR post that the only reason Ms Barton was on staff at all was a sense of gratitude for her stepping into the breech for the soon to be indicted Tom Wilkinson. Our readers universally do not like the fact Ms Barton is employed by the Parish period given her proclivities to play around with public records responses. I hear from the chirping birdies that the feeling is somewhat mutual as Peggy sees her transfer to HR for what it is: a demotion. I’ll add with Barton now in HR her ability to massage certain critical records is also now at an end. New Parish Attorney Deb Foshee does not have a vested interest in protecting Barton that I can see but Foshee’s own track record with public records is frankly very bad, as we’ll explore in a future post.
Next up is deputy chief operating officer Richard Hart. Hart, John Young’s #3 man in the Parish pecking order came to the Parish from his gig as executive director of the state Department of Agriculture and Forestry and is credited for helping pick and poach Chris Cox from the US Attorney’s office for the #2 spot in Team Young. I mention Hart because some of the birdies are telling me he is the new administrator that most reminds them of Tim Whitmer in terms of being a ruthless snake in the grass. The birdies tell me that Hart has a checkered background that makes him a most worthy candidate for further exploration here on Slabbed so I’ll float the balloon and see if our readers can fill in some blanks.