RICO Part 1: The beginnings of a comprehensive timeline, from a Slabbed contributor

I recently introduced the contributor here. I’ll further generally describe this contributor as a former (pre Katrina) mid level employee of one of the various local governments in the metro New Orleans area that is now a private citizen. In other words way outta the game that unfolds before us today. This person, with the help of reporting by the Times Picayune, Slabbed, American Zombie etc has put together the beginnings of a timeline of the corruption scandal that I now share with you today.

There is one thing I must point out first though because there is a date that belongs on this timeline that is omitted because I’ve not yet shared it before today. What I mean by shared is I have not shared it in context so we must refer back to the following post I did on a Times Picayune story written by Manuel Torres way back in the day: Land swap to give landfill longer life – Council expected to approve proposal. IMHO NOLA needs to reactivate their link to that piece and all the related reporting as Slabbed has learned certain Public Records Requests are being denied on this very topic as it is evidently the subject of the ongoing Federal Grand Jury Investigation into Fred Heebe. Drum roll please as we roll out the players at that point in time:

  • Tim Coulon, Parish Prez
  • Aaron Broussard, Parish Council  chairman
  • T.J. “Butch” Ward, Parish Councilman and brother to Albert “Jim” Ward, Fred Heebe’s stepdad.
  • Donald Jones, Parish Councilman
  • Tom Wilkinson, Parish Attorney
  • Tim Whitmer, CAO

With that laid out and without further adieu following are 8 pages of a timeline that begins with the Dutchie Connick memo: Continue reading “RICO Part 1: The beginnings of a comprehensive timeline, from a Slabbed contributor”

There is an unmistakable buzz in the air……

There are a few of you guys that date back with me all the way to Yahoo Finance that read this including occasional commenters Steve and Russell, who also now runs his own  blog plus many more that have been with me here on Slabbed for a bit over 3 years. Post by post and comment by comment we’ve built the very case that Jim Letten’s office did not want laid at its doorstep via relentless search for the truth. People with ties to this area have discovered us in the aftermath of the meltdown at Team Letten and are now relentlessly searching for that truth for themselves on these pages. I like that because I think we’ve laid out a compelling case on many levels and that does not count the human drama that accompanied the events, also told on these pages.  As Incroyable has noted, in respects it is better than a John Grisham novel because the community here is watching and experiencing it first hand.

As moderator I get a view of these events at a differing level.  Tom, for instance is crawling my post archives on one of the major subplots in the ongoing retaliation against those commenting on the scandal. Get with ‘Gate Tom, because he has the rest of the story and how it fits with the Mark Titus saga.  Others have a broader interest in the whole US Attorney commenting scandal such as Muspench, who left an insightful comment on Manuel Torres excellent piece yesterday on the Titus prosecution and forfeiture. Manuel lays it all out including this:

The government sees Fazzio as a key to making a case against River Birch landfill co-owners Fred Heebe and Jim Ward, who have not been charged and have denied wrongdoing.

Why is Big D so important? I know the answer but am sworn to secrecy.  I think Manuel and Krewe at NOLA know the answer and they aren’t saying either. The answer is key to understanding how the prosecution is trying to build its case against Heebe for presentation in the courtroom.

Back to Tom and commenter retaliation. I’ll lay down a time stamp and say that I know the cyber identity of the International House commenter with 99% certainty and am 90% certain I know the guy’s real name.  Same is true for NolaCat, one of the 11 names subpoenaed by DOJ OIG from the Times Picayune/NOLA Media Group. I am not saying a word because I believe both to be private citizens.

But that isn’t stopping informed readers from speculating and engaging me with that speculation.  And the communiques that I think advance the search for the truth need to be shared with everyone. I have a series coming courtesy of a reader that I’ll simply call RICO. Slabbed has high quality readers so in this post I will introduce the person, well actually I’ll introduce the life experience behind the person before I begin rolling out the material: Continue reading “There is an unmistakable buzz in the air……”

Behold the terrible price to the taxpayers for electing crooks and buffoons to the Parish Council…

Allow me to summarize the latest Waste Management lawsuit against Jefferson Parish:

1. From 2007-early 2010 Jefferson Parish was run by self admitted felons

2. Even after those self admitted felons resigned in disgrace TheRiot continued their dirty work during his interim reign of terror.

3. Now the cat is out of the bag so Mini-me is gonna have to write another check with other people’s money, about the only thing the guy is good at. That is, of course if him and Elton LaGasse don’t burn another $500,000 defending the indefensible paying the hollow suits at Phelps Dunbar before they write that check to Waste Management.

Click the pic to get the pdf.

Waste Management of Louisiana v Parish of Jefferson Doc 1

A quick review – Cockroaches:
1. Operate in the shadows and under the cover of darkness.
2. Operate as a group.
3. Scatter when light or sun shine is applied.

Thursday links: Henry Shane’s public records suit delayed, Ethics charges delayed, Housing Authority delaying……

Or in the parlance of the insurance litigation: Delay, Deny, Defend.  Here are three links along those lines:

Hearing on political email through Jefferson Parish agency pushed back ~ Paul Purpura

Ethics case against River Birch takes back seat to criminal probe again ~ Manuel Torres

Jefferson Housing Authority members moving parish suit to federal court ~ Manuel Torres

Now regarding this legal war between the Parish council and the Housing Authority Board. In it simplest, most boiled down terms the fight is about the financial interests of one man in Gary Lala as it intersects with the desire in the Gretna political set to keep subsidized housing out of that City.  Everything else is smoke and mirrors except the stealing and looting, which is very real.

Vital background on Lala can be found here and here.

Slabbed examines the harassment of internet commenters and Fred Heebe’s witch hunt for private citizen’s expressing their opinion: Part 1

Gordon Russell updated the saga of the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General’s investigation into Sal Perricone and Jan Mann playing on the internet as the deadline for the delivery of the report to Judge Kurt Engelhardt has quietly passed without a peep on PACER or the peeps running the investigation.

The deadline for a special prosecutor to file a report with a federal judge on his inquiry into possible leaks and inappropriate online commenting by lawyers in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Louisiana’s Eastern District quietly passed last week. But it’s not clear where the matter stands; the special prosecutor, John Horn, who is based in Georgia, declined to make any comment about his probe Thursday.

I have a good idea where “the matter stands” because I met with the gang from DoJ OIG last month and I asked them about the process and how it will unfold. The report is for Judge Engelhardt and I do not think the investigative materials collected in support of said report will ever see the light of day. That said Gordon explains why it was easy for me to say I did not expect to be subpoenaed by Team Horn:

Technically, the Horn probe is part of the Danziger Bridge case — U.S. v. Bowen et al. That’s because it’s an outgrowth of the defendants’ motion for a new trial based on alleged prosecutorial misconduct — highlighted by former Assistant U.S. Attorney Sal Perricone’s admissions that he commented pseudonymously about various federal cases on NOLA.com, including the bridge case.

Slabbed covered the Danziger trial but we simply followed and highlighted the other media reports which made the visit I received from DoJ OIG someone curious at first blush.  That said it was clear to me the Horn investigation was broader than USA v Bowen and it should be because Sal and Jan commented upon a wider array of topics than the Danziger shootings including USA v Broussard, a topic where Slabbed is at the razor’s edge leading the local news coverage.  I know my Jefferson Parish corruption folks and I think the visit I received confirms that fact.

So what in the blue hell does all this have with Fred Heebe’s internet commenter witch hunt and the harassment of those commenting on the scandal in Jefferson Parish by the Goatherders?  I dropped a hint not long ago and I’m going to drop the same hint again courtesy of Jason Berry at AZ: Continue reading “Slabbed examines the harassment of internet commenters and Fred Heebe’s witch hunt for private citizen’s expressing their opinion: Part 1”

Gee, did anything happen while I was away?

Whewwwww doggie were things happening! I’m not sure where to start and that does not count a new development here on Slabbed.  Both chapters of the Slabbed Nation are lumped into one post for the sake of expediency so we gotta start with Former Goatherder in Chief Aaron Broussard’s REJECTION by Judge Head:

Aaron Broussard won’t get hearing to explore alleged prosecutorial misconduct, judge rules ~ Manuel Torres

Even worse for the others trying to make hay outta Sal, Jan and allegedly others playing on the Internet:

Aaron Broussard’s failed try for new hearing is a bad sign for others alleging prosecutorial misconduct. ~ Manuel Torres

We gotta get Manuel a nickname. Lest I digress as Judge Head, on loan from Corpus Christi Texas is known as a seasoned jurist that does not tolerate fools or tomfoolery as these Robing Room reviews illustrates:

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: 1852
Brilliant but ill-tempered. Equal opportunity ass chewer though-no one is exempt from his wrath.

and this one which nails it: Continue reading “Gee, did anything happen while I was away?”

If I may be so bold as to suggest those wanting perspective on Heebe’s internet commenter witch hunt….

You should click here because the harassment first became manifest when former NOLA City Attorney Bob Ellis threatened Jason Berry at American Zombie with a SLAPP suit.

Less than one year later Interim parish Prez Steve TheRiot sued the blogosphere conducting a witch hunt for certain online critics. Slabbed was mentioned in TheRiot’s suit in a clear shot across our bow.

And then there are the SLAPP suits from Canada, well covered here on Slabbed.

The dots are all out there folks, they just need connecting.

Who knew we all shudda put in for combat pay……..

When I read this last bombshell from NOLA Media Group Editor/Reporter Gordon Russell my first thought was to take a peek back at Slabbed circa February 2011. I think I understand why Heebe was searching for an internet commenter and this snippet from Gordon’s must read explains it:

The hotel has a computer set up for public use by guests; it was easily accessible to anyone walking in off the street. Heebe’s legal team had identified a comment that intrigued them — one that referenced James “Dutchie” Connick, a lobbyist for River Birch, the landfill Heebe co-owns.

As I recall the heat was on Heebe then as he had the full court press going with Judge Ginger to undo parts of the FBI raid on River Birch HQ.

Finally all eyes on Jason Berry over at AZ as he shared that surveillance photo used in Gordon’s story with me many weeks ago. He is promising to add some info and I personally can’t wait.

“The truth is beginning to emerge.”

Repost: Land swap to give landfill longer life – Council expected to approve proposal

Land swap to give landfill longer life – Council expected to approve proposal
Times-Picayune, The (New Orleans, LA) – Tuesday, December 10, 2002
Author: Manuel Torres West Bank bureau

A private West Bank developer and Jefferson Parish officials have negotiated the exchange of equally sized plots of land near Waggaman, in a deal they said would expand the capacity of the parish landfill and the private River Birch Landfill, and would help the parish keep residents’ garbage disposal rates low.

River Birch co-owner Jim Ward and Parish President Tim Coulon are calling the land swap “a win-win situation” as it goes for Parish Council approval Wednesday. Most council members said Monday they would vote in favor of the proposal because it’s expected to extend the capacity of the parish-owned landfill by 10 years or more.

“It’s a good deal,” Coulon said.

Representatives of Waggaman neighborhoods were not available for comment Monday. Continue reading “Repost: Land swap to give landfill longer life – Council expected to approve proposal”

Let’s drill down a bit on the latest developments in USA v Broussard: A playing on the internet update.

OK folks have we thought about this enough?  We have a federal subpoena out to the folks at NOLA Media Group asking for all the skinny on 11 internet commenters.  One of the post Katrina NOLA police murder cases involving civilians is in danger of getting verdicts set aside.  And the former Goatherder in Chief has asked for an evidentiary hearing. Days later Federal prosecutors contested Broussard’s motion arguing his guilty plea precluded such a line of inquiry.  And then I started getting emails from observers with criminal defense experience and those off blog comments were enlightening.  I’ll preface the rest of this post by saying I know very little about the practice of criminal law in the Federal Court system beyond the fact it is hard for a defendant to win at trial.

With that said there are some important points that were made and the first regards the Team Horn subpoena to NOLA Media Group for information on those 11 commenters. I’ll let a knowledgeable reader explain:

As part of their law enforcement mission the Feds can issue a subpoena to ensure that the law is being observed. They don’t need even a suspicion that the law may have been violated to issue a subpoena. That the newspaper is (1) objecting, (2) asking the Feds to disclose the basis for the subpoena, and (3) questioning whether the DOJ has authority to request the information under the Inspector General Act is curious and raises issues. For example, if the DOJ indulges the newspaper’s opposition and does not respond by saying, “Make the return on the subpoena or we’ll seek a contempt citation against your publisher.” it will indicate a lack of resolve and perhaps a political approach by the DOJ in the investigation.

Insofar as the merits are concerned, the paper can’t object, because it is not any of the commenters who have that right instead. The newspaper has no standing to act to ensure the DOJ is complying with law. That’s a right that belongs to the commenters and there’s no 1st Amendment issue involved. If there were it would have been asserted already. Furthermore, federal law enforcement need not give a basis for issuing the subpoena. They can issue a subpoena to check whether the law is being observed even without a suspicion of criminal activity. They need not give the basis to the newspaper. Asking for the basis for the subpoena is like asking for information so the paper can expand on the story. Thus, not only are the merits entirely in favor of the DOJ, the paper insulted the DOJ.

The newspaper is defending itself, not the commenters.

This raises interesting questions and lots have been raised of late regarding that Federal subpoena to NOLA including by Jason Berry over at AZ. The rumor mill is in overdrive as to any connection between the subpoena and Fred Heebe’s various defamation lawsuits against former members of the US Attorney’s office.  Until something else comes out I’m sticking with my theory that Heebe did not need an insider beyond his own legal team to divine Perricone and Mann were posting to NOLA.com. Continue reading “Let’s drill down a bit on the latest developments in USA v Broussard: A playing on the internet update.”