Jim Letten resignation fallout: “Hold on to your wallets. The crime families are back in business”
“Be careful not to mistake insecurity and inadequacy for humility!
Humility has nothing to do with the insecure and inadequate!
Just like arrogance has nothing to do with greatness!” ~ C. JoyBell C.
“Arrogance diminishes wisdom” ~ Arabian proverb
OK folks I know some of y’all must be scratching your heads at the post title and my choice of quotes that frame this post but bear with me. First off for all my peeps in the TeeVee media I watched most of the coverage last night. Lee Zurik over at Fox 8 and Chick Foret at Channel 4 get attaboys, Zurik because it looks like he is trying to think outside the box on Letten’s replacement and Chick Foret for his brutal, yet accurate assessment of how the axe came down on Jim Letten. I viewed this as a business decision and once people began to say, accurately IMHO, that Letten did not know about the online activities of Jan Mann, Sal Perricone and a rumored 2 other DoJ employees such was a clear sign he was a figurative dead man walking. And while I’m certain feelings are running high at Team Letten right now I think Mr. Letten would be the first person to say that entering the chop shop is the proper last act in these circumstances.
So if Letten is penitent then we must look elsewhere for the arrogance so now we examine a small snippet from Gordon Russell and John Simerman’s comprehensive Jim Letten resignation story for NOLA.com:
Because of civil service protection afforded to federal prosecutors, neither Letten nor his superiors was likely able to fire Mann immediately, according to lawyers familiar with federal rules. “If she wants to hunker down, she can,” said former U.S. Attorney Harry Rosenberg. “He cannot summarily fire her.”
This is a clear reference to the local rumor mill on Mann. Unlike Sal Perricone, who fell on his sword quickly, Jan Mann stayed on refusing to resign until yesterday when the issue was forced via the forced resignation of her boss. Rumor holds the big guy himself asked Mann to man up and leave. The same rumor said Mann made like Nancy Reagan and just said no. If that is true and I think there is at least a kernel of truth in the rumor so everyone should now understand the lead off quotes I chose this morning.
This brings me to former US Attorney Harry Rosenberg’s last quote in the story I linked above:
Rosenberg, the former U.S. Attorney, said Letten, despite a public image polished by years of high-profile wins, is likely to suffer the same fate as most who leave public office under a cloud.
“It’s unfortunate: The last thing that occurs is the one thing that people remember the most,” he said.
To quote professional wrestler Kurt Angle that’s “damn true” and indeed the only thing I remember about Rosenberg’s unremarkable career as US Attorney was his resignation as he didn’t do much else while at DoJ. Rosenberg was just about everywhere in the local media landscape yesterday and this in turn inspired me as Beetlejuice, as he is affectionately known on Slabbed surfaced at just the right time, no doubt also promoting his law partner Kim Boyles for Letten’s replacement. The only worse pick on the Landrieu family short list would be Charles Rice and this brings me to the post title because the crime families are indeed angling to get back into the US Attorney business.
Jim Letten’s professional corpse wasn’t yet cold when Mayor Mitch “Half Moon” Landrieu decided it was a good time to ham it up for the cameras and for that we visit with WDSU’s coverage of the Perricone/Mann debacle for this Mayor Half Moon quote:
“Jim Letten is a friend. He has been a great partner for the City of New Orleans as we fight public corruption and violent street crime,” New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said after hearing the announcement. “I look forward to working with President Obama and Sen. Landrieu so that the next United States Attorney can be an effective prosecutor against public corruption and street crime.”
It is amazing he said that, at least to the Slabbed Political team. Amazing? Yes, the Mayor of one of the most corrupt cities in the world intends to get his guy in as US Attorney and he appeared to be speaking for the family on that. Of course his baby bro Maurice already works in the ossified DoJ office on Camp Street that suffers from uncontrolled political nepotism of the type that insures the corruption here will never be cleaned up. Simply put if the good people in Jefferson Parish figured out that a politicized Parish Attorney’s office was a bad thing then surely all the Ivy league lawyers up in Washington DC can figure that out too.
At the least the Slabbed Nation can educate them and this brings me to Bruce Alpert’s story on Senator Mary “Miss Piggy” Landrieu’s “open and efficient process” top pick Letten’s successor, which contained the reader comment I featured in my post title. The premise of the story, that the Senior Senator belonging to the same party as the President getting to pick the US Attorney is generally accurate. Alpert was bi-partisan in his reporting because the one thing most politicians love as much as life itself is to see is their name in the paper or TeeVee so Senator Vitter ditched his diaper and recommended Orleans Parish DA Leon Cannizzaro for the job. I think the only names that would elicit more hisses from the crowd in the Slabbed Nation would be Rice and Boyles. The only problem is President Obama knows better than to listen to Mary Landrieu on this pick as Slabbed commenter Presario accurately (IMHO) states:
The Obama Administration will take Sen. Landrieu’s suggestions and politely file them in the proverbial spam filter. The Obama Administration is going to place their own team in the US Attorneys office for the foreseeable future. The media continually get it wrong when they think that Landrieu and Obama are close or that Obama really cherishes Mary Landrieu’s input on anything. The Obama administration likes loyalty which is something Mary Landrieu doesn’t bring to the table. If the media would ever actually report on their relationship they would clearly see that Virginia is going to sweep out most of the dead weight in the US Attorneys office. I suspect that we will see no less than 15 to 20 new US Attorneys in the EDLA from out of state and a significant shakeup in the staff.
To understand why the Landrieus are so dangerous is to first understand that the family’s political founder former NOLA Mayor Moon Landrieu was closely connected to legendary organized crime figure Carlos “Little Man” Marcello. According to lore whenever Marcello stopped short Moon’s nose would end up in his hiney and I hear rumblings those old family habits were passed down to the current generation. Catastrophes like former US Attorney Eddie Jordan, John Voltz and Beetlejuice are man made™ disasters that do not happen by accident.
We’ll know by the pick if the Prez really wants the cesspool down here cleaned up. I personally think he does.