Posts Tagged ‘Jefferson Parish Councilman Elton LaGasse’
Other letters were written by Whitmer’s wife, their two daughters and the fiance of one daughter; his brother, Charles Whitmer, former deputy police chief in Gretna, and Charles Whitmer’s wife; Henry Trapani, the parish’s retired citizens services director; D.J. Mumphrey Jr., an executive assistant to Coulon; Feleciano “Junior” Mendoza, who was Jefferson Parish human resources director as well as Whitmer’s middle-school principal; Angela Pacaccio Darvin, who worked 30 years in the parish president’s office; Jimmy Frickey, who is married to a former subordinate of Whitmer; Randy Cousin, a longtime friend who runs an industrial supply company where Whitmer has worked the past 2½ years; Sarah Gibson, a friend; the architect Billy Sizeler; and tourism businessman Warren Reuther Jr.
Drew Broach did an excellent job detailing Tim Whitmer’s “firehouse” friends late last month, some of whom share common roots in the Jefferson Parish political cesspool. No doubt everyone noted that I emphasized Sarah Gibson and her letter above, whom Broach described as a Whitmer friend. True dat because she obviously is per her own words. But Mrs Gibson’s letter is cleverly wordsmithed, for lack of a better term or perhaps “written to the inside”, a term folks like my internet BFF Russell over Reflexiones Finales has applied to Slabbed. Let’s start with her letter to Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon:
So Sarah’s husband is very close to Tim Whitmer being the Godfather to Tim’s eldest daughter. Sarah’s husband is Jefferson Parish Parks and Recreation Director Clinton “C.J.” Gibson, who according to Parish salary records draws a $124,000 plus annual salary. Parks and Recreation is also the cesspool from whence Tim Whitmer came so I guess it was only natural that when Parish Engineering Department refused to pay double what they thought was the proper amount for Change Order #5, he turned to his old friend C.J. Gibson in Parks and Recreation to handle the financial aspects of these specious transactions. A step further, turning the financial aspects of a major construction project over to the people running the playground is nonsensical and the fact the employees whose normal job duties refused to have anything to do with a transaction that was essentially doubled tells the whole tale and it stinks worse than a roadkill skunk in the July Pineville Louisiana summer heat. I highlighted the salient part of page 23 of the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s compliance audit on the center, the entirety of which can be found clicking here: Read the rest of this entry »
Coming soon from the gang that caused the Performing Arts Center and River Birch debacles. Let’s make a new deal!
For themselves of course.
It is at this point that I feel compelled to take the Jefferson Parish legislative delegation for a trip down memory lane to the last time the Parish council wanted a law changed that attracted the attention of good government activists across the parish. What makes the similarity in my mind between the stripping of a civil right from the populace in removing the provision for a public vote on the sale/lease/management of the two public hospitals and the “tweaking” of the public records statute on the behalf of TheRiot is both involved major losses of public transparency. Of course it was the behind the scenes deal making that brought the taxpayers both the Performing Arts Center and River Birch Landfill debacles so you’d think the gang on the 10th floor of Yenni along with the Parish Council would have at least had the sense to consider all the ramifications here. Instead I sense the politics of self enrichment are at play, likely with a heavy dose of crony capitalism on top.
In the Spring of 2010 TheRiot asked Louisiana State Senator Danny Martiny to change the Louisiana Public Records law drawing the ire of good government activists in Jefferson Parish. Slabbed made an editorial decision to become involved and I subsequently welcomed Senator Martiny to the legendary Warren Suite at the Do Slabb Inn. Within a few days Martiny appeared on Fox 8 cryin’ that people thought he was some kind of crook. The Parish Council ran for the hills pulling the rug out from under Martiny and this in turned caused me to opine Senator Martiny was a stooge. Now Slabbed has since gone easy on Senator Martiny as he really is not the devil reincarnate as he was the guy that pushed the Louisiana version of the SPEECH Act through the legislature so we obviously share some common ground.
So with that set up let’s review a few of the points in Drew Broach’s story on this topic:
- The Parish council met last week in secret with hospital officials and others. Out of that meeting came the request to change LA R.S. 46:1064.2 which would exempt the hospital from the public vote provisions in that law.
- Both hospital boards are stacked with political insiders and are notorious troughs where crony capitalism, double dealing and self enrichment are the rule of the day.
- The request to change the law was done with “no public discussion, and no dissenting vote on the council.”
- Potential public opposition was cited by Sheriff Noodles Norman as the reason for stripping this civil liberty from the taxpaying public. Sheriff Noodles, when he is not palling around with washed up actors like Steven Seagal or arresting criminals is the Chairman of the East Jefferson Medical Center Board of Directors.
- Chris Robert$, Cynthia Lee $heng, Elton LaGa$$e are all responsible for the River Birch debacle and their judgment is not to be tru$ted.
- Cockroaches like to operate: Read the rest of this entry »
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.
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.
James Varney at NOLA takes Jefferson Parish Councilmen Roberts and Lagasse to the woodshed. A Jefferson Parish (non)Performing Arts Center disaster update.
My point exactly James. It is a must read folks.
For those of you that think a structure specifically designed as a theater has any real commercial value with the design flaws this place comes with better think again as there is a very limited market for such specialized structures, especially building with below grade infrastructure that will perpetually require expensive flood insurance coverage. And completing this project is only throwing more good money down the toilet considering Caldarera wants another $8.4 million to simply crank the project back up.
The prudent choice, as James points out, is to buy some dynamite.
Drew Broach reports on the “black hole” on Airline Drive: Another (non)Performing Arts Center update
When politicians bob and weave, it is evident they are trying to deceive and that is certainly the case yesterday at the Jefferson Parish Council meeting as councilmen Chris Roberts and Elton LaGasse took turns trying to distance themselves from their own bad decisions (and worse in the case of LaGasse) regarding the JPAC debacle, 4 years and 79% over budget and counting in the making.
We’ve covered JPAC in-depth here in Slabbed but the picture on the right allows me to reinforce a point regarding the contractor’s specious delay claims which have thus far been paid without much question and on one occasion, with the “help” of councilman LaGasse via a management override that in turn causes people to think he may be on Joe Calderera’s payroll. Before we get to the information contained picture though let’s explore a snippet from Broach’s story:
Roberts asked whether anyone is even working these days on the site, at LaSalle Park in Metairie. Public Works Director Kazem Alikhani said the job is basically at a standstill: The general contractor, J. Caldarera & Co. Inc, “is having a hard time getting subcontractors to work because they haven’t been paid in two years.”
At least part of the reason is that the parish for months has been sitting on two change orders, one for another $8.4 million, requested by the builder. Parish attorney Deborah Foshee said Caldarera has sent the parish a “demand” letter for money, signaling potential litigation.
A few examples of items needing a full fleshing out is the District D 24th JDC race involving Julie Quinn as she has an opponent. I’ll note Slabbed swam against the media current well over a year ago in maintaining Quinn had her sights set on the 24th JDC, not the State 5th Circuit Court of Appeals as was reported elsewhere. Quinn is being endorsed by all the usual suspects including Sheriff Noodles and the MIA DA Paul Connick. Unfortunately for Ms. Quinn, she is not Slabbed approved and depending on the quality of her opposition, Slabbed may well have lots to say about this particular race.
Not mentioned in the preceding paragraph is Ms Quinn’s fiance, Parish Prez John Young. By all accounts John is crazy about Julie and we’re completely down with the marital bliss thing here at Slabbed New Media. That said there are political observers in Jefferson Parish that are concerned we are seeing a repeat of South Park Season 3, Episode 3. If this is indeed the case I know of only one way to rectify the issue and even then such is a dicey proposition as there could well be collateral casualties. Lest I digress but back to Mr Parish Prez….
This whole charter change deal has caused open warfare between Parish Prez Young and the Parish Council. Now close your eyes and imagine what the local TeeVee media reaction would be if Diana Bajoie called Stacey Head a “hypocrite” or if Head said Mayor Half Moon’s ego has gotten too large. People would have died from being run over by every TeeVee truck in town headed for City Hall to cover the conflict. After reading Drew Broach’s account of the controversy what we got instead was one big yawn from the video set. Councilman LaGasse must not be photogenic enough for the camera is all I can figure. If I missed where the local TeeVee news covered this please feel free to correct me in comments.
Finally I’d like to give a shout out to all the nice peeps at the Yenni Building, where Slabbed New Media now has a field office. Read the rest of this entry »
Clear as mud: JPAC gets line of credit, an affidavit and a PR push. Cap’n Jay gets a reprieve while Chief Euris DuBois’ neighbor gets shot and burned out (Updated)
I’d happily report that my absence meant I’ve been up to something but such is not the case over the last few days as I took a break. This does not mean I don’t have some dynamite things in store for the Slabbed Nation this week but today we do a bit of catching up.
First up is the taxpayer funded money pit also known as the Performing Arts Center. Yesterday the T-P editorial board opined the project should be completed ASAP now that the state’s taxpayers are on the hook for another $9.9MM as the project’s costs has almost doubled since ground broke on the project years ago. Adding to the confusion is yesterday afternoon Bob Ross filed a post titled Affidavit clears up confusion on change order for Performing Arts Center in Metairie that frankly added to my confusion about change order #5 to the point where I gotta call bullshit. A close read of said Legislative auditor’s report on the change order clearly indicates there was a management override involved in that particular change order, management being for CAO Tim Whitmer and current councilman at large Elton LaGasse.
To the extent Whitmer has copped a plea in the wide ranging JP Corruption investigation and reportedly knows where all the “bones are buried”, one would naturally assume he has been questioned closely about his knowledge about whether Councilman LaGasse took a kickback to ram rod that particular change order through, reportedly with no documentation, that included a massive delay claim. I want to make clear this is only an allegation but given what has surfaced about Jiff Hingle and the new Plaquemines Parish Jail such is a fair question, especially as the taxpaying public tries to figure out how a $28MM project has morphed into a $52MM boondoggle. I’ll have more on change order 5 ASAP because it is clear Mr Ross has lots of catching up to do.
Next up is the child molestation case and alleged official cover up involving Jerry “Cap’n Jay” Dantin as Paul Purpura filed a comprehensive update yesterday as justice for the little boy Dantin victimized has again been delayed, this time by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Dantin’s long time friend, Grand Isle Police Chief Euris Dubois is alleged to have intentionally botched the investigation which only adds to the cesspool that is this saga as Mayor David Carmadelle is also heavily involved. Read the rest of this entry »
Jefferson Parish News Miscellany: Trouble in paradise, Judge Head tells Broussard no extension while Mark Titus grasps at straws
Let’s take these news stories from the PACER beat in reverse order. First up is Gordon Russell’s story about the latest defense filing in USA v Titus, which included remarks from Slabbed favorite Dane Ciolino of the Loyola Law School. Essentially Titus is claiming there was a verbal sidecar to his plea deal with regards to the forfeiture provisions among other things. Having watched the crushing of Jamie Perdigao a few years back I don’t think this latest motion from Team Titus is going very far.
Moving right along Judge Head took little time in denying Broussard’s motion to postpone his trial per this story from the PACER beat filed by Drew Broach. Judge Head, like the rest of us watched the latest installment of the Aaron Broussard cancer special on the TeeVee and found the assertions in Team Broussard’s delay motion filed by attorney Robert Jenkins to be a bit lacking on the fact side since no affidavits were submitted by either Broussard or more important his doctors. Even worse is the persistent street talk that crushing Broussard and Wilkinson is simply a prelude to rolling up Jim Ward and Fred Heebe so Aaron isn’t even star of the show which is potentially worse news for the unrepentant drama queens that are the Goatherders.
That said I’ll put on my Carnac hat and predict Eric Paulsen at WWL TeeVee will try one more time to prettify his friend with another prostate cancer special on the Toolman show like the one he treated us to earlier this year. For added dramatic effect perhaps Broussard will break down and cry like a crocodile such as he did in September 2005 on the national TeeVee between telling whoppers on Meet the Press.
Finally I watched the last Parish Council meeting and was happy to see the Times Picayune’s Bob Ross picked up the $325,000 taxpayer funded donation to JPAS, which can no long collect the tax that was previously dedicated to the organization, locally famous as a cesspool of nepotism. Left to their own devices the folks at JPAS would singlehandedly bankrupt Jefferson Parish with the boondoggle Performing Arts Center leading the way. Times are tough in Jefferson Parish as teachers are losing their jobs so my feeling is if JPAS can’t fund themselves then they need to close the doors and I say that as a patron of the arts here in Mississippi.
That said the T-P beat Krewe missed something important at the last meeting and it is my pleasure to roll it out here as there was a very curious motion from the floor by Councilman Chris “Mini Me” Roberts that merits special attention because there is evidently trouble in paradise and for that we need to visit with Ross’ last story on the Charter Change Committee to set this up: Read the rest of this entry »
New scrutiny for Jefferson Performing Arts Center ~ Rich Rainey 7/11/12
Now the latest:
Rep. Cameron Henry, R-Jefferson, on Thursday temporarily blocked the use of almost $10 million in lines of credit to build the Jefferson Performing Arts Center in Metairie, saying he wants parish officials to explain why the project has ballooned in cost. Henry asked the state Bond Commission, which holds sway over credit for hundreds of state-financed projects, to delay the reauthorization of last year’s $10 million for one month.
Parish Council member Chris Roberts said he supported Henry’s actions. Roberts said he doesn’t think the parish administration has officially settled an issue that was raised in a scathing report by the legislative auditor’s office last year on the cost overruns at the long-delayed arts center. One change order of $5.6 million was paid even though Reda Youssef, capital projects director for the parish, said he could not certify more than $2.8 million.
Let’s circle back to my post of the 16th:
I figure if I am aware of the duplicity then Mini-Me must be as well thus putting Youssef to the question in a bit over a week at the council meeting in Grand Isle. I bet the council would be happy to see Youssef refute what he told the legislative auditors and he just may since he made up some of what he told them in an effort to shift blame to people like Bolotte. I see this as impossible situation….
And then this snippet from today’s T-P story linked above: Read the rest of this entry »
And that is certainly the case this week folks as I’ll be on assignment. That doesn’t mean there will be no posts but that will happen on the run and I have some dynamite stuff in the works. There are three items I want to address this morning.
The first is a reader from north Mississippi sent me the following link to Bellesouth’s blog and her coverage of the case involving Dr. Cassandra Thomas of Jackson.
Next up is the Goatherders, specifically the jackass that is their leader Aaron Broussard. Today we learn he will indeed be held accountable for causing the Katrina related flooding of Jefferson Parish by ordering the pump operators from the pumps as Katrina approached. This guaranteed large portions of the East Bank of the Mississippi River would flood from the torrential rains which it did. There are two schools of thought among the flood victims as far as I can tell, the first being most charitable in maintaining Broussard was a complete incompetent nincompoop as Parish Prez that was in way over his head. I do not subscribe to that line of thought personally and will acknowledge this violates a heuristic I frequent use in Hanlon’s razor.
The other school of thought and the one to which I subscribe is that Broussard Read the rest of this entry »
Citizens for Good Government calls out Councilman at Large Elton Lagasse over his support of pay to play
From the latest CFGG email blast:
Supporters of Good Government:
Citizens for Good Government is distressed at the Jefferson Parish Council’s apparent dismissal of the Bureau of Governmental Research’s recently-released report on service contracting entitled, “Reforming Jefferson Parish’s Unusual Approach to Service Contracting.” When at the May 23rd Council meeting CFGG Vice-Chairman Margie Seemann asked the question:
“Has BGR been invited to present their report to the Council, or will they be invited?”
Councilman Lagasse responded, “No Ma’am.”
We were flabbergasted at this lone response to our question. Although he did not clarify his response, it appears that Councilman Lagasse intended to indicate that BGR will NOT be invited to present their report. Councilman Lagasse’s response was outrageous and unacceptable. We do not believe that he should have the final word about having the BGR report presented at a council meeting, particularly since he was quoted in the Times-Picayune as objecting to some of the conclusions of the report. Read the rest of this entry »