Damn the torpedoes full speed ahead:
Damn the torpedoes full speed ahead:
Our Views: Curb politics on hospitals deal ~ New Orleans Advocate Editorial Board
And “the cost of cronyism” part:
HCA is offering Jefferson Parish more money for the lease, $538 million compared to Children’s $406 million, and HCA would pay a estimated $183 million in property taxes where Children’s would pay no taxes.
While I do the math let’s enjoy a lovely video:
And the answer is….. Continue reading
West Jefferson Medical Center Chairman Chip Cahill evidently does not believe in classic American capitalism if we are to take the man at his word:
Crony capitalism is another story lest we forget disgraced former Jefferson Parish Attorney turned self admitted felon Tom Wilkinson’s sister Nancy Cassagne got the top management job at West Jeff despite not possessing the qualifications for the low-mid 6 figure position. It should come as no surprise that Cahill would cite Children’s Hospital susceptibility to political persuasion as the reason he favors Children’s over HCA despite the fact HCA is offering the taxpayers a better deal financially.
The deal Elton LaGasse cut to support Children’s over HCA is what needs examination here folks. Follow the money to the insiders enriching themselves at the expense of the public and the answer becomes clear. Stay tuned.
The landfill fix was in from way far back folks, and in going through the last massive PDF file I snagged last Fall on the terrible reign of corruption and filth that was the administration of former Parish President Aaron Broussard, I forgot the true extent of the historical goodies that I nabbed.
To catch everyone up back in February, 2010 I was like a kid in a candy store finding River Birch Inc. v Robin & Associates, Inc et al and this post provides vital background into how the River Birch Landfill gained the clout it carries today with the state and local political establishments. It was not a cheap or voluntary endeavor by any means.
Senator Alario was then a democrat and the state GOP took advantage of the Robin lawsuit and ran campaign ads against him. What I found in Aaron Broussard’s Parish Prez files is thus highly enlightening. Let’s start at the end:
This is considered official business in the Broussard administration and there was no separation between Aaron Broussard the politician, Aaron Broussard Inc and Aaron Broussard Parish Prez. Notice who signed DA Paul Connick’s check? I sure did:
Gegenheimer signs his own checks anyway. Continue reading
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: Continue reading
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:
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.
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.
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. Continue reading