Posts Tagged ‘USA v Parker’
Corrupt New Orleans politician Aaron Broussard enters federal prison in North Carolina Monday after being convicted of a rash of charges of fraud and bribery, some with connections to businesses and property he owned or managed in the Kempt Wilderness in Nova Scotia. He was sentenced to three years, ten months in a minimum security facility.
In a TV interview over the weekend, Broussard described how he entered politics forty years ago fighting the political machine and “good old boy” system, only to become the poster child for political corruption in a notably corrupt town. Broussard was president of Jefferson Parish, the largest in the state. “I’m leaving politics as a good old boy in disgrace,” Broussard told reporter Travers Mackel.
Broussard’s criminal case involved several charges, of which he insisted he was innocent and would fight to the end.
He finally admitted in court to scheming in 2003 to give his then-girlfriend — later his wife — a public job for which she was not qualified and at which she rarely appeared. He also confessed that he took bribe payments totaling $66,000 to help steer public contracts to a Kenner businessman. His ex-wife, his chief administrative officer, his parish attorney and the businessman also pleaded guilty to federal charges.
“If you’re involved in a scandal, then you wear the scarlet letter for the rest of your life, and beyond the grave,” Broussard told another reporter. “I regret every single act and thing that I did that leads me to walk into the prison gates on Monday.” Read the rest of this entry »
A day has elapsed since yesterday’s sentencing hearing for Karen Parker, Tom Wilkinson and Aaron Broussard in Judge Head’s temporary courtroom on Camp Street and the accounting by the media of yesterday’s events is almost complete, “almost” being because I have not chipped in my two cents worth. First up I need to highlight Jason at American Zombie, Editilla at the Ladder and Mark Moseley aka Oyster over at Your Right Hand Thief for the hat tips and support. There are people taking real personal risks telling this story besides me and they deserve the recognition. To those guys I’ll add I have sources whose families have been threatened because word has gotten out they spoke with me. I can honestly say I’ve never been prouder of those of you that have entered the crucible with me despite the personal risk telling this story entails.
Next I need to point everyone to Drew Broach’s second story on the Broussard sentencing because it is good and he can actually spell sophomoric correctly. He hits all the high points save one so I’ll highlight how the media portrayed what I am talking about and hopefully convey a deeper understanding of what went down yesterday so let’s start with this snippet from Drew’s story:
Head said he considered a series of regular payments from Kenner businessman Bill Mack to Broussard as a single bribe for parish business, not several. And he downplayed Broussard’s “leadership role” in the payroll fraud conspiracy that gave the parish president’s then-fiancée, Karen Parker, a public job for which she was not qualified and at which she rarely worked.
As a result, the judge calculated the sentencing guidelines range to be 46 to 57 months.
And a few of the other media accounts:
Broussard faced a maximum of 15 years for the crimes, a sentence likely cut down because of his clean criminal record and his cooperation. Head, a Texas judge appointed to the Broussard case, further reduced the sentence, citing a number of disagreements with recommendations from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the federal probation office.
The government recommended sentence enhancements for accepting multiple bribes from Mack. But, Head pointed out, those bribes resulted from a single agreement.
“A bribe paid in a series of installments is one bribe,” he said.
Head also struck down an enhancement based on an assertion that he was the organizer of a bribery conspiracy involving five or more people. The deal, the judge said, was strictly between Broussard and Mack.
Broussard originally faced 58 to 72 months behind bars, but U.S. District Judge Hayden Head reduced the sentencing guidelines and only ended up giving Broussard 46 months. In court, Judge Head, brought in from Texas, disagreed with prosecutors on how some of the charges were counted, thus deciding to change the sentencing guidelines.
Legal expects (sic) expected Broussard to receive a sentence in the five to eight year range. The Texas judge handling Broussard’s sentencing said prosecutors had double counted his bribe payments.
Judge Hayden Head also appeared to downplay the hiring of Broussard ex-wife Karen Parker as a paralegal supervisor even though she lacked the proper credentials to do the work.
He said from the bench: “This was not a sophisticated operation. It must be common procedure to put people on the payroll.”
The apparent light sentence caught many court-watchers by surprise, given the nature of the public corruption charges.
“He gave a lecture to the U.S. Attorneys Office, to the probation department and he calculated the sentencing guidelines differently than the probation office had calculated them and that worked to the benefit of Aaron Broussard,” said Eyewitness News legal analyst Donald “Chick” Foret. “He was not impressed with the payroll portion of the case which dealt with Tom Wilkinson and Karen Parker. It was almost like he was trying to talk Tom Wilkinson out of his guilty plea at times.”
Drew Broach got it the closest while the Gambit oversimplified things to the point of being misleading. I did not expect much from the TeeVee media though Chick Foret’s analysis always seems both informative and amusing.
First we need to dispel the notion that Judge Head gave a downward departure from the sentencing guidelines because that is simply not true. As I previously said in comments Judge Head called the case straight so in my opinion the criticism he is taking in comments to the various news accounts is neither warranted or deserved. Second Slabbed’s legal experts had no preconceived expectations of Broussard’s sentence though I’ll add NOLA Born, a former Federal prosecutor has opined the sentence handed down is in line with the crime and fact pattern as submitted to Judge Head. Read the rest of this entry »
Racketeering claims reach into wilds of Kemptville
Aaron Broussard arrived in a New Orleans court Monday morning, where his 35-year political career ended with a 46-month prison sentence for fraud committed while he was president of Jefferson Parish, the most populous New Orleans suburb.
Broussard, who must also repay $280,000, apologized “for bringing dishonor to my position. I will pay for that dishonor for the rest of my life.” He requested he be sent to Pensacola Prison when his term starts on April 8.
Before the massive political corruption scandal that rocked all of New Orleans, Broussard was most well-known for his shameful and histrionic display of “crocodile tears” on national television in the USA following the Katrina disaster in New Orleans. It was charged by some that Broussard’s actions in the wake of Katrina caused tens of millions of dollars in damages to hundreds of New Orleans properties due to avoidable flooding. Continue Reading at SouthCoastToday.ca………
Former Jefferson Parish president sentenced to 46 months ~ Charles Maldonado
Aaron Broussard sentenced to 46 months on federal corruption charges ~ Travers Mackel
Aaron Broussard gets 46-month prison sentence ~ Paul ‘n Chick
South Coast Today Shelburne Nova Scotia: Continued legal hassles for Trout Point Lodge. More suits coming?
New Orleans politician Aaron Broussard’s federal prosecution for fraud took another big step forward in New Orleans last week, when the disgraced Jefferson Parish president pleaded guilty to a number of charges, which he and his lawyers had previously denied.
One of the allegations made against Broussard by his ex-wife and others is that he used his ownership in Nova Scotia vacation properties and property firms to “shake down” individuals and businesses wanting to do business with the most populous parish in New Orleans.
Days later, Concrete Busters filed an amended statement of claim in an on-going suit in New Orleans, naming Kempt Wilderness Lodge Services, Trout Point Lodge Ltd. and Costa-Rica-based Cerro Coyote, SA as some of thirty-plus co-conspirators and “shell corporations” designed to hide the trail of funds passing to and through Broussard over the past twenty years.
Drew Broach has the skinny on today’s festivities scheduled in Judge Head’s courtroom including new business with the newly flipped former Parish Attorney Tom Wilkinson. Also on tap are change of venue and Broussard’s earlier motion to have the bulk of his indictment tossed.
That said I want to talk 404 and not the internet variety, rather I’d like to take a second to address rule 404b, Federal Rules of Evidence and those recent motions made under that rule specifying evidence of other crimes involving Aaron Broussard including his use of his property in Nova Scotia Canada at the resort at Trout Point as a conduit for bribery. Saturday, Drew Broach checked in with news Team Broussard had filed their reply to the government’s rule 404b notice, linking the salient Broussard pleading, which came to me via email with the following comment from an attorney not affiliated with the case:
As far as legal brief writing, this pleading is D, maybe D-, work. Poor grammar, syntax and typos abound. It’s also hard to understand the presentation of the case law that is supposed to be supportive of AB’s position.
What I thought was interesting was on page 2 of the brief Team Broussard summarized the “other criminal acts” mentioned in the US Attorney’s motion but spent the rest of the brief trying to debunk the campaign contribution and ethics board investigations without mentioning Broussard’s property in Nova Scotia again until the last paragraph of the brief. Read the rest of this entry »
The Wino has been talking folks and now the previously blind now see. It is not for the faint of heart.
Let’s think business/socially and make some connections. We need to go back to the late legendary trial lawyer Wendell Gauthier. He is the tie that binds all of the major power players in Jefferson Parish and his legacy, like that of NFL great head coaches lie in the legacy of former assistants that made good on their own. In this case “making good” meaning rising to the top of the cesspool in Jefferson Parish.
Aaron Broussard traces his early roots to Gauthier via the Pan Am Crash litigation (and before). So does Danny Abel and Vaughn Perret. We know from published reports that Calvin Fayard fits in. We also know that Calvin Fayard is closely associated with Hugh Sibley. Sibley in turn was closely associated with Pravin Desai via his son Nipun “Nick” Desai. Our recent review of our Trout Point and Cerro Coyote coverage featured Desai’s Super 8 Motel on Clearview, a major commercial property with a zero tax assessment. We also know that Aaron Broussard and Danny Abel used that address in court filings forming the “legal department” there thus we come full circle.
We also have some very tantalizing news accounts of problems in Canada with major banks engaging in money laundering including Scotia Bank, which also had operations in Costa Rica.
By now I think I’ve made my point in saying that former Slabbed commenter Telemachus was featured so prominently in Trout Point Lodge, Charles Leary and Vaughn Perret’s Nova Scotia SLAPP suit against Slabbed not because he ever made fun of them because he didn’t. Rather, Telemachus was dangerous to them for another reason Read the rest of this entry »
And now there is only one defendant left in the Aaron Broussard payroll fraud/bribery scheme and that would be the Goatherder in chief. Gordon Russell has all the skinny for the Times Picayune.
Aaron Broussard is “getting nuttier and nuttier”, files a defamation suit against NOLA.com commenter CampStBlue
Slabbed has said all sorts of uncomplimentary things about the disgraced former Parish Prez yet we do not get sued by the Goatherder in Chief….well actually we did through his property managers at the Trout Point Development near East Kempt Nova Scotia, Vaughn Perret and Charles Leary.
What can I say folks except someone writing Aaron Broussard is getting nuttier and nuttier is speaking the truth as far as I can tell but opinions like that one are not generally not actionable defamation here in the US but then again no one accused Broussard attorney Robert Jenkins of being anywhere near Perry Mason’s zipcode in terms of legal talent so the jackassery continues. Gordon Russell at NOLA has all the skinny on the latest SLAPP suit to be filed by Team Goatherder in this saga, as Broussard a Jefferson Parish resident, choose the NOLA CDC as his venue for the suit, which won’t last long IMHO.
Catching up Team Broussard has been busy, filing a change of venue motion with Judge Head back on the 31st. This comes on the heels of an attempt to have the charges against him dismissed, a move which Team USA ridiculed in its reply briefs to Judge Head. If I may be so bold as to suggest Gulfport as a great place to hold Broussard and Wilkinson’s trial with Hattiesburg as a strong alternate. I personally don’t give a shit where they have it because I will enjoy seeing Broussard twist in agony when the guilty verdicts are read, no matter the locale of the venue.
Tick tock, tick tock.
Remembering that I am not a legal expert these motions struck me as a somewhat routine pretrial procedural attack on the Government case but there was something that stuck out to me, actually more what was not said in fact and for this I’m going to quote a small part of the pleading:
First, the indictment alleges that Mr. Broussard, Mr. Wilkinson and Mr. Whitmer, the alleged conspirators, hired Karen Parker for the position of Paralegal Supervisor despite her lack of qualifications for the job. It further alleges that the conspirators arranged to transfer Ms. Parker from the Parish Attorney’s Office to ID Management, but allowed her to retain the same position and salary even though she did not perform the essential functions of that position.
I want to make clear it is not the defense lawyers job to make the government case but the argument that is being made in the filings is a tad disingenuous. That said you find names like Broussard, Parker, Whitmer and Wilkinson scattered throughout the 23 page filing. But there is one name that is central to this story that simply does not appear: Read the rest of this entry »
I’m thinking that October trial date is likely to be moved back again so the defense will have time to prepare on the new bribery charges that flow from USA v Mack. Meantime the investigation continues as the legal drama unfolds while a segment of the Slabbed political observer team wonders if US Attorney Jim Letten is stopping short on the prosecutions as apparently happened in USA v Hubbard.
Let’s see if Aaron and Tom speak with the assembled media today.