Monday, December 11, 2006

What twisted webs they spin...while children suffer...they steal, they lie, they sin

Those of you have little faith in our justice system, and apparently there are many of you....take heart:

If you caught the new documentary on the New Orleans Public Schools, Left Behind, you would know that the majority of the money being siphoned out of the system was being done so through insurance contracts. Most notably the overall health insurance contract which totaled about 50 million annually. The kickbacks were usually associated with "brokers" who aligned themselves between the insurance companies and school board members.

The most egregious situations revolved around Carl Coleman, the former risk manager for the school system. No school board members have been charged....YET. But there are some previous board members who are certainly on the radar.

While she denies it in the film, former board member, Ellenese Brooks-Simms was accused of forming an alliance with none other than Dollar Bill Jefferson. The accuser was a former independent auditer hired by NOPS, Stuart Piltch. At the time, Jefferson's brother, Mos Jefferson, was serving as an insurance broker between the school system and Cigna Health Care. How did he get this job, when he had no previous experience in insurance or the school board? One wonders.

Ellenese, who has the same disease Meffert does....she loves to boast...once bragged to Piltch that she had another school board member in her pocket, Elliot "Doc" Willard, who previously only voted with Gail Glapion. How did she get Doc in her pocket? Pretty easy, he was employed by the DA's office by Eddie Jordan...Bill Jefferson's underling. Jordan told him to vote with Simms...if he wanted to keep his job.

All roads to lead to Dollar Bill.

You think it's a conflict of interest that Willard was a sitting school board member while simultaneously being employeed by the DA's office? Not to mention "Doc" Willard is none other than city council member, Cynthia Willard Lewis' father.

Mos then went into the district and started strongarming School Board officials telling them they had to hire him and give him some school system insurance business because he had worked it out with Simms and his brother, Dollar Bill. This is in the documentary.

But there's much, much more that the documentary didn't cover. One of the most notable items is the Orleans Parish division of the non-profit, "Dollars for Scholars". This was Gail Glapion's crown jewel. This 501c3 had an operating budget of approximately 50%....yeah 50%.....and they had free office space in the NOPS building. Somehow, Glapion got all the Dollars for Scholars board members on the school system's health and dental plan. This was clearly illegal. Piltch pointed this out in a board meeting on August 11, 2003, here is the excerpt from the Board meeting:

Mr. Piltch stated that you have issues tied to the General Fund Budget. In insurance, payroll,
purchasing and other areas they are there. For instance people are being covered: people who are
not district employees. There is an organization by the name of Dollars for Scholars under the
health insurance.

Mrs. Glapion stated that was not true and you may try to assault her personally around an issue
that has nothing to do with her as Gail Glapion. The Dollars for Scholars is a 501c3
organization that is handled by an individual board of which she happens to be the founder and
president of.

Mrs. Piltch asked where are they getting their health insurance.

Mrs. Glapion stated that it’s being paid by the person who works. If that is not legal and not
acceptable, then it needs to be stopped. She warned Mr. Piltch not to try to assault her
personally with an issued that is going to undermine and undercut the issue that she is trying to

As it relates to all of the stuff Mr. Piltch is talking about in this budget, she does not see
the savings that Mr. Piltch said he would have as it relates to the 27 million. Instead there is
a budget where we’re using a band-aid the General Fund Budget.

Mrs. Simms stated that all of the stuff that is coming up now should have been caught a long time

Mrs. Glapion stated that she has worked in the system for twenty years and of those twenty years
they have provided three hundred and some odd thousand dollars scholarship money for the children
in New Orleans Public Schools. If you are saying that paying the insurance through which the
premium is paid is not legal then it will be cut out today.

Mr. Piltch stated then since you are going to cut it out today, it’s illegal.

Mrs. Glapion stated that they will cut it out today but that is not an issue for Mr. Piltch to
say that there are some illegal goings on as it relates to Dollars for Scholars. That is a
separate issue.

Mr. Piltch stated to Mrs. Glapion that it is an illegal act.

Mrs. Glapion stated that it would be cut. If the insurance is not legal then it will be cut out
today and she guaranteed Mr. Piltch it would not stop helping the girls and boys in the system to
continue the scholarships.

Mrs. Ford stated she requested funds from Dollars for Scholars for summer school for the children
who could not afford it and it was not granted.

Mrs. Glapion stated that Mrs. Ford requested money for summer school and it was granted. The
children who requested the money, which comes from a special fund for children who can not afford
to pay for summer school, were taken care of.

Mrs. Ford stated that she was only given a report what scholarships were given to students on a
regular basis as identified by Dollars for Scholars, for the specific summer program, I’m not
aware of receiving it.

Mrs. Glapion stated that not only did Dollar for Scholar give you what you ask for but also an
overview. Those children who requested monies for summer school did receive the money for summer
OPSB Minutes – August 11, 2003

OPSB Minutes – August 11, 2003

Mrs. Ford stated that it wasn’t in the report that came from the district.

Mrs. Glapion stated that you can get that information from Mrs. Bivens. Those children were taken
care of.

Mrs. Anderson stated that in the past, any organization that was connected to the district was
required to do an audit. For example with the alumni organization, they had discontinued the
partnership with them because they would not provide an audit. That’s a standard procedure. I
am sure that Dollars for Scholars could submit an audit. I’m requesting that they do that.

Mrs. Glapion stated that Bruno & Tervalon has been doing an audit for Dollars for Scholars since
1989. It is available. They are required as a 501(C3) to do an audit.

Mrs. Anderson requested that it be submitted.

Mrs. Glapion stated that to her knowledge that has been annually done along with the annual

Mr. Willard stated he has contributed to Dollars for Scholars and he doesn’t believe he has done
anything illegal. He has seen a lot of children benefit from it. If there is something that has
to be presented, then let it be presented.

Of course an audit was none other than Bruno and Tervalon....that's par for the course. This is the same firm Karen Carter was pushing for over out-of-state accounting firm Deloite and Touche to get the emergency accounting contract over the entire school system budget. Amato refused, and Carter subsequently called for his head.

I talked to the filmmakers about the Dollars for Scholars thing and they said when they went to get the video tape of this particular board meeting, the audio was mysteriously "squealed" out. They said they we're required by NOPS attorney, Regina Bartholemew, to submit their request of what tapes they wanted, previous to being allowed to access the video archives. These archives are of course public record...why the audio was squealed on the one tape they wanted is highly suspect. That could be a felony unto itself...destroying public record.

They have since learned that the National Dollars for Scholars entity has severed all ties with the Orleans Parish Dollars for Scholars entity due to their misuse of funds. Gail Glapion, although retired from the school board, still resides as president of the entity.

I think we need to call for an independent audit of all 501c3's in the city who have anything to do with public funding. If you read Gordon Russell's article in the TP on Renee Gill Pratt, Mos Jefferson, Bill Jefferson, and how they were using non-profits to funnel money out of public coffers and into private hands...mostly theirs... you would understand the need to gut this process.

Oh yeah......interesting how we have three candidates for the U.S. Rep. Office involved in shady dealings with the school system, Bartholomew, Carter, and Jefferson.


Anonymous said...

wow. it makes you wonder if there's room in the system for honest, caring, non-corruptible people?

Jason Brad Berry said...

there is room and they are actually in there fighting. the acts of one or two corrupt individuals can stymie a whole board. It's a fucked up process, and the only thing that can make it work is transparency. If our MSM resources aren't going to go balls to the wall to expose this, it's left up to us to "say it all". Let's hope somone is listening.

bayoustjohndavid said...

Any idea whether the Carl Coleman mentioned in the linked article is related to O.C. Coleman -- the politically active minister who helped set up MCCI? MCCI is the copmpany that got the S&WB contract before it was even incorporated.

Jason Brad Berry said...

No, but that's a hell of a question. I'd be interested to find that out.

Anonymous said...

thanks for continuing to publish all this detail. it's really informative, and the old OPSB transcripts read like a tragi-comedy.

here's a biggie: i've been told that Leslie Jacobs, now of BESE and formerly of OPSB, is the daughter of the Rosenthal family who made umpteen millions selling insurance to NOPS. could you look that up and see if its true?

love ya!

Jason Brad Berry said...

How did the Rosenthal family make millions in insurance sales? Were they brokers or what?

I'm very, very, very interested in this if it has legs. Please provide me more information on this if you have it. I know Leslie Jacobs, but I don't know anything about the Rosenthal family or their links to insurance and the school system.

Please inform...if you don't want it posted, send it the Gmai account on the front page.

Anonymous said...

i don't know exactly, that's why i asked you! silly zombie! perhaps we need to ask our ancestors?

this is something i have heard repeatedly and would like to know more about, along with more about her OPSB tenure and relationship with the Governor, who appointed her to BESE and reportedly will not remove her because Jacobs 'satisfies the business interests' (southern code for 'keeps blacks out').

so i will collect data and offer it to you, wise one, again with thanks and love and in your humble service,


Jason Brad Berry said...

Oya, eh? nice. You must know then I am prone to bouts of insanity.

I'm gonna put some feelers out. That is a huge deal...huge deal. Because it implicates graft on a state level, which up until now I've only seen it on a city level.

Rosenthal's and insurance....that's what we need to find out. If they were brokers or owned and insurance company, and if they had any contracts with the school board.

that's just huge.

Anonymous said...

o Dambala, ancient & wise, I am back with just a bit of info, I hope to collect more...
I tracked down and confirmed with the original commentor that yes in fact LJ is a daughter of the Rosenthal family, married a Jacobs. The Rosenthals are multimillionaire insurance brokers who 'made alot of money on the school board in the 1970's, '80's, and into the '90's.' The source of this info is a society person not a politico. It is stated as simple fact.
I asked how a person could follow up on such info to learn more and a follow up was promised. Perhaps spirit sources can assist?


Jason Brad Berry said...


Ashe', daughter of chaos...I extend my gratitude. I am shedding my coat and hat and digging in the dirt. While I make no promises (a wise philosophy in a world driven by entropy), I will do my best to dig these bones up.

And O...considering your inclination for urges....if you ever get the hankering to blog or make a post...I'd be privileged to host you on AZ.

A tip of the hat and a bone-creaking bow to you, Oya.