Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Wisner Trust: What's good for the goose...

I just received a rather biting email directed toward various local media resources from one of the Wisner heirs.  I'll forego the details of the email and simply publish the contents of the attached .pdf, a letter addressed to the Mayor's appointee to the Edward Wisner Donation Advisory Committee, Michael Sherman, asking him to tender his resignation immediately.

As I've reported previously, the Committee meetings are highly contentious with Sherman getting into repeated yelling matches with the heirs, including Stephen Green, the heir who authored this letter.  Sherman has previously demanded that Michael Peneguy be removed from the committee as the heirs' representative for being disruptive in the meetings.  Here's a couple of examples of a typical exchange between Sherman, Michael Peneguy and the heirs:

The Wisner Trust - Committee Meeting, Feb, 18, 2013 - Peneguy asks Sherman about shopping the sale of the land from Jason Berry on Vimeo.

The Wisner Trust - Committee Meeting, Feb, 18, 2013 - Agenda Item argument from Jason Berry on Vimeo.

It looks like Mr. Green took a chapter out of Mr. Sherman's playbook and is now demanding that Sherman resign.  Here's the letter:

Dear Mr. Sherman,

On more than one occasion you have asked the Wisner Family to consider removing Michael Peneguy as its representative.  Our family is confident of Mr. Peneguy’s ability and wants him to continue to represent our interests, as he has proficiently done for over 20 years.  Your inappropriate and warrantless requests to ask for the removal of any Edward Wisner Donation Advisory Committee member are not without notice and for this and the reasons outlined below, I am asking for you to tender your resignation immediately.

Your time with the Edward Wisner Donation has been marred with a great deal of strife, much of which you have been responsible for as you have represented the Trustee, Mitchell Landrieu.  I am uncertain as to whether you are acting at the direction of the Trustee or if you are acting of your own accord.  Nevertheless, it has damaged the Donation and the charities that it serves to the point where a number of my family members have sought relief from the Court. 

The recent letter to the beneficiaries of the Edward Wisner Donation under the Trustee’s signature contained a number of inaccuracies.  I must assume that this was authored by an individual who knows very little about the Donation or an individual whose agenda is self serving and who seeks to damage Edward Wisner’s legacy and his gift to the citizens and charities of New Orleans.  It is unclear who actually wrote that letter, the Trustee or his representative.

Your recent attempts to broker the sale of the Wisner Donation property, without the Committee’s knowledge, to numerous parties and entities have not gone unnoticed.  I am also aware of your manipulative actions and threats directed at Cathy Norman, the former Secretary-Treasurer of the past 20 years. Those actions and threats were so offensive that it caused Ms. Norman to tender her own resignation.  If nothing else, those actions alone have placed the Donation in great danger at such a crucial time in its history.

Your destructive actions are many and the list above is merely a sampling of your improper behavior. 
So that the Edward Wisner Donation Advisory Committee can continue with its work, I ask that you resign your position representing the Trustee and the City of New Orleans.


Stephen J Green 
Wisner Family Member


lestat said...

I enjoy watching a group of crooks all gathered together in one room with everyone involved trying to figure out how to screw each other and come out on top. It's better than any reality show on air.

Jason Brad Berry said...

Not sure I understand where you're getting the crooks perspective from but I agree that's it's much more interesting than anything on TV.

Jason Brad Berry said...

that...sic...was on phone.

Anonymous said...

I think you're late on this one Zombie. Sherman resigned over a month ago. Its not a secret at city hall. Looks like the wisners asked someone to resign who already resigned. At least Sherman and the Wisner family can agree on something.

Anonymous said...

Then why is he still working at City Hall representing the Mayor as early as this week?

Jason Brad Berry said...

I've heard rumors but nothing official. Are you positive he resigned or are you just repeating scuttlebutt?

Anonymous said...

Jason Brad Berry said...

Yuppers...saw it.

Rex Tyler said...

I'm enjoying your work on the Wisner Trust and the Mayor's attempts to control the decisions and the money. At city hall its always about the money. I see that Mike Sherman resigned effective May 24. Guessing the Mayor got tired of all the controversy and his in your face style. Maybe the hint of a conflict of interest got to him as well.