Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Wisner Fund - Reboot

For those of you that have been following my reporting on the Wisner Trust issues with the current Mayoral administration....I have a major development for you.

I am going to attempt a brief synopsis of the previous posts regarding's incredibly complicated but just please try to get through this part and I'll give you some really easy stuff to understand in the next post.

If you recall, in part 2 of the Wisner chronicles I focused on the Wisner's litigation against BP for the ongoing effects of the 2010 BP Macondo oil spill disaster.  The Wisner property along Fourchon Beach was one of the hardest hit areas in the Gulf in respect to the continual onslaught of oil bombarding the Louisiana coast.

I chronicled this in a short video piece I produced here:

The Wisner Trust - Battle for the Bayou - Forrest Travica on Loop and Beach Integrity from Jason Berry on Vimeo.

I encourage you to read Part 2 to understand the under-the-table politics and back-room dealings that lead to Mayor Landrieu's administration firing Wisner's council in their case against BP, Waltzer and Wiygul, and replacing them with a select few of the attorneys who were appointed to the multi-district litigation case against BP by Judge Carl Barbier, also known as the PSC (Plaintiff Steering Committee) lawyers.

The documents in Part 2 show a clear collusion between the PSC/JV attorneys and BP attorneys regarding the Wisner case....BEFORE those attorneys were even authorized to represent Wisner.  

I know that is really hard to understand and I can't explain it to you if you don't already know the story.  But I will try, once again...please hang with me.

Mayor Landrieu launched a hostile takeover of the Wisner Committee and placed his own loyalists on the board in order to fulfill his agenda with not only the annual grants the Wisner Trust generated to the City, but also, the ongoing litigation the Trust had against BP for the oil spill.  For those in the know....we know that the Wisner petition against BP was/is perhaps the largest monetary amount left on the board against BP.  It's pretty much the last bargaining chip in the BP oil spill litigation.

It's a big fucking deal.  Please take note....the Wisner case against BP is the shit.  If you only understand one thing...understand this.

So last year, Mayor Landrieu, through his political prowess, ousted two Wisner Committee members from Tulane and LSU and replaced them with his own lackeys in order to create a majority vote in the 5 entity (vote) quorum that comprised the Edward Wisner Trust Advisory Committee.

 Immediately after he had successfully completed this coup, he had his lackeys fire the law firm, Waltzer and Wiygul, representing Wisner in their case against BP.  He replaced them, without an RFP, with the attorneys the City of New Orleans had already hired to represent the City's case against BP.

SUBTEXT:  Waltzer and Wiygul are environmental attorneys...this is their forte.  It's what they do.  The attorneys that were brought on, the PSC/JV attorneys, had little to no experience in environmental law and even less knowledge of the Wisner property and its best interests.

These attorneys also happened to be the same attorneys appointed to the "Plaintiff Steering Committee" by Judge Carl Barbier to represent all Gulf Coast claims...shrimpers, fisherman, restaurants, taxi drivers, tour operators, waiters, under the Deepwater Horizon Economic Claims Center.

These law firms, that are ubiquitous in the City's multiple interests against BP are:

Herman, Herman, Katz and Cotlar Fayard and Honeycutt;  Domengeaux, Wright, Roy & Edwards.

Leger & Shaw  is also representing the City but they are not part of the multi-district litigation suit against BP.  For the record, Walt Leger's firm is not part of the PSC attorneys.  However, Leger's firm is representing LaFourche Parish, where the true cash generating part of the Wisner property is located, in their case against BP.

So the same small group of lawyers are not only dealing with the massive claims against BP for the private sector....they are also dealing with BP in respect to the City of New Orleans' grievances as well as the Wisner Trust ( the biggest claim on the board).

Oh....and....these same group of lawyers are representing the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office in their claim against BP.  That leads me to the next post....stay tuned....

Double OH!!  Before I drop these new legal filings on you in the next post, I want you to remember this....Wisner property lies in only three parishes in Louisiana....burn this into your memory:

St. John

That's it.  Hang tight...

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