Thursday, October 24, 2013

Freeh is challenged again

One week after the Andry Lerner law firm filed a memo in federal court refuting Louis Freeh's accusations of misconduct in respect to the BP settlement, another attorney accused of misconduct, a former high level employee of the Deepwater Horizon Economic Claims Center (DHECC), has filed suit for breach of contract against BP, Orleans Parish and Patrick Juneau, the DHECC administrator.

Christine Reitano is the wife of Lionel Sutton, another lawyer who was also working for the DHECC.  Both Reitano and Sutton were called out in Louis Freeh's report for misconduct and potential illicit activity along with the Andry Lerner law firm.  Sutton resigned from the DHECC in the wake of the allegations, Reitano did not resign but was then fired by Juneau.

 Reitano was accused by Freeh of accepting a commission for a referral on a claim, the "Thonn Claim", that she referred to the Andry Lerner law firm, after she had accepted a position to work in the Claims Center for Patrick Juneau.

In this filing, Reitano states that she never received any commission for the referral and the evidence on which Freeh based his allegation, a deposition by Andry Lerner attorney, Christina Mancuso, was misinterpreted by Freeh.

Reitano claims that she disclosed her involvement with the claimant, Thonn, before she accepted the position with the DHECC and that Juneau was made aware of the existing relationship.  When Reitano took the job at the Claims Center, the Thonn claim was made known to Juneau but did not appear to be an issue.

The Freeh report also notes that the Thonn claim was examined internally by the DHECC in January of 2013, well before Freeh was brought on board to conduct his investigation.  Apparently, the matter was not acted upon at that time.

Freeh also claimed that Reitano used her position in the office to try and procure a job for her husband, Lionel Sutton, with the Garden City Group, a court vendor of the DHECC.  Reitano maintains that the matter was discussed but was never acted upon after it was vetted with the Claims Center and deemed unethical.  Reitano states that Juneau was made aware of this issue as well.

Here is the petition.  I also have the exhibits but I need to re-compress them before I upload them.

Read through the petition....I will comment later.  This is an interesting turn of events that may have opened up a can of worms in that she has filed against BP, not just Juneau.  If this goes into discovery and she is deposed on record....there could be some sphincterific panic among some of the members of the DHECC office and the PSC (Plaintiff Steering Committee) crew.

Remember that Freeh suggested potential misconduct by another law firm on page 60 of his report. He states that this firm may have had claims overpaid by up to 114%.  What's interesting is that this law firm's identity was not disclosed in the report but Sutton, Reitano and Andry Lerner were.  Why wasn't this second firm named?

We'll take a closer look in the next post.


Anonymous said...

That second firm can only be one of a handful.... Which firm may have the most to lose in all of this.

Well, I can think of two.

Kevin said...

Congratulations on scooping the local MSM who seem to be asleep at the computer.

I had the personal experience of being wrongfully dragged through a federal court proceeding by Mary Olive Pierson where her clients attempted to hometown me. Her clients were Calvin Fayard and his co-class counsel in another class action settlement. Pat Juneau was the Special Master in that case, too.

Once I had the federal judge in the Western District recused, he assigned the matter to Judge Barbier in the Eastern District. Judge Barbier dismissed the bogus court proceeding they brought against me, but only after he expressed his negative opinion about my claims that Fayard and friends were trying to supress.

Ms. Reitano: Did you find MOP all by yourself? Are you really going to vigorously pursue your claim against Pat Juneau?

Anonymous said...

Is that second unnamed firm Herman, Herman & Katz or Mr. Fayard et al.?

Do I win something if I am correct?

Jason Brad Berry said...

I'll see if I can get a sponsor to award you.

But.....yeah.....I think it's obvious.

Jason Brad Berry said...

pretty amazing that they waited for me to post it first and even then it was an AP report.

Kevin said...

Anonymous October 24, 2013 at 10:19:00 PM CDT said...

"Is that second unnamed firm Herman, Herman & Katz or Mr. Fayard et al.?"

Would those firms/attorneys be "class counsel" in the BP settlement?

If the unnamed firm is one of the "class counsel" firms, wouldn't the court-appointed special master make that known to the court, particularly since the court also appointed the class counsel?

Class members treated differently would probably want to know.

Kevin said...

I see where the AndryLerner, LLC firm has changed counsel and is now represented by Heller, Draper, Patrick & Horn, LLC. Doesn't that firm do a lot of bankruptcy litigation?

I also see the Andry Law Firm is now represented by Randall A. Smith and Stephen M. Gelé of Smith & Fawer, L.L.C. It was formerly represented by Kyle Schonekas, William P. Gibbens, Ian Atkinson, and the Law Firm of Schonekas, Evans, McGoey & McEachin, L.L.C. I wonder if a conflict was discovered?