Thursday, November 14, 2013

DHECC - Are Juneau's days numbered?

So much to talk about with the DHECC...where to begin?

Let's start with this James Varney editorial that came out weekend before last.

A trial lawyer web entangles the BP settlement:  James Varney

This whole editorial appears to be a plant that was given to Varney in order to set up an ensuing effort to remove Pat Juneau from the Claims Office.  I wouldn't mind it that much but Varney seems to have only a half-ass idea of what he's writing about.  Juneau is not a trail attorney, he's a defense attorney.

Also this pargraph:
In addition, the things Freeh did outline - Sutton's failure to disclose a financial interest he and his wife, Christine Reitano (herself a lawyer on Juneau's staff prior to being dismissed), had with a filing claimant and other shenanigans by trial lawyers - served to cast a dubious light on the proceedings thus far.
This has been refuted by both Sutton and Reitano...they both claim the Thonn claim was disclosed to Juneau.  Varney stated they didn't disclose the claim as fact, not an allegation.

 I'm also curious what Varney means by "other shenanigans by trial lawyers".  What the fuck does that mean?

The sentence implies that Reitano had something to do with "other shenanigans by trial lawyers".  I have read the Freeh report, the Andry filings and Reitano's breach of contract suit and I don't have any idea what he's talking about unless he's referring to the unnamed law firm on Page 60 of the report.

I want to pause make an observation about the TP before I continue.  Why is the first report of this story in the Time-Picayune coming from an editorialist?  This column is an obvious plant that wreaks of an agenda.

I have pretty good idea who Varney got the information from and why it was published ahead of the second Freeh report's release but why aren't these issues actually being "reported" by the TP?  They're letting Varney break (incorrectly I might add) one of the biggest stories in the region?  Why isn't an actual reporter being assigned to this story?

The Freeh report should be coming out any day and judging from Varney's proxy-mouthpiece-editorial it's rather apparent it will most likely target Juneau.

Aside from Varney's article, an even bigger indicator that Juneau is in hot water occurred on October 30th when Judge Barbier appointed Court-Designated Neutrals over the Business Economic Loss (BEL) Program.  It's clearly a smack-down by Barbier and I believe a sign of darker days to come for Juneau.  I wouldn't be surprised to see Juneau's resignation tendered any day now.

Speaking of resignations, I think it would also be prudent to look at the resignation of Appeals Coordinator and son of Federal Judge Stanwood Duval, Jr., David Duval, that occurred on October 7, 2013 and was first reported here on AZ.  Instead of running down all of the possibilities as to why Duval resigned, I'll refer you to the thread of questions posed by AZ commenter, Kevin, in this Comment Bump.  But mainly, I want to point out a comment in that comment bump:
Kevin said....
More questions Mr. Andry might have for Mr. Duval:
Is an entity know as "Lake Eugenie Land & Development, Inc." named as a plaintiff in the class action case that produced the class action settlement 
Is Lake Eugenie Land & Development, Inc. a "Class Representative" for the class action settlement being administered by the DHECC and CAO? 
Is any member of your family's law practice a director of Lake Eugenie Land & Development, Inc.?
Big frikkin' deal here, folks...believe me when I tell you...this is a big deal.  I am hoping we will find out more when Freeh releases the next report.

Here's another big deal from a Kevin comment:
Kevin said... 
On the subject of CPA's in the CAO, can any AZ reader shed some light on Danny Clavier's activities at the CAO? 
He was the former head of the Class Action Consulting section of Bourgeois Bennet ( where David Duval's aunt is a principal) and came out of "retirement" for a position with the CAO.  
I think we're about to find out more on this issue by the end of the week as well.

I believe the heads of Juneau, Duval and Clavier will most likely roll as a consequence of the next Freeh report.  Well, Duval's already has if he was indeed forced to resign as a result of the Freeh investigation.

But what I'm most curious about is if Freeh will finally name the mysterious law firm on page 60 of his original report that "may have had claims overpaid by up to 114%.  As I pointed out in the post linked above, the most likely suspect as to who this law firm is would be one of the Plaintiff Steering Committee firms.  I draw this conclusion because a PSC firm would have the most intimate knowledge of the claims process, how the CAO works and it also goes a long way to explaining why Freeh (and possibly Barbier) protected the firm's identity in the first report.

It begs the question, "How could a PSC firm have manipulated the claims process to get such massive overpayments?"  I suspect they could accomplish this by manipulating their knowledge of how the parameters were set for individual classifications and payouts.  After all, they are the ones that set the parameters and classifications to begin with.

I'm going to draw out a hypothetical scenario in a subsequent post on how the process may have been manipulated with claims filed by shrimpers but for now I want to stay focused on Barbier and the validity and implications of the Freeh investigation.

On November 7, Both BP and Patrick Juneau filed motions in federal court to have Christine Reitano's breech of contract lawsuit against the DHECC and BP removed from the state court.  The case was automatically assigned to Barbier and filed under MDL (multi-district litigation) status.  I thought the protocol for both filings should have been randomly assigned to judges but I called the Clerk of Court's office and they told me that they are under a mandate from the national MDL judicial panel to assign anything having to do with BP to Barbier.

This is a big issue because it will most likely bury the lawsuit for years and put a lid on any discovery that may have occurred in the case.

Barbier has also denied discovery to the three parties Freeh accused in his first report, Reitano, Sutton and the Andry Lerner law firm.  This has created a scenario where the court appointed special investigator has levied allegations against these three parties, even suggesting that the state and/or federal bar as well as the Dept. of Justice investigate the matter, however, the accused have no access to the evidence Freeh based the allegations on.  They have no avenue of recourse at all.

Apparently this isn't the first time this scenario has occurred with a Freeh investigation but in the Penn State Sandusky matter the tables were turned on Freeh:

Louis Freeh Fires Back at Graham Spanier for Lawsuit
“Spanier has not articulated — and cannot articulate — a single reason why he will be prejudiced if he is compelled merely to file a complaint backing his accusation,” the filing continued. “If Spanier does not file a complaint, [Freeh] will remain stuck in the untenable position of having Spanier’s broad accusation clouding their reputations without being able to defend themselves.”
The comment section is worth a 5 to 10 minute glance on that story.

This next Freeh report is going to be revealing not only by what he discloses but more importantly by what he may omit...namely the identity of the page 60 law firm.  It's going to reveal if this investigation is fo' true or if it is simply a PR witch hunt that was designed to offer up a few souls to the BP altar as an attempt at pacification.

I would also note that I requested an interview with David Odom, the CEO of the DHECC but I received no response.  I have some questions I'd like to ask him about his relationship with one of the court appointed vendors.  


Kevin said...


Do you think the 2nd Freeh report is going to shed more light on David Odom and the Crescent City Group discussed on page 9 of Freeh report #1? He is specifically identified by name in that report. Freeh called it “Conflicts of Interest by CAO Executives. Surely he’s going to get to the bottom of this and any other conflicts, if there are any.

I wonder if we will see any responses or objections to the findings in Freeh report #1
filed with the court by Messrs. Odom, Fisher, and Duval? BrownGreer filed something.

Don’t forget that Freeh also found: “This Odom-Fisher endeavor was in partnership with P&N, one of the accounting firms overseen by Mr. Odom and the CAO.” There were some questions and answers on AZ last month about the newly appointed “neutral” in the BEL and a possible connection to P&N.

If you get to interview David Odom, would you ask him about the factual background and circumstances leading up to his hiring/appointment/contracting/selection as the CEO of the CAO?

Would you also ask him if he has a personal contract with the CAO/DHECC? If the public information and records I’ve seen are correct, Odom was working at Shaw as director and deputy district manager for Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure's Gulf Central District until becoming the CEO of the CAO. I'm wondering why Shaw wasn't contracted, but 1 of its directors was? Is he contracting to the DHECC under Shaw or its successor, CBI?

He may have had some experience with “operating” a claims office from Shaw’s involvement staffing and managing the home elevation and grant program after Katrina. Seems that didn’t go so smoothly, either.

Staffing and managing programs like the BP settlement fund is pretty damn lucrative.

Kevin said...

Deja vu - what happened today in Christine Reitano's suit and what Calvin Fayard and Mary Olive Pierson did to my lawsuit in 2008. Stay everything, no motions, no discovery, no nothing until the court, or the people with whom you have a contract, says so. That's pretty serious to a person in Mrs. Reitano's position.

What will MOP do now that the shoe is on the other foot, or whatever it's on or up?

She has the same judge.