Sunday, February 02, 2014

Nagin Trial - First Impression

Happy groundhog day!

I am attending the Nagin trial, in case anyone is wondering.  I am just choosing to not editorialize too much on it until it's over.  I skipped the jury selection but I was there for the entire trial on Friday.  It was simultaneously frustrating and gratifying for me...but probably more frustrating.  In fact, I found it demoralizing at times.  The contributions AZ made seem to have fallen down the memory hole but I probably should have expected that.

It was gratifying in that with Meffert's testimony and Fradella's, at least it confirmed for me that AZ nailed a lot of the story.

I am trying to avoid rehashing AZ's contributions, I've done that before to little avail, but there is one curious matter I want to point out.

Back in May of 2007, I was the first one who made the connection between the HSOA subsidiary Cornerstone Marble and Granite and Nagin and his sons' company Stone Age.

American Zombie: We're getting rocked...are we getting rolled?

In the trial, Fradella claimed that 2 shipments of granite were sent to Stone Age on June 11, 2008 by Home Solutions of Louisiana from a satellite office in Florida.  I was already informed of the Granite kickback scheme over a year previous to this actual transfer so I'm wondering if this was the only one or if the prosecution is just focusing only on this one.  I was tipped off about the granite issue in May of 2007 at the same time I was informed about the plane ride to Chicago.  This is the post I made that broke the story of the Chicago trip:

Interoperability v.2

So I'm curious how I knew about the granite transfer one year before the actual event happened...maybe I'm psychic?  I think the likely answer is that my source overheard the deal being made even though the actual transfer had not yet taken place.  

The other curious thing is that both the prosecution and Fradella were very careful not to name Cornerstone.  They kept saying the granite came from Home Solutions of Louisiana, with no mention of Cornerstone.

I was starting to think maybe I got it wrong from the source but then the prosecution displayed exhibit 82, an email from Fradella complaining about how the granite in the first shipment to Stone Age's office in Baltimore was damaged.  The subject line in that email clearly stated "Cornerstone".  But the whole testimony was stating that the damaged granite, 40 slabs, was the fault of Home Solutions of Louisiana.  I'm not sure why they are being so careful not to mention Cornerstone.

Here's the other thing I'm curious about.  I have pretty good reason to believe that Ray Nagin was actually being paid by the Market Street developer, Michael Samuel, for his favor on the development project.  Fradella admitted that Nagin asked him for 100k but he was only able to produce 50k after tapping a wealthy HSOA board member, Michael McGrath.

I'm curious why there's been no mention of any direct payments to Nagin from Samuel...I thought for sure that would come out in the trial and that Samuel would be asked to testify.

Only other thing I will point out at this time is the testimony from both Meffert and Fradella seemed extremely well rehearsed.  The prosecution made a point to zing Aaron Bennett at every opportunity with both Fradella and Meffert providing the fodder.  Fradella even went so far as to say he, Scott Sewell and others called Bennett's lack of tact "The Aaron Factor".  Fradella kept referring to Bennett as a bull in a china shop.

At this point I have no idea what Nagin and Jenkins were thinking by taking this to trial.  The defense was basically out to lunch.  Jenkins would stand up and point out that all the witnesses had originally lied to avoid getting in trouble and that they have all cut deals with the DOJ....and that was pretty much the bulk of the defense.  

The only thing I can think of is that they may be waiting to pull a rabbit out their hat in respect to the DOJ commenting scandal.  I think, perhaps with a little help from team Heebe, Jenkins may be lying in wait to drop a bomb in the courtroom.  As luck would have it, I'm hearing that bomb may be coming down the pipe this week in a another scandal with Nagin that my good friend Karen Gadbois tackled back in the day.  It isn't on the agenda for the Nagin trial...but I'm betting it will be before long.

Stay tuned...

Oh absolutely need to read this post Lamar published last night on CenLamar.


Clay said...

"testimony from both Nagin and Fradella" ... I think you meant Meffert and Fradella.

Meffert was being driven around like a rental car by the prosecution.

Anonymous said...

My thought is that the guy that ran Cornerstone, Tony Leeber, is a clean guy still running under the Cornerstone name. Leeber provided the FBI with great info. Leeber was also hosed by Fradella. No need to drag the Cornerstone name into the mud when HSOA ran the place. One correction, McGrath was not "wealthy", he had a good deal of stolen money at his disposal. Mc Grath tried to buy some contracts in order to recoup losses in HSOA stock.

Jason Brad Berry said...

Interesting...I assumed McGrath was wealthy because Fradella referred to him as "Midas" in one of the emails. Thanks for the clarification.

Anonymous said...

McGrath was "Midas". McGrath stole millions and when the shit hit the fan he tried to make back some of the money via HSOA stock. McGrath was scammed by Fradella like countless other rubes.

Anonymous said...

Remember the name Jammer1954 because if it is verified that the commenter is a person who signed a federal affidavit then shits going to hit the fan with respect to numerous federal convictions.

Anonymous said...

Boy am I techno can the TP or any paper KNOW who is posting? Wouldn't that then go to the ISP carrier and need another subpoena? Most don't exactly fill out the info honestly and use difference emails than their regular one...although I have a friend who was due some grant work from the city..everything was aok..then boom...the rug shifted..he honestly believes it was pulled because of his dislike of Landrieu...Disability upgrades for homes....hmmmmmm How do they know....??

Jason Brad Berry said...

The domain name is labeled "Department of Justice" from any internet coming out of the Boggs building as as well as the IP address. Even if the person set up a fake email account, the ISP, let's say Yahoo, can identify the exact IP address coming from the building. If they were on a router in the building, the exact computer can be identified.'s very possible to find out who it is.

Jason Brad Berry said...

"....internet connection coming out..."

Anonymous said...

GCR Inc. linked to PA

Mojofearless said...

If jammer1954 turns out to be another Perricone type situation, then obviously we either have a mole or a hacker at Times Picayune/
I never bought the BS about Heeb having Perricone's comments analyzed and getting lucky. If it happens again, then clearly we have a bootlicking enabler feeding data to a corrupt pack of jackals - and why? Warped sense of civic duty? Or just part of the jackal pack?

Jason Brad Berry said...

Mojo...I need to be careful here. I'm only broaching subjects at the moment that I feel are ancillary to the MSM.

Read the new post I put up...that should keep us plenty busy.