Saturday, November 29, 2014

Louisiana: citizen seeking recourse

Aside from all of the hullabaloo the antics of Double Bill Cassidy has created in respect to the upcoming election, I am only concerned that the actual issue of him potentially defrauding LSUHSC and hence the State of Louisiana of taxpayers' money be investigated.  I am also very concerned that DHECC Claims Administrator Pat Juneau's billing to the State for time spent expediting a private company's (based in Houston, TX) claim in the GCCF be examined as well.

So...I have drafted a letter to the Louisiana State Legislative Auditor asking his office to do just that.  I believe criminal activity may have occurred on both of these issues and it is the Legislative Auditor's responsibility to track down the truth on matters such as this.  Here is the letter I have sent them and I would encourage everyone who reads this post to contact their office and ask them to launch an investigation into both, or even one, of the two issues I have written about here on AZ:

Dear Mr. Purpera,

Hello, my name is Jason B. Berry, I am an independent investigative reporter from New Orleans.  I am the author of a blog, The American Zombie, where I have attempted to expose public corruption within New Orleans and the state of Louisiana over the past seven years since the levee failure in the wake of Katrina crippled my beloved city.  

I have uncovered two separate instances within the past month regarding potential fraudulent billing to state entities that I believe warrant the Louisiana State Legislative Auditor’s attention.  I am writing to you to implore you to please investigate both of these issues with an equal level of vigilance and integrity despite the political influence of both Louisiana public figures involved in the potential wrongdoing.  

The first issue is in regard to the current Claims Administrator of the Deepwater Horizon Economics Claims Center, Patrick Juneau.  While the DHECC is not a public or state entity, Mr. Juneau was contracted by the State of Louisiana prior to his tenure with the DHECC as a consultant to the state in respect to its legal claim against the oil company, BP, for damages incurred during the Deepwater Horizon oil rig accident and subsequent oil spill which blanketed the the Gulf of Mexico and devastated the region’s ecosystem and economy.

As per Mr. Juneau’s own billing records, he billed the state for time he spent with state officials and for phone calls to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF), the entity that preceded the DHECC, in order to help expedite and facilitate a private company’s claim within the GCCF queue.  The company he lobbied for is Omega Protein, a company incorporated in Houston, Texas and is wholly private.  I implore your office to investigate why Juneau, under contract with the state of Louisiana, billed the state to do work for a private company based in Houston.  I think the public deserves to know why this contractor was billing the State of Louisiana to use his power and influence to lobby the GCCF on behalf of a private company in Texas.  

The second issue that I have uncovered is in respect to Dr. Bill Cassidy, U.S. Representative of the 6th District of Louisiana, and his billing practices to the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) after he ascended to his position as a U.S. Congressman.  

It appears Mr. Cassidy was retained by LSUHSC after he was elected to Congress at a salary of       approximately $20,000 /year for 5 years.  His work obligation was for 30 hours a month or 7.5 hours a week.  Mr. Cassidy was supposed to supply the University with time sheets documenting his hours in order to collect his $1666/month.  Upon a public records request, only 16 of 63 timesheet were produced by LSUHSC and some of the signatures on the 16 time sheets do not seem to match Dr. Cassidy’s.  LSU has stated they can not locate the missing 50 time sheets which is of great concern regarding the documentation of what work Dr. Cassidy actually did to continually receive his salary.

Both of these stories can be referenced on the American Zombie blog at the following links:

Pat Juneau’s billing to the state for work done on behalf of Omega Protein:

There have been numerous other articles written about Dr. Cassidy’s billing to LSUHSC that I would encourage you to investigate including these:

Thank you for your consideration on behalf of the citizens of the State of Louisiana and myself.  If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.  


Jason B. Berry
The American Zombie

Here is the letter as a .pdf if you want to download it and include it as an attachment to any letter you may want to send to the Legislative Auditor's office.

If you just want to put pressure on them to investigate, send an email to Mr. Daryl G. Purpera

Thank you AZ readers for paying attention....together we're heavy.  


Clay said...

I'd love to see heat on Double Bill for a while.

Another random update on a former nemesis: Frank Fradella sentencing delayed again.

Anonymous said...

LSU says it will review payroll records for Bill Cassidy's part-time work

W. 'wild' West said...

Do you have a link to the recent (and only) pre-election debate (online video) between DoubleBill and our Senator?


lil'oya said...

any response yet?