Thursday, December 04, 2014

Double Bill - Comment Bump, December 4, 2014

Wesley1066


There are three questions being waved around.

1. Did Bill Cassidy lie to the House Ethics Committee on the number of hours he would be working for LSU?
2. Did Bill Cassidy submit timesheets to LSU for time he didn't work, ie was in DC voting instead of working for LSU?
3. Did Bill Cassidy fail to meet the terms of his continued employment for LSU?

Let's look at these:
1. He told the Ethics Committee that he would work a maximum of 16 hours a month. The timesheets presented average 13.7 hours per month. No issue there, and despite what the blogger here says, Bill Cassidy did not BILL LSU for 30 hours a month.

2. The list of conflicts show 21 days in question, but 4 of those specifically state the LSU work was phoned in. Of the remaining 17, 10 were roll call votes after 6:00pm which only leaves 7 of these that even warrant further investigation. Since the blogger has referenced CenLamar's article discussing the meetings with Dr. Claude Pirtle, we will discuss these. Pirtle is described as "a resident physician of internal medicine at LSU New Orleans", so describing meetings with him as "resident supervision" would not be an immediate problem. But let's further examine the implications of CenLamar's article. Pirtle is quoted as saying that he met with Cassidy "2 or 3 times a week" in a month that Cassidy only claimed work on 2 days. Either Pirtle is overstating the meetings he had with Cassidy or many of those meetings were not counted as "resident supervision". That leaves us with one day of meeting with Pirtle that CenLamar's only cause for alarm is that Pirtle supports Cassidy, therefore the meeting must be something other than "resident supervision".


3. I have seen nothing yet that indicates correspondence from Bill Cassidy to LSU, the only evidence provided so far is that somebody asked somebody else what the expectations were for Bill Cassidy and that Bill Cassidy took an 80% cut in pay from LSU. 

1.  The issue in respect to his submission to the House Committee on Ethics is not the hours he reported to LSU, it's that he told the Committee that he would only be working:

16 hours a month

He told the Committee this one full year after he had agreed with LSU to work twice that amount:

30 hours a month

The issue is that he told the Committee he was ONLY spending 16 hours a month on his moonlighting job with LSU.  He lied...period.  He had already billed more than that to LSU repeatedly by the time he stated his monthly hours to the Committee.

He misled the House of Representatives Committee on Ethics as to the nature of his work with LSUHSC.

If we are to believe the terms of his employment were only defined in the emails, he absolutely knew he had agreed to 30 hours a month...a full year... before he told the Committee he was only working 16 hours a month.

In other words....he lied.  He lied to United States House of Representatives.  

2.  Let's start from the top...THERE ARE NEARLY 50 MISSING TIME SHEETS.  He only turned in 16 of 63 timesheets.....Ya heard?  So before you start splitting hairs on the signatures.....which I'm happy to do because that's a scandal unto itself....about 80% of the salary he received is UNDOCUMENTED.  This is not only an issue the State Legislative Auditor's office needs to investigate the Department of Labor needs to investigate it as well.  The fact that it almost certainly involves Medicare/Medicaid funds would also beg the attention of the FBI.

On that note, I am currently chasing down sources as to whether the guy even showed up, physically, for the work he claimed he did "non-virutally".  That's coming man...it's coming...don't think this election is going to stop that snowball from turning into an avalanche.

The Pirtle issue is laughable but even if he billed 1 hour with Pirtle, I would question how discussing "Obamacare" in his office could remotely be billable to LSUHSC.  Shortly after those conversations on the Hill, "Dr. Pirtle" launches a web development company, Nodus Studios, and lands a contract with LSU...what a renaissance man Claude is, eh?  Was that contract publicly bid?

3.  You haven't seen anything because THERE IS NO CONTRACT.  How was Dr. Cassidy's pay rate, hours worked, tenure, medical malpractice insurance, time sheet reporting process, pension plan......showing up for work and proving it......established if there was nothing in writing?  There is no fucking contract.....it's just a series of emails.  You're pointing out that he received an 80% cut in his previous salary, I'm asking you how the hell he was still receiving 20% of his previous salary without a contract.   What did he do?  Did he show up to do it?

He pulled down over $100,000 in public money from a public institution WITHOUT A CONTRACT.

So forget everything we've talked about.....how did a public entity, LSUHSC, pay someone over $100,000 in taxpayer's money without a goddamn contract?  

10 comments:

Wesley1066 said...

I managed to hit the 4096 character limit, so I will split this.

Let's parse this first:
1. The issue in respect to his submission to the House Committee on Ethics is not the hours he reported to LSU, it's that he told the Committee that he would only be working:

16 hours a month

He told the Committee this one full year after he had agreed with LSU to work twice that amount:

30 hours a month

The issue is that he told the Committee he was ONLY spending 16 hours a month on his moonlighting job with LSU. He lied...period. He had already billed more than that to LSU repeatedly by the time he stated his monthly hours to the Committee.

He misled the House of Representatives Committee on Ethics as to the nature of his work with LSUHSC.


You are still mixing two questions here. The first is what he told the Ethics committee he would be working. That is 16 hours a month. The second is any contract or agreement or understanding or backroom deal or whatever, he had with LSU. Now the number "30" doesn't come into the first of these questions. He didn't tell the Ethics committee he would be working 30 hours and none of the timesheets presented reflect 30 hours. We will discuss agreements with LSU later, under point 3, but under the question of "did he lie to the Ethics Committee", NO. He said he would work less than 16, and all available timesheets reflect an average of 13.7, which is under 16.

Wesley1066 said...

I'm going to split your responses on 2. into a couple of points.

2. Let's start from the top...THERE ARE NEARLY 50 MISSING TIME SHEETS. He only turned in 16 of 63 timesheets.....Ya heard? So before you start splitting hairs on the signatures.....which I'm happy to do because that's a scandal unto itself....about 80% of the salary he received is UNDOCUMENTED. This is not only an issue the State Legislative Auditor's office needs to investigate the Department of Labor needs to investigate it as well. The fact that it almost certainly involves Medicare/Medicaid funds would also beg the attention of the FBI.

Missing timesheets. FIFTY MISSING TIMESHEETS !?! Undocumented salary! Let's look at what timesheets you presented, what are missing and what was said.

Timesheets presented: July 2012, August 2012, September 2012, October 2012, November 2012, December 2012, April 2013, May 2013, June 2013, July 2013, August 2013, September 2013, October 2013, January 2014, February 2014 and March 2014.

Timesheets missing: June 2012 and all prior timesheets, January 2013, February 2013, March 2013, November 2013, December 2013, April 2014 and all following.

There are easily three groups of missing timesheets. 1) June 2012 and prior, 2) Five that are missing from 2013. 3) April 2014 and following or to state another way: Over 2 1/2 years old, missing and withing 6 months of the FOIA request. Now, according to you, "LSU has stated they can not locate the missing 50 time sheets..." I feel that ultimate we will have to agree to disagree over the level of criminal intent we assign to Bill Cassidy over LSU's records keeping policies. If we had a smattering of timesheets all the way back to the beginning, it would be one thing, but the clustering of presented and missing timesheets does not lead me to concern about Bill Cassidy's accountability so much as LSU's document retention. On a side note, I would be hard pressed to get a 30 month old timesheet from my employer also.

I honestly have no idea how LSU submits charges to Medicare and Medicaid, but to assume that the hours claimed by a tenured and salaried professor who is SPECIFICALLY not being paid to provide medical treatment would affect the Medicare or Medicaid costs is a stretch and one that will point back to LSU billing rather than Dr. Cassidy's timesheets.

Wesley1066 said...

The Pirtle issue is laughable but even if he billed 1 hour with Pirtle, I would question how discussing "Obamacare" in his office could remotely be billable to LSUHSC. Shortly after those conversations on the Hill, "Dr. Pirtle" launches a web development company, Nodus Studios, and lands a contract with LSU...what a renaissance man Claude is, eh? Was that contract publicly bid?

"Shortly after those conversations on the Hill." Let's examine the timeline as presented by your brutha CenLamar.
2009 Claude Pritle launched Nodus Studios, LLC.
2012 Claude Pritle enrolled in medical school at LSU.
March 2014 Claude Pritle spent the month in DC meeting with Bill Cassidy "Two or three times a week"
March 11, 2014 and March 25, 2014 Bill Cassidy logs 5 hour each day as "Clinic Services or Resident Supervision or C/RS"
April 2014 Claude Pritle launched Intern 911 which develops smart phone apps.
May 2014 Intern 911 launched the Louisiana Parishes app.
August 2014 Intern 911 released Pearls app.

From the timeline, it is obvious that the launch of Nodus Studios, LLC was not "shortly after" the conversations on the hill, but rather five years prior. There is nothing in the timeline that indicates when LSU became a client of Nodus, but it is a stretch of the imagination to tie LSU emergency department being a client of a company that formed in 2009 to a meeting with Bill Cassidy in DC in 2014. Likewise, there is nothing to tie the specific hours Bill Cassidy listed on his timesheet to Pritle, beyond the fact that Pritle was in DC and met with Cassidy during the same month. On the other hand, since Pritle stated two or three meetings a week with Cassidy, it is clear that "Double Bill" wasn't billing for the Pritle meetings.

3. You haven't seen anything because THERE IS NO CONTRACT. How was Dr. Cassidy's pay rate, hours worked, tenure, medical malpractice insurance, time sheet reporting process, pension plan......showing up for work and proving it......established if there was nothing in writing? There is no fucking contract.....it's just a series of emails. You're pointing out that he received an 80% cut in his previous salary, I'm asking you how the hell he was still receiving 20% of his previous salary without a contract. What did he do? Did he show up to do it?

You have (two copies) of an email from William Livings to Dr. George Karam requesting information on what Dr. Cassidy's new responsibilities are for the specific reason of drafting the new Letter of Offer. He specifically wanted to make sure that all the i's were dotted and all the t's were crossed, because, as he said, "this scenario will be a very auditable item". Let's make a clear distinction between taking due diligence when establishing the terms of an agreement and, as you phrase it "the terms of his employment and tenure at LSUHSC began to be called into question by LSU accountants and administrators." Likewise, you seem to feel that because you have not, personally, been handed a copy of the new Letter of Offer that was under discussion, that it must not have ever been generated and "there is no fucking contract". Please post a link to whatever scan you have from LSU in reply to your FOIA request where they state either "Attached are ALL documents related to Dr. Cassidy's employment" or "There is no contract on file for Dr. Cassidy reflecting his new terms of employment following January 9, 2009".

To reiterate a couple of points I made above. I reject as invalid your argument that because the timesheets or contract were not provided to you, they never existed. You spent a lot of time arguing that one thing or another doesn't exist and thus Bill Cassidy is defrauding ... someone, but you fail to recognize the difference between "does not exist" and "was not provided to me".

Dambala - Jason Brad Berry said...

1. No I'm not mixing two questions, you are. And you need to check the time sheet again because he did bill over 16 hours at least once. Regardless, if he wasn't putting in a full 30 hours a month then he was absolutely defrauding LSUHSC.

So here's what happened....1. He lied to the House Committee on Ethics, 2. He defrauded LSUHSC by not working the full amount of hours he was legally obliged to work.

You can twist it any way you want, it doesn't change reality.

2. "I honestly have no idea how LSU submits charges to Medicare and Medicaid, but to assume that the hours claimed by a tenured and salaried professor who is SPECIFICALLY not being paid to provide medical treatment would affect the Medicare or Medicaid costs is a stretch "

No...no...not a stretch at all. It's called basic accounting. And there is none here. There is no accounting for his hours worked, what he actually did, what the charges to Medicare/Medicaid may have been.....there's not a damn thing on record to justify his salary or any subsequent charges to state and federal entities.

3. "You spent a lot of time arguing that one thing or another doesn't exist and thus Bill Cassidy is defrauding ... someone, but you fail to recognize the difference between "does not exist" and "was not provided to me"."

Nice try....flip the story back on the messenger? Sorry brah...LSU has already stated in The Advocate article that they don't have a contract:

http://theadvocate.com/news/elections/10958693-123/mary-landrieu-asks-bill-cassidy

"LSU says it cannot find the documents, including the agreement that outlines the work that was supposed to be done."

1. Fail
2. Fail
3. Fail

But keep trying....pixels are free.

Wesley1066 said...

Well, when all is said and done, we will see tonight how much it matters. I am heading out the door in a moment to vote for Bill Cassidy.

I do want to commend you, for a blog post that was "not a partisan hit", you sure managed to stir up a tempest in a tea pot.

Dambala - Jason Brad Berry said...

And that's what you don't understand....I don't care what happens tonight. I'm not stopping until he's been fully investigated.

Anonymous said...

Replace LSU in this situation with a private entity and it would obviously be a bribe to pay a Congressman to provide undefined services with no apparent oversight. The House Ethics Committee bent over backwards to allow Cassidy to perform a limited amount of standard professor work - not be on a political retainer or bill for political consulting services. What Pirtle did would not even qualify as an internship in Congress.

Anonymous said...

Bill Cassidy has been endorsed by such luminaries as Sarah Palin, the Duck KluKKers and Joni the Pig Nut Cutter. That's about all I need.

Anonymous said...

AZ, I hear you when you say this was not intended to be a partisan hit. The problem is that when you start running this down during an election, it effectively acts like a partisan hit piece regardless of your intent. The back and forth going on in this comments section sure looks, sounds, and smells like partisan bickering.

At the end of the day it's your blog so of course you can write about whatever you want. But you have the smarts, skills, and track record to be frying some much bigger fish than whether a particular congressman is a liar. I mean, he's a congressman - don't we all already assume he is a liar? The impact of the $100k he weaseled to the good people of Louisiana is kind of small potatoes compared to what the PSC is doing, isn't it?

Dambala - Jason Brad Berry said...

No, it is a big deal and he's not only a liar he's a thief. I don't care how people perceive it, I just care that he's investigated.