Saturday, February 28, 2015

DHECC - Red∞mption?

Federal Judge Lance Africk ordered Christine Reitano's defamation suit transferred and consolidated into the BP Multi-District Litigation (MDL) settlement under Judge Barbier.  There, Barbier will almost certainly stay the case into legal limbo, blocking any attempt by Reitano to obtain discovery, depositions, documentation......justice.

Reitano's lawyer, Mary Olive Pierson, has filed an objection to the transfer:

Reitano objection to transfer

Pierson points out that this is a defamation suit and has nothing to do with the MDL case which is an environmental matter.  True dat....but I don't think it makes a difference.  Even though Barbier absolved Reitano of the allegations levied against her by Louis Freeh, the judge simply can't afford to allow her  to conduct discovery....that information would undoubtedly open up a can of worms that could sink not only Claims Administrator Patrick Juneau but possibly the entire MDL case.  It would certainly tar and feather his bayou buddies on the Plaintiff Steering Committee.

I reached out to both Christine Reitano and her lawyer Mary Olive Pierson to get a quote on this recent spate of events, Christine replied:
"It has been a long, dark, difficult year and a half, and while I am happy to finally be vindicated, and anxious to rebuild my life and restore a sense of peace and stability to the lives of my children, there is a long way to go before justice is served. 
I am one private citizen up against powerful and influential public figures, and a global corporate giant.  You can add to that the fact that this litigation has been like trying to navigate the streets of New Orleans - filled with countless road blocks, obstructions, and obstacles.  Nonetheless, I together with my attorney, Mary Olive Pierson, will continue to stand firm in our resolve to overcome all road blocks, obstructions, and other obvious disadvantages we face, until justice is fully served."        
A measured and graceful response.

I like Pierson's response a wee bit better:
"The unmerciful, malicious attack on Christine Reitano was unwarranted and unjustified from jump street.  Her attackers knew this but being weak-willed men (all men), they refused to admit their mistakes even in the face of sworn facts. The judge has now straightened that out. It will be interesting to see if these small-minded men now have the fortitude to immediately accept responsibility and make reparation for the unnecessary and monumental damage they have needlessly inflicted on Christine. Why would they continue to prolong the agony and increase the damage?" 
IMHO, they are, indeed, going to "prolong the agony and increase the damage".  What the attackers need more than anything is to keep Reitano in a bottle...corked and thrown out to sea.

Soap box rant


I've devoted a tremendous amount of time and energy to following this story over the past two years. As I've stated previously, it's a difficult story for the layman to follow because there are "no good guys" here....everyone is an asshole.  It doesn't fit neatly into the Hegelian dialectic, the Fox News format, the dichotomy of good guys vs. bad guys.  What's kept me sane and inspired throughout this story is that while there were no heroes there was a very clear victim, Christine Reitano, whose story was being suppressed.

I suppose in some respects, Reitano is a hero....in the
Joseph Campbell hero's archetype sense.  She was an ordinary person simply trying to do her job when she suddenly found herself a pawn in a chess game being played out by some of the most powerful people in the state, trial attorneys and judges, and one of the most powerful corporations on the planet, BP.  She was crucified, unjustly, by a glorified private investigator, a stalking horse, Louis Freeh.  Freeh's goal was simply to enrich himself without concern for any repercussions his "investigation" may have on Reitano or anyone else for that matter.  He, quite literally, contrived evidence against her and due to his "appearance of authority" she was crucified in the public square as a criminal; her name was hung in effigy by media outlets from New Orleans to Nottingham.

In the Campbell arc, she went through hell for the past few years, denied any opportunity to seek justice by a horribly corrupt justice system in a horribly corrupt state.

This moment...now....should be her vindication.  This is the moment where she should rise out of the hell she's been put through and be allowed to face her accuser in a court, with a jury, and show the world just how fucked up this whole thing is so it DOESN'T HAPPEN AGAIN.  That's called democracy, it's called justice.

Look, she's not the only victim of this racket Louis Freeh is running.  This man, running a private company "prosecuting" his way into multi-million dollar contracts by contriving evidence and acting as if he has the authority of the United States Department of Justice is wreaking havoc in people's lives from New Orleans to 
Penn State to West Africa.

There is a blueprint for this you know?  It occurred to me early on in this story that I've read about this exact same scenario...the privatization of governmental affairs of state.....in Jeremy Scahill's expose on Blackwater.  What Louis Freeh, the former director of the FBI, created with The Freeh Group in the wake of 9/11 was a white-collar crime version of Blackwater.  The Freeh Group acts as if they have the authority of the United State Department of Justice...they don't.  It is a private corporation, not a federal investigative arm.  They have no authority to criminally prosecute anyone no more than a local private investigator does.

In fact, I was informed of one instance where a Freeh Group executive threatened employees at the DHECC with criminal prosecution (obstruction of justice).  That is illegal....on the Freeh Group's part...they have no authority to prosecute anyone on behalf of the United States of America.  They should be prosecuted for making those threats...the entity that really needs to be investigated by the DOJ/FBI is the Freeh Group itself.  



Alright...off the soap box.

 ∞      

 

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for being the tireless mongoose Jason.

Clay said...

What's up here?

http://louisianarecord.com/news/266797-barbier-forbids-attorneys-who-deceived-court-in-bp-settlement-from-representing-claimants-could-face-professional-sanctions

Dambala - Jason Brad Berry said...

propaganda....nothing to see here, please keep the line moving....

Dambala - Jason Brad Berry said...

No, I was kidding...it is a big deal. For Barbier to say there was no evidence that the claims process itself was manipulated or corrupted is the funniest quote in this whole soap opera. There is a fucking mountain of evidence that this settlement has been manipulated and corrupted.

Kevin said...

Isn't it more likely than not that Freeh and Juneau will settle with Christine before any depositions are ever taken?

Perhaps BP will hold out and not settle with her. Perhaps BP is looking forward to some discovery ...

Anonymous said...

We filed a bunch of Breach of contract cases involving the clean up effort and though they happened after the spill and were contractual in nature, they were sent to Barbier who kept them and has sat on them for over 4 years. Justice delayed is Justice you probably ain't gonna get!

Dambala - Jason Brad Berry said...

^^^And what, exactly, is he protecting? A failed settlement that became a completely different class when he allowed 495 to go into effect? Does he think he's protecting his own legacy? That's already shot at this point. What was the largest class action settlement in the history of the U.S. has become largest joke in the history of U.S. MDL cases. When history looks back on the failure of this settlement it will not blame BP, as Juneau, the PSC and Barbier would like everyone to believe....it will blame this judge for his unwavering, reckless efforts to hide the corruption committed by Juneau and the PSC.

Anonymous said...

Kevin:
the reason "BP will hold out and not settle with her" is that, according to her complaint,the Freeh Group and Freeh are the only defendants she sued.

Kevin said...

I was under the impression she sued BP and Juneau right after her wrongful termination, and that suit is pending in the Black Hole?

Dambala - Jason Brad Berry said...

There are two lawsuits.

She originally sued BP and Juneau for breech of contract.

She just sued Louis Freeh for defamation. He not only turned in his contrived report to the court, he publicly posted it on his website and Pepper Hamilton's.

So the breech of contract suit was stayed into the black hole by Barbier. The defamation suit against Freeh is almost certainly headed there as well.

Dambala - Jason Brad Berry said...

breach....sic

Anonymous said...

IN-HALE or Jason,

Any updates on BEL claims? Only place I can get any info. Thoughts on why things are moving at a snails pace.

Dambala - Jason Brad Berry said...

In-Hale made this comment on a previous post:
BP statement on restitution for Deepwater Horizon oil spill on MSNBC.
Riddled with misinformation and spin, data supported and taken by today’s stats.

1.More than 87,000 awards really.

12,464 of those awards are located in a separate fund called the Seafood Compensation Program that went to 4,797 unique claimants.

27,235 went to Coastal properties owners for an avg of $3,500 to cover the property taxes for loss of enjoyment.

8,776 Subsistence claims recreational fishermen that had a fishing license but could use it because the gulf waters were closed.

7,031 are VoO non-class members what are considered a True Up because BP screwed them and didn’t honor the original contract.

Now let’s look at the facts found in the Unique Claimants Paid column.

5,570 Individuals paid.
14,373 Business paid.
538 Start ups paid.
28 Failed Business paid.

Total paid claims that require calculations 20,509.

Compared to the denials.

4,283 Over paid by GCCF.
5,046 Exclusion Denials.
4,921 Causation Denials.
13,531 Other Denials.
47,295 Incomplete Denials.

Total denied claims 75,076.

In-Hale

Dambala - Jason Brad Berry said...

In other words...this looks to be the new normal.

Anonymous said...

Why should Juneau, Freeh Group or any of the Vendors be in any hurry?
http://llaw.org/oil-spill-settlement-makes-lawyers-administrators-rich-while-disaster-victims-await-payments

Anonymous said...

Killing the clock !!

It saddens me to report that it’s now clear the court vendors are doing BP’s bidding.

The court vendors continue to make errors that trigger incomplete and incomplete denials notices on BEL claims. I have reported these errors but it appears they are now intentional. The denials found on table 4 have grown 10 times faster since the injunction was lifted, now surpassing the amount of unique claimants paid.

They are now killing all claims with Policy 495 and intend to run out the clock dated for June 8th 2015.

All determination above the $25,000 dollar threshold will be appealed and then appealed again under Court Discretionary Review currently we have 202 pending.

You can watch these numbers grow on your current stat report table 6 line 12.

If you have a pending BEL claim thank your PSC members for allowing you to participate in the biggest scam. They think the settlement is great and will give you $600 million reasons why.

IN-HALE

Kevin said...


On a different matter (but similar topic), Judge Zainey just approved an award of $12 million attorney fees in the Bayou Corne Sinkhole matter to Fayard and others.

The special master in that case is Fayard's longtime and very close friend and confidant, Shelby Easterly (I wonder if he's still enjoying that extremely expensive outdoor grill Fayard bought for him).

The attorneys filed a motion for attorney's fees, but never sent notice to the class that the motion had been filed. The class had no opportunity to review the motion or inspect any supporting evidence or even object. You would think somebody as experienced in class action law would not mislead the court on the notice issue, but he did. Fayard's motion says that when the class settlement notice went out in August last year, the class was told the attorneys were going to ask for 25% of the settlement funds as fees.

How can someone object to fees and expenses when the motion is filed 10 months later, without any notice and without any supporting time and expense reports?

Instead, SM Shelby gave the confidential time and expense reports a once over and made the recommendation that Judge Zainey pay the full amount.

Now comes the fun part for the attorneys who aren't Calvin Fayard. Shelby has been assigned by the court to divy up and allocate the fees.

To put it simply - somebody's going to get fucked, and it ain't going to be Calvin Fayard.

Dambala - Jason Brad Berry said...

"The special master in that case is Fayard's longtime and very close friend and confidant, Shelby Easterly (I wonder if he's still enjoying that extremely expensive outdoor grill Fayard bought for him)."

A clear quid pro quo.

I would tell you to file a complaint with the ODC but we know what happens when you do that, eh?

Kevin said...


There's a lot more than a grill between Calvin and Shelby.

Did I tell you about the time Shelby's then-wife started an LLC and made Calvin's bookkeeper the manager of the LLC. It turns out it was the same LLC that now-deceased Hugh Sibley was using to quietly borrow money from the bank to build his mansion in Hammond while he owed the IRS millions.

Yep. The ODC route is frustrating and ultimately futile against Calvin and his friends.

Do you know that, even if you tell the ODC who has the only copies of a document, where to find copies of the document, and even offer to go retrieve the document, they can still dismiss your complaint because you didn't produce the document?

Amazing.

Anonymous said...

Ok so you asked what has happen since the Injunction was lifted on May 2014!

Working with the Court report (21) May 30, 2014 to court report (30) Feb 1,2015

The BEL class:

4,125 New BEL unique claimants paid a total of 368.2 million.

82 New Start ups unique claimants paid a total of 14.45 million.

8 New Failed Business unique claimants paid a total of 1.1 million.

4215 Claimants received closure and a payment.

Within the same time frame the same group received.

248 Eligible with no payment.
872 Exclusion Denials.
1791 Causation Denials
1354 Other Denials.
8362 Incomplete Denials.

12,627 Losers

Thank you PSC for policy 495 stick these numbers up your ass and smile for the cameras.

Anonymous said...

IN-HALE, how the heck do you have 202 claims with eligibility notices in the appeal or court review stages? Just curious. I haven't heard of anyone getting more than a handful of claims approved per month, if they are lucky. We usually have at most two or three in appeal, maybe four, but we obviously haven't filed anywhere near as many claims as you. We only filed around 250 claims. You must have tens of thousands of claims.

Here is a question for everyone: How many PwC and P&N accountants are reviewing BEL claims and are they reviewing different types of BEL claims or the same? The reason I ask is because we have a lot of claims that cannot be processed by P&N reviewers due to a conflict of interest between the CPA firm we hired to work on the claims and P&N (no conflict between our law firm & P&N though). That obviously eliminates a lot of potential reviewers from P&N who could be working on those claims if there wasn't a conflict. We have to wait for a reviewer from PwC to pick up the claims and start working on them, but I think this is slowing the progress on those claims significantly. When I look at each status report that Juneau issues I keep noticing that when compared to P&N's numbers, it seems that PwC isn't working on even 1/10th of the number of claims that P&N is working on if you go by the number of phone calls P&N and PwC make on incomplete claims. For instance, the last status report to come out showed that P&N made 65,922 calls related to 15,768 incomplete claims, while the same report indicated that PwC made only 814 calls related to just 372 incomplete claims. Is P&N really reviewing that many more claims than the PwC like the status report suggests, or is P&N just issuing 42 times as many incompleteness notices? I'm wondering how badly we are getting delayed by that conflict of interest. The status report suggests that maybe there are far fewer PwC reviewers available to work on those claims, but I'm not sure about that because even if PwC has a lot fewer BP claim reviewers than P&N, I don't think it's remotely possible that they've only made outreach calls on a total of 372 incomplete claims. If that were true then probably a full 10% of those 372 claims were ones we filed, which shouldn't be possible since we haven't filed enough claims to make up 10% (or even 5%) of any class wide category of claims (such as all incomplete claims processed by PwC).

Anonymous said...

Q) IN-HALE, how the heck do you have 202 claims with eligibility notices in the appeal or court review stages?

My comment:
All determination above the $25,000 dollar threshold will be appealed and then appealed again under Court Discretionary Review currently we have 202 pending.

You can watch these numbers grow on your current stat report table 6 line 12.

We are now all tied together in the same fight my comment was based on us as a group. All of my source data is based from court reports or daily stats that can be verified on this one its table 6 line 12.

http://www.deepwaterhorizoneconomicsettlement.com/reporting.php

IN-HALE

Anonymous said...

The most incompetent accountants in the world work as our court vendors or are they the most obedient bean counters. Taking directions from the power players that are raking in hundreds of millions in reported administration fees.

As if they never prepared a tax return or P&L, here are just a few examples.

We are unable to determine monthly revenues and expenses of the business for 2010.

We are unable to determine the monthly revenues and expenses of the business for the claimed Benchmark Period.

We cannot evaluate your claim in the way the Settlement Agreement requires us to do unless you submit these documents.

We are unable to determine the dates on which your profit and loss statements were created, as required by Exhibit 4A,

We cannot evaluate your claim in the way the Settlement Agreement requires us to do unless you submit these documents.

Anonymous said...

If you think that it is bad now, wait until the effects of Juneau's deal with BP to keep his job.

Anonymous said...

What makes you think he had to cut a deal to keep his job? Isn't it more likely that BP viewed the status quo (as described in this thread, for example)to be just fine, and so it felt there was nothing gained by pressing its appeal for a replacement?

Dambala - Jason Brad Berry said...

^^^ I just pointed that out in a new post. I agree. What could he possibly have offered them to kill the payouts that he hasn't already allowed?

Anonymous said...

In exchange for BP agreeing to keep Juneau, Barbier agrees to make Freeh Group permanent.

Dambala - Jason Brad Berry said...

Or rather maybe Barbier threatened BP to oust Freeh if they didn't withdraw? Interesting theory.

Anonymous said...

Your theory makes sense. After Freeh's false testimony about Reitano and Andry Law Firm, maybe the judge thought it was time to cut him loose. Of course, that would require one to believe that this judge has some semblance of right and wrong left.

Anonymous said...

"In exchange for BP agreeing to keep Juneau, Barbier agrees to make Freeh Group permanent."

That theory suggests that Barbier is party to an agreement that resolved BP's appeal. Not likely; he'd already ruled against BP on the Juneau issue, and even if he was inclined to "negotiate" with BP (which I doubt), I don't suppose he was any more concerned about that ruling being overturned than any of his other rulings.

Kevin said...

BP was pushing a rope uphill on the appeal. They had some level of knowledge of Pat's involvement with the Feinberg on behalf of the state. Shoulda/woulda/coulda done a little digging before nominating him.

Dambala - Jason Brad Berry said...

"That theory suggests that Barbier is party to an agreement that resolved BP's appeal. Not likely; he'd already ruled against BP on the Juneau issue, and even if he was inclined to "negotiate" with BP (which I doubt), I don't suppose he was any more concerned about that ruling being overturned than any of his other rulings."

You assume that Barbier is the all-powerful Oz in this story and I agree with you in respect to the court itself. But what Barbier can't control is the court of public opinion and if BP has leverage over him it is in this court. In this case, possibly for the first time, the backroom deals and corruption that permeates this state's judicial and legal system are being exposed thanks to the internet. The Steve Hermans and Calvin Fayards of the world can buy up local and even national media sources to control the narrative but they can't buy the internet and the information that I, AZ readers/commenters, and a select few other resources are liberating are a big threat to Carl Barbier's reputation, even that of the judicial system as a whole.

So don't think for one second that Barbier is all powerful on all fronts. He wants this controversy buried as much as BP wants Freeh to wrangle the court vendors and fucksnu' the settlement.

Anonymous said...

Ok,here’s the deal BP drops the appeal on Pat the PSC rolls over and accepts 495.

The Judge doesn’t allow 495 to be retro active on the claims already paid.

And the winners are the PSC, no claw backs or bad press for the expedited claims.

Anonymous said...

"Ok,here’s the deal BP drops the appeal on Pat the PSC rolls over and accepts 495.
The Judge doesn’t allow 495 to be retro active on the claims already paid.
And the winners are the PSC, no claw backs or bad press for the expedited claims."

Now you think PSC AND the judge were involved in some "deal" to get BP to drop its loser of an appeal from Barbier's denial of its motion to replace Juneau? And you think the PSC would be motivated to drop their pending motion to revisit Policy 495 if BP agrees to drop its loser of an appeal from the Barbier's denial of its claw back attempt? Please.

Anonymous said...

"I don't suppose he was anymore concerned about that ruling being overturned than any of his other rulings."

Are you kidding? His biggest ruling to date was overturned. Matching. At least that ruling was based on the settlement language, if not the law. His Juneau ruling had no basis in fact or law. I think that he was very worried.

Maybe not of a direct overrule. I agree with Kevin that BP had some knowledge of Juneau's work for the state. The big fear was if the 5th allowed BP to dig deeper into what Juneau was doing for the state, private claimants AND members of the PSC. Remember, Barbier denied BP that opportunity.

Dambala - Jason Brad Berry said...

Feigning incredulity is unbecoming of a legal professional.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous said...who said PLEASE

So what do you think about the chances of 495 staying?

Do you believe the Patrick Juneau rewrote the settlement compensation using the captured data?

Joe Rice stated in the request to amend basically he (PAJ) renegotiated the settlement with the court vendors as his experts.

And how do you think the Judge will rule on allowing 495 to be retro active?

Anonymous said...

I’m not sure this 495 went through the proper channels. PAJ was to provide an outline then both parties the PSC and BP could argue or appeal.

It seems very strange that the judge granted or adopted 495 just to vacate the injunction without any changes to PAJ proposal.

Can a legal mind look into the process and confirm it was carried out properly?

Anonymous said...

"Are you kidding? His biggest ruling to date was overturned. Matching. At least that ruling was based on the settlement language, if not the law. His Juneau ruling had no basis in fact or law. I think that he was very worried.

Maybe not of a direct overrule. I agree with Kevin that BP had some knowledge of Juneau's work for the state. The big fear was if the 5th allowed BP to dig deeper into what Juneau was doing for the state, private claimants AND members of the PSC. Remember, Barbier denied BP that opportunity."

My point was that I don't think the prospect of the court's order denying BP's effort to oust Juneau being overturned would prompt the judge to make some concessions or otherwise become party to some secret deal to induce BP to drop its appeal from that order.