Saturday, April 18, 2015

DHECC - Freeh takes a page from the PSC handbook and asks to hide behind Barbier's robe

Louis Freeh has just filed a motion to dismiss Christine Reitano's defamation suit against him and the Freeh Group.

Reitano was falsely accused by Freeh of helping her husband, Lionel Sutton, expedite a claim in the DHECC which he purportedly had a financial interest in per a referral fee arrangement with the Andry Lerner law firm.

I have no doubt Judge Barbier will dismiss the suit but I want to point out a major fallacy in Freeh's current motion and its implications:

"In her Complaint, Reitano emphasizes that the September 2013 Report was made available on the Internet. See Comp. at 4 (“The defendants began their damage to Ms. Reitano in September, 2013, by publishing on the internet . . . .”);  5 (“The defendants published a report on the internet . . . .”);  13 (“The defendants published their accusations on the internet to be sure that the broadcast of the accusations was of the widest proportions.”). Yet that act does not place the Special Master outside the protection of absolute judicial immunity. After all, federal district court case filings are widely available on the Internet as a matter of course through the PACER electronic filing system. Filings on the MDL docket are electronically shared with hundreds of people by email with every filing.Further, public distribution of the Report was important to fulfilling the Court’s mandate to the Special Master of ensuring the integrity of the CSSP by assuring claimants of the validity and fairness of the process for distributing billions of dollars held in trust for the benefit of those harmed by the Deepwater Horizon disaster. See Doc. Rec. 10564 at 2 (appointing the Special Master to “ensure the integrity of [the CSSP] for the benefit of the parties and the public”); Order & Reasons at 22 (noting that fraud against the CSSP concerned “issues of great moment to the public” and “involve[d] far more than an injury to a single litigant”); (posting the Report on the judicial website established to keep the public informed on the Deepwater Horizon MDL). Nothing about Internet publication changes the application of an absolute judicial immunity for Freeh and FGIS."
The issue is not that it was published on Pacer or as a public court document, the issue is that Louis Freeh ran the report up the flagpole on his own private company's website, The Freeh Group and Pepper Hamilton. There it stayed for months, basically as an advertisement for Freeh's wonderful investigation technics (which we now know were devastatingly erroneous and fatal to Reitano's reputation).  Inspector Clouseau and team later figured out it probably wasn't such a good idea to be waving this thing around as an example of their work and hence took the report down.

By doing this, Freeh removed the report from the confines of the U.S. Court system and brought it into the private arena.  He did this, no doubt, to enterprise on the international media exposure and hullabaloo the report had created due to BP's massive PR machine using the allegations within it to paint Reitano, Sutton and Andry Lerner as examples of a corrupt settlement.

Freeh, himself, was the one who took the report outside the confines of the court for his own private he wants to hide behind Barbier's robe?  Priceless.

This is called justice?  You can destroy an innocent woman's life with a slipshod investigation and then shirk responsibility by claiming indemnity under the protection of the court?

Think about the fucking precedent this sets.

As I stated before, The Freeh Group is essentially acting as a white-collar Blackwater....a private company being paid obscene amounts of cash to conduct public investigations on behalf of the U.S. Courts.  If this private company had a vested interest, a corporate interest, in destroying the reputation of a private individual, a competing company....basically anyone they wish....they can do so with full immunity provided by the federal government.  Hell...these guys are ten times worse than Blackwater....they're government-shielded character assassins.

Unfortunately, we're most likely about to watch Barbier rubber stamp this chimera into existence.

For more background on the Freeh Group and Pepper Hamilton's connections with BP:

American Zombie: DHECC - Freeh's interests may not be so free


Anonymous said...

Just like Reitano's state law breach of contract claim, this defamation case should not be in Barbier's court. It was filed in federal court and randomly allotted to Africk. With no reason given, Africa handed it to Barbie.
Not only is Freeh a special master in Barbie's court, Barbie has allowed him to consistently disregard rules of evidence, civil procedure and due process. Barber has allowed Freeh to submit false testimony, hearsay evidence and even appear as a lawyer and witness in the same proceeding. Why not throw a little defamation in there also?
It is not just Freeh trying to hide behind Barbie's robe, it is Barbie hiding behind that very same robe.

Jason Brad Berry said...

She should have filed this case in Pennsylvania.

Regardless, if Barbier does dismiss this case, remember this...there is still the court of public opinion and I'm really good at taking depositions in that court.

Lot's of time between now and June to peel the onion.

Tim Berton said...

How much in fraudulent BP payments did Freeh's work identify compared to how much he was paid?

Jason Brad Berry said...

I don't think it's even close, we know they're making at least 3 million a month plus an outrageous expense account. But no way of knowing for sure because the DHECC won't release expense reports.