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 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 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 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 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. the soap box.



Wednesday, February 25, 2015

LSU polishes the turd

I've only browsed the LSU "audit" but of course it's not surprising.  They actually admit he wasn't providing invoices, they can't account for his work....they can't account for anything...but they want us to know that it's all good.  Tell that to the students that were indicted last spring for the exact same crime.

This state is so horribly corrupt that LSUHSC, an institution that has been assaulted by Louisiana republican leadership in the past few years, will not only allow Cassidy to milk them they'll even cover up for him when he gets caught.  We have to be, hands down, the most corrupt, idiotic state in the nation and while by no means is this story the biggest turd in the punchbowl it's certainly the stinkiest and shiniest.

Woohoo.....go us....

DHECC - the wheels of justice grind ever so slowly


.....Christine Reitano.....

...........filed a lawsuit...........

................................You may read it:


By the winds of fate...this complaint has landed in the lap of United States Federal Judge Lance Africk.

I hope it stays there.  

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Wisner Trust - Grants get doled out along with a lot of misinformation

Mayor Landrieu doles out $1.13 million in Wisner fund grants

"The latest: a state 4th Circuit Court of Appeal ruling in September that Landrieu, as mayor, would remain the fund's sole trustee"

The 4th Circuit didn't declare the Mayor the sole trustee, he has always been the sole trustee.  But the real question is, "How can the Mayor be the sole 'trustee' if the trust itself is dissolved?"  If the trust is, in fact, dissolved then City Council now has total oversight over the grant money. It would seem the Mayor effectively sued himself out of the trustee position if the trust is actually dissolved.

In fact, he legally shouldn't even be doling out a dime of that money without City Council's approval.  CC just doesn't seem to have the will to challenge him on it.  I would humbly suggest they find the will soon because they are fiscally responsible for what is happening with the City's portion of the funds and I would humbly suggest there may be big problems with how those funds have been disbursed.

"The money is generated from 50,000 acres of lucrative coastal land that includes major land leases -- including the property under Port Fourchon -- to the oil and gas industry."

The bulk of the land bestowed in the Wisner donation is not coastal, only the Wisner Beach is technically coastal.  Here is a map:

"The City of New Orleans owns all the land that Port Fourchon sits on....." - Mayor Landrieu

No it doesn't...not even close.  The donation constitutes about 60% of Port Fourchon and includes Wisner Beach which is a small portion.  The importance of Wisner Beach is that the LOOP (Louisiana Offshore Oil Port) has piping which runs underneath it on its way in shore.  This particular lease generates a significant portion of the oil and gas royalties that comprise the fund but the primary money generators are the leases from the Port and Chevron.  And the city of New Orleans is not the sole owner of the land, there are currently four other owners:  LSU, Tulane, The Salvation Army and the Wisner heirs.

The sport fisherman's boat launch is on Wisner property but it certainly doesn't constitute "all the land that Port Fourchon sits on...".

It makes me wonder if Mitch is deluded or simply unaware of the reality.  It seems like he thinks he owns everything, including Port Fourchon, and he thinks he's going to do whatever he wants with it.  What he wants, as I suggested back at the beginning of this battle, is to sell the land while he's still in office using the proceeds however he sees fit.  And by the looks of many of the donation recipients he sees fit to pay off his peeps and lucrative voting blocs (I have more coming on that issue soon).

This article is the first time he's publicly admitted that intent (to sell), "Landrieu, who once considered selling the land, said his team is assessing the property's worth -- a study he compared to his administration's evaluation of the Public Belt Railroad."

Dream on.  He can't sell that land without the consent of the other four owners or by winning a protracted and vicious court battle that would run well past his tenure in office.  It's also worth noting that both the heirs and LSU filed writs regarding the 4th Circuit's decision to the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Wisner heirs writ to LA Supreme Court

LSU writ to LA Supreme Court

No surprise...the LASC denied the writs last week.

It's curious to me that neither The Advocate nor the TP bothered to ask the Mayor how much each of the recipients received out of the $1.13 million.  Last week I posted what I believe to be the allocation amounts to each respective organization, but I'm not sure this is 100% accurate.

If it is accurate the big winners are the mayor's pet projects: Ceasefire New Orleans ($348,600), Mayoral Fellows Program ($233,837), and a new organization created by Landrieu, the Network for Economic Opportunity ($250,000).  All totaled these three organizations, none of which arguably fit the definition of grant recipients, add up to $832, 437... about 3/4 of the entire grant allocation.

I've written extensively about the Ceasefire program here on AZ and some questionable accounting as to money that was disbursed to the organization's fiscal agent, the Urban League.  I've been digging deeper into some issues I've discovered with Ceasefire and some other grant recipients but I want to wait to publish that info as I think The Lens has done more extensive research and I hope to see a story from them soon.

The major increase in money going to the Mayoral Fellows Program from last year is curious as well. I published a post in August about how there was some screwy biz going on with how the program was listed in the municipal code.

I have no idea what the Network for Economic Opportunity is all about but I find it hard to believe that it even remotely fits the guidelines that were originally established for grant recipients.

More to come...


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Wisner grant allocations...blah, blah...just fuck it

Here's this because I promised the few folks I know who care:

Wisner grant allocation for 2014?  or is it 2015?

It's all fucked up...a bunch of political patronage from the mayor.  I could explain it all to you but you'd just browse over it, shake your head, and go get your Mardi Gras on.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Hey! It's my fuckin' birthday!

And aside from that I'm anxiously awaiting Sean Hecker's dossier on the McGladrey whistleblower scandal.

Sean had some negative reviews in the previous post, still, I anxiously await his audit of the audit.

What's the fucking verdict, Sean?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Help a Zombie out

At the suggestion of a friend, I'm trying out this new service called Patreon.  It's a way to help finance creative endeavors, such as this blog, and hopefully expand my efforts here on AZ.

I appreciate all those who have donated via PayPal in the past, it's made a huge difference at times when I truly needed it.  This service is a little different in that it is a way to provide a monthly income so I can actually start to budget stuff.

Please check it out....if you like what I do here, please consider making a pledge.  Thanks for considering it!

American Zombie Patreon Video from Jason Berry on Vimeo.