Nagin heartily supports Rep. Jefferson

In Louisiana, Politicians strive for Prosecution
Their own prosecution

October 08, 2006

Nagin heartily supports Rep. Jefferson

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin says he's enthusiastically supporting eight-term US Representative William Jefferson, the subject of an FBI investigation who was found with $90,000 in cash in his freezer.

The FBI is investigating allegations that Jefferson took bribes to help promote business deals in Nigeria.

Jefferson has not been charged, and he denies any wrongdoing.

Nagin told reporters he was returning a favor by endorsing Jefferson. "Wink-wink-nudge-nudge"

"Until he's indicted, I think we ought to presume he's innocent until proven guilty," Nagin said.

Two former associates of Jefferson have pleaded guilty to bribery charges and have agreed to cooperate with investigators.

In June, Jefferson was removed from the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.

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Swamp Tattler said...

April 18, 2005
Big Easy Liable for $1.9 Million From DA's Firings

In January 2003, Eddie Jordan took office as the Big Easy's new DA and cleaned house. Now the City of New Orleans is stuck with a $1.9 million damages bill for the unlawful terminations.

Swamp Tattler said...

March 06, 2006
Clerk of Court sent to jail

By Brian Thevenot
Staff writer

Criminal District Court Clerk Kimberly Williamson Butler, who spent last week ignoring court orders and dodging arrest warrants, was led away from a courtroom to a jail cell on Monday after she refused to admit breaking the law before a panel of increasingly irritated judges.

Just hours later, Secretary of State Al Ater, Louisiana’s top election official, called for Butler’s resignation and vowed to explore every option to keep her from managing the April 22 election.

Butler landed in jail after nine of the city’s 13 criminal district judges sentenced her to three days in Orleans Parish Prison without bail and a $500 fine on contempt of court charges. They charged she failed to comply with their order last month to turn over management of her office’s stalled applications for FEMA funds.

Swamp Tattler said...

Grand jury declines to indict former Orleans Parish clerk
October 06, 2006

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A state grand jury has decided not to indict former Orleans Parish Clerk of Criminal Courts Kimberly Williamson Butler on charges of malfeasance in office.

Orleans Parish District Attorney Eddie Jordan sought the indictment after conducting one of three investigations into Butler's management of the office.

While Jordan's office never discussed the scope of the investigation, officials with the state Attorney General and state legislative auditor offices said the probes targeted Butler's alleged mishandling of evidence cash and the awarding of an $8 million contract to clean up the court's evidence room, which was flooded after Hurricane Katrina.

"The District Attorney investigated the matter, submitted their findings to a grand jury and they concluded that there was no criminal wrong doing for anything related to her office while she was in it," John Reed, Butler's attorney, said Thursday.

Jordan's office did not return calls seeking comment and officials with the two other agencies could not be reached.

Reed said he believed the grand jury's return of a "no true bill" Thursday effectively ended all of the criminal probes.

The Criminal District Court judges criticized Butler after she removed a substantial amount of evidence cash from the evidence room and deposited it into a bank.

While some contended those deposits ruined the evidence value of that cash, typically confiscated in drug cases, Reed said any improper action on the part of his client would have been procedural, not criminal. Moreover, he said, she only deposited evidence from closed cases, though he did allow for "oversights."

Investigators also probed Butler's hiring of Biodefense America to clean up the evidence room in a deal that would have awarded the company $8 million. The relatively unknown company, which was headquartered out of a truck behind a Largo, Fla., strip mall, was later removed from the project by an appellate judge appointed by the Louisiana Supreme Court to takeover the cleanup.

The company had already been paid $200,000 from Butler's office.

Reed said his client is "delighted and very pleased" by the grand jury's decision. "Of course it was the outcome we expected all along but it has been a somewhat difficult process," he said.

Reed said Butler looks at Thursday's ruling as an opportunity to move on.

"When the legal process is allowed to work, justice comes out in the end," he said. "We hope everyone can go forward with putting there lives together. The last year has been difficult for all of us, and it has been difficult for her as well."

Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.timespicayune.com

Anonymous said...

You gotta love Orleans Parish School Board! The School Board is allegedly so currupt that EXPERTS who straightened up other cities walk away in disbelief. Our board steals from children's education and the future of our city while looking in your face and smiling.

New Orleans Schools Superintendent, Tony Amato, Resigns
April 14, 2005, The Times-Picayune, Louisiana

Tony Amato resigned from his position as Superintendent of News Orleans Public Schools on Tuesday, April 12. His resignation ended his two years of service as the leader of the district’s 12,000 school employees. Amato had recently been awarded greater authority in recent city elections. However, a meeting on Monday, April 11, with school board members and other community members largely targeted Amato’s work as Superintendent, and his resignation followed the next day.