Friday, November 09, 2007

Momentum Killer

You know, I was feeling pretty much pumped about the recent flurry of activity around the New Orleans District Attorney's office. Eddie Jordan, the hapless DA, finally cashed it in. We got a temporary DA in Keva Landrum-Johnson who seems to be hopeful and competent. Heck, Eddie Jordan had even authorized a good-faith payout of about 8-9% of a court settlement of $3.7 million levied against the Jordan's DA office for racial discrimination

And then this comes along and turns sweet into sour. At least for me. In a city desperate to get its law enforcement agencies out of the muck and back into the business of protecting its citizens, it gets slammed with the abrupt and imminent closure of the DA office by the plaintiff's attorneys in the discrimination case in question:

The Orleans Parish district attorney's office watched helplessly Thursday as about six of its bank accounts, including payroll, were frozen by a federal judge, the first step in seizing assets to collect on a $3.4 million job discrimination verdict brought on by former District Attorney Eddie Jordan's firing of 43 white workers in 2003.

"The mayor ignored us in his budget proposal," said Clement Donelon, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs. "I'm not sure how the city is going to ensure public safety by shutting down its DA's office."

No money has left the bank accounts yet, Donelon said.

Instead, the plaintiffs have embarked on a fact-finding mission to determine exactly how much the district attorney's office has socked away, asking Liberty Bank President Alden McDonald to disclose how much money is in accounts labeled "payroll," "FEMA" and "Crime Victims Assistant," as well as others.

But for now, the district attorney's office cannot touch the money, with payday approaching Nov. 15.

Keva Landrum-Johnson, acting district attorney since Jordan resigned Oct. 31, called the move "appalling" and lawyers for the office said it will only complicate talks to resolve payment of the judgment.
Yeah, that's right. Take a legitmate grudge against Jordan's incompetence and force the rest of us to continue to suffer for it. Can you believe the gall of Plaintiff Attorney Clement Donelon who defends his decision to ask the judge to freeze ALL the DA Offices assets by wondering how the City will ensure public safety now? Hey, Buddy, you are the one who shut the now purged DA's office down. All of Eddie Jordan's incompetence aside, he is no longer to blame for this latest assault against my safety. Yeah, yeah. You have a point to make. And it's a point I agree with. But, dag-nabbit, please don't cut of your fellow citizens' noses (and threaten their safety) in the process of making the point.

I have to say that this was a dumb, dumb, dumb move by the Plaintiffs in this case. They're telling the rest of us in the City, many who supported their cause, that we can just fend for ourselves while they wait at the bank salivating with their gold-grubbing hands over their judgment loot. Punish us? Because Jordan is a fool and because Nagin and the City Council don't want to set what could be a bad precedent for taxpayer bailouts of such kinds of judgments?

Dude! I wasn't the problem here. Don't punish me and my family by keeping the DA from keeping the crooks at bay.

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