Archive for the ‘City of Monroe’ Category

Trump Elector Kay Katz to Stand Firm

11/17/2016

‘Dump Trump’: Kay Katz bombarded with requests to abandon her electoral vote for Trump

By Zach Parker zach@ouachitacitizen.com

Kay Katz, one of Louisiana’s eight Republican presidential electors, is weathering a deluge of requests by email and telephone asking her to renege on her pledge to vote for President-elect Donald Trump.

“I have cleared 250 emails just today,” said Katz during an interview with The Ouachita Citizen Thursday afternoon.

Katz, who is president of the Ouachita Parish Women’s Republican Club, was selected as a presidential elector by the state Republican Party earlier this year. She’ll join the state’s other seven presidential electors at the state Capitol on Dec. 19 to cast her vote, which was pledged to Trump as the Republican Party’s presidential nominee.

Katz said changing her vote is not an option for her. Members of the Electoral College who do not vote for their party’s specified candidate are referred to as “faithless electors.”

“I would never break my word,” she continued. “I was elected by the state party to represent my candidate, who was upheld by the people. If you become faithless and turn away, you truly are faithless.

One of the callers pleading with Katz to change her vote identified herself as a New Orleans native who later moved to California.

“She told me she and her friends used to leave New Orleans and come to Monroe to eat boudain,” said Katz. “I told her, ‘You need to go over your talking points. We can’t even spell boudain up here.’”

Wall St Journal: CenturyLink, Level 3 Come to Terms

10/31/2016

CenturyLink to Buy Level 3 Communications for $25 Billion

By Joshua Jamerson

CenturyLink Inc. said Monday that it reached a cash-and-stock deal to buy Level 3 Communications Inc. for roughly $25 billion, a marriage that would give the communications companies more heft to weather a competitive landscape.

Shares of Level 3 rose 8% to $58.41 in premarket trading, while shares of CenturyLink slipped 0.7% to $67.

Level 3 runs one of the largest internet backbones in the world but has turned its focus increasingly to small and midsize business in an attempt to reverse slowing sales growth in its core business. CenturyLink, traditionally a rural local-phone-service provider, has sought to upgrade its network with fiber-optic lines in a bid to compete with AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and rivals in the cable industry.

Under the deal’s terms, CenturyLink agreed to swap $26.50 in cash and 1.4286 CenturyLink share for each share of Level 3. The company said the deal was worth $34 billion, including debt, and is expected to close by the third quarter of 2017.

CenturyLink Chief Executive Glen Post will lead the combined company, and Level 3’s chief financial officer, Sunit Patel, will serve as financial chief of the combined firm.

The chairman of CenturyLink’s board at the time of the closing will continue to serve as chairman of the combined company. CenturyLink has agreed to appoint four Level 3 board members at closing.

The combined company will be based in Monroe, La., and will maintain a significant presence in Colorado and the Denver metropolitan area.

Wall St Journal: Monroe, LA based CenturyLink in Merger Talks

10/27/2016

CenturyLink in Advanced Talks to Merge With Level 3 Communications

By Dana Mattioli and Dana Cimilluca

CenturyLink Inc. is in advanced talks to merge with Level 3 Communications Inc., a deal that would give the business-telecommunications companies greater heft in a brutally competitive industry.

A deal could be announced in the coming weeks, according to people familiar with the matter. As always, there is a possibility the talks could fall apart.

Terms of the deal couldn’t be learned. As of Thursday afternoon before the Journal’s report of the talks, Level 3, based in Broomfield, Colo., had a market value of $16.8 billion. CenturyLink, based in Monroe, La., was worth $15.2 billion.

Shares in Level 3 were up 11% at $52.28, while CenturyLink shares were up 8.3% at $30.58 on Thursday afternoon after the Journal’s report.

Former Monroe City Councilman Disbarred

10/19/2016

Upon review of the findings and recommendations of the hearing committee and disciplinary board, and considering the record, briefs, and oral argument, it is ordered that Arthur Gilmore, Jr., Louisiana Bar Roll number 1059, be and he hereby is disbarred, retroactive to June 9, 2013, the date of his most recent interim suspension. Respondent shall also be given credit for the time he served on interim suspension during the period of June 19, 2011 to September 21, 2011 and during the period of May 2, 2012 to April 3, 2013. Respondent’s name shall be stricken from the roll of attorneys and his license to practice law in the State of Louisiana shall be revoked. All costs and expenses in the matter are assessed against respondent in ccordance with Supreme Court Rule XIX, § 10.1, with legal interest to commence thirty days from the date of finality of this court’s judgment until paid.

See here complete decree.

Ouachita Court Coverup Update

08/17/2016

AUDIO RECORDING: Law clerk says time sheets were an ‘estimate’

By Zach Parker zach@ouachitacitizen.com

Allyson Campbell, a law clerk at Fourth Judicial District Court in Monroe, who was accused of payroll fraud and concealing or destroying court documents, told state investigators her time sheets were “more of an estimate” than a record of hours worked, according to an audio recording of that interview obtained by The Ouachita Citizen.

During their questioning of Campbell, investigators with the state Office of Inspector General and with Louisiana State Police appeared to suggest answers and possible explanations for Campbell’s activities, which came under scrutiny amid complaints and ongoing lawsuits against her and the court’s judges.

The law clerk’s and investigators’ collaborative explanations were recorded in a Jan. 28, 2016 interview between Inspector General Investigator Heath Humble and State Police Investigator Ron Huey with Campbell at the law office of her attorney, Brian Crawford of Monroe, who also was present during the interview.

An audio recording of the interview is available online at http://www.ouachitacitizen.com where the recording displays at the bottom of the article.

Judge Denys Palowski Motion; 2nd Circuit Cancels Hearing

08/07/2016

Natchitoches ad hoc Judge Dee Hawthorne Friday afternoon denied a plaintiff motion to add a defense attorney to the civil suit Palowski v Cork, a business dispute first filed in 2013. The hearing took place in Fourth Judicial (Morehouse, Ouachita Parishes) District Court in Monroe.

Palowski wanted to make Brandon Cork’s attorney Thomas Hayes a defendant, because, according to plaintiff attorney Joe Ward, Hayes counseled Cork on his alleged fraud against Palowski.

Hawthorne didn’t buy the argument, ruling that the suit might set a precedent that could chill a client’s ability to work with their attorney.

Hawthorne also noted that Palowski had sued Hayes individually, so it wasn’t necessary to add him as a defendant in this suit.

Ward, on behalf of the plaintiff, alleged that Cork took kickbacks from customers and concealed the payments from his business partner, Palowski, and that Hayes was a co-conspirator.

Hayes countered that the plaintiff was trying to “drive a wedge between the lawyer and his client,” in an attempt to confuse the issue.

Opening of court was delayed about twenty minutes, by a problem finding someone from the Ouachita Parish Clerk of Court’s office to tape record the session, and take notes for the record.

2nd Circuit Appeals Court Mysteriously Cancels Hearing

In other related developments, the Louisiana Court of Appeals, Second Circuit in Shreveport cancelled a hearing scheduled for Monday morning, August 8, according to Chief Deputy Clerk Debbie Ware. No explanation was given for the cancellation, nor was any future hearing date revealed.

See here the docket.

The hearing was for oral arguments on appeal of Palowski v Campbell, et al. The plaintiff, Stanley Palowski, alleges that Campbell destroyed court documents in the original civil case (Palowski v Cork), preventing a fair hearing, and the defendant judges covered up the wrongdoing.

Last year, ad hoc Judge Jerome Barberra dismissed the suit, and Palowski appealed.

In his ruling, Barberra claimed that judges enjoy “absolute judicial immunity.” In other words, they cannot be sued, even if they broke the law.

Ouachita Parish Court Coverup Update

08/03/2016

State Police report released: Findings shed light on law clerk probe

By Zach Parker zach@ouachitacitizen.com – Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Work attendance violations and time sheet discrepancies involving Allyson Campbell, a law clerk at Fourth Judicial District Court, resulted in a written warning, a reprimand, a demotion, a month-long suspension without pay, an auditor’s finding and an investigation for official misconduct.

Those discoveries surfaced in a Louisiana State Police report of an investigation of Campbell over allegations of payroll fraud and document destruction. The Ouachita Citizen obtained the State Police investigative report last week through a public records request submitted to state Attorney General Jeff Landry. Landry’s office recently closed the investigation into allegations against Campbell.

Investigators delve into missing document complaints at 4JDC

By Zach Parker zach@ouachitacitizen.com – Wednesday, August 3, 2016

A Monroe attorney’s complaint that Allyson Campbell, a law clerk at Fourth Judicial District Court, shredded his filings with the court as well as the law clerk’s handling of other court documents were disclosed in a Louisiana State Police investigative report recently obtained by The Ouachita Citizen.

The State Police report represented the findings of State Police Investigator Ron Huey who looked into allegations that Campbell committed payroll fraud and destroyed documents filed with the district court. Huey was tasked with assisting Inspector General Investigator Heath Humble’s investigation, which began in July 2015 at the request of Fourth Judicial District Attorney Jerry Jones.

See here the complete Louisiana State Police report.

I-20 Board Meeting Tomorrow

07/26/2016

Wednesday, July 27, 2016 at 4:00 PM, Mayor’s conference room, Monroe City Hall, 400 Lea Joyner Expressway.

I-20 Agenda

1. Call To Order – Otis L. Chisley
2. Roll Call & Quorum Declaration – Charles Prichard
3. Adoption Of Prior Minutes
4. Frontage Road Issues – Kim & Kelvin
5. Change Orders
6. Nutland Road Update
7. Payment Of Shreveport Neon Signs
8. Southern States Utilities Update
9. Engineer Consultant For Traffic Litigation For North Frontage Road
10. Relocation Of Electrical Utilities On North Frontage Road
11. Closed Session **if needed**
12. Other Business
13. Public Participation
14. Adjourn

Ouachita Court Coverup Update

07/20/2016

Attorney General passes on prosecuting law clerk

By Zach Parker zach@ouachitacitizen.com

Fourth Judicial District Court law clerk Allyson Campbell cleared another legal hurdle this week when state Attorney General Jeff Landry issued a letter saying there’s not enough evidence to secure a “sustainable” conviction against Campbell for payroll fraud and the destruction of court documents.

The Ouachita Citizen’s review of state campaign finance records revealed a substantial contribution from Campbell’s brother-in-law to Landry’s campaign for attorney general. Landry defeated Buddy Caldwell, who was the incumbent, in a November 2015 run-off.

Christian Creed, a Monroe attorney, is Campbell’s brother-in-law; his wife, Catherine, also an attorney, is Campbell’s sister. Campaign finance records revealed Christian Creed made a campaign contribution of $5,000 to Landry on Nov. 12, 2015, prior to the run-off election, though he also had made a total of $1,500 in campaign contributions to Caldwell on and before Nov. 9, 2015.

Ouachita Court Coverup Update

07/13/2016

Federal judge rules LSP report is evidence

By Zach Parker zach@ouachitacitizen.com

Fourth Judicial District Court Judge Sharon Marchman can use information from a Louisiana State Police investigation as evidence in her lawsuit against district court officials and their attorneys, a federal judge ruled last week.

The State Police investigative report has surfaced as a key element in the controversy surrounding Allyson Campbell, a law clerk at Fourth Judicial District Court. The State Police report on the investigation of Campbell’s activities is incriminating, according to a pleading filed Tuesday by Marchman.

Marchman’s lawsuit in U.S. District Court claims Campbell was paid for hours she did not work at Fourth Judicial District Court and that she also destroyed or concealed documents filed with the district court. Some Fourth Judicial District Court judges as well as local and state attorneys concealed Campbell’s activities and conspired with Campbell to retaliate against Marchman when the judge tried to shed light on the allegations against the clerk, according to Marchman’s lawsuit.

The State Police report on the investigation of the district court was filed under seal with the federal court last month. Marchman filed the State Police report as evidence to support her opposition to requests, or motions, for dismissal filed by Campbell, her attorney Brian Crawford of Monroe and the judges’ attorney, Jon Guice of Monroe. Those three individuals, who are each defendants in Marchman’s lawsuit, had previously asked the federal court to dismiss Marchman’s lawsuit.