Archive for the ‘City of Monroe’ Category

Hakims, I20 Board Head to Court


Development of property north of Interstate 20, just east of Garrett Road and south of Millhaven Road, has hit a snag over drainage issues.

I-20 Corridor Properties, owner of the land, has sued the Interstate 20 Economic Development  Corporation (I20 Board), claiming that construction of a road connecting Millhaven and Fontana Road has aggravated flooding issues on his land.

The plaintiff requests that road construction be halted until a trial decides the issue. From the petition:

Plaintiff further alleges that a part of the terms and obligations of the aforesaid Agreement between the parties which in part provided for Plaintiff to donate extremely valuable property (estimated to be worth approximately six (6) million dollars) to the Defendant for the road that Defendant and the City of Monroe, Louisiana wanted and desperately needed for further economic development for the area, that there was an understanding between the parties that the road construction on Plaintiffs property north of Interstate 20 would be such that Defendant would construct the road in question at its cost, estimated to be under three (3) million dollars, and that the Defendant would make sure that, the road, even in its finished form would serve to drain Plaintiffs property properly and would not cause Plaintiffs property to flood; moreover, had it been understood by Plaintiff that the Defendant never plam1ed to do what was necessary to make sure that Plaintiffs property would drain properly before or after development of same, Plaintiff would never had agreed to donate the property for the constructions of the roads, especially since the cost of the road over the property located on the north side of Interstate 20, was about one-half of the value of the property donated by Plaintiff.

See here the complete lawsuit.

At last night’s meeting, of the I20 Board, the issue was discussed in an hour long executive session.

Afterwards, I20 Board President Otis Chisley said that the suit was “unfortunate,” but not unexpected. He said there were discussions about hiring legal counsel to handle the matter, but no final decision had been made as to who that may be.

I-20 Corridor Properties lists as managers Joseph and Nouri (Eddie) Hakim, well known area property developers.

Eddie Hakim several years ago was the Government’s chief witness in a trial that resulted in the conviction of two Monroe City Councilmen for raketeering, Robert “Red” Stevens, and Arthur Gilmore.

Ouachita Courthouse Machine Goes After Local Reporter


The Ouachita judicial/legal machine, under scrutiny for alleged coverup of internal malfeasance, has retaliated against a reporter for the Ouachita Citizen by trying to depose him under the guise of an interview for jury duty.

Reporter questioned about Palowsky during jury selection

By Zach Parker

A Ouachita Citizen reporter who answered a summons for jury duty was peppered with questions about his relationship with a Monroe businessman who sued Fourth Judicial District Court officials after the reporter was placed under oath in the jury box.

Staff writer Johnny Gunter appeared in Judge Wilson Rambo’s courtroom Monday morning in response to a summons for jury duty in Jeff Mercer LLC vs. State of Louisiana, DOTD and others.

Instead of conducting interviews of potential jury members in a group, attorneys questioned potential jury members individually in Rambo’s presence. At that time, Rambo allowed attorneys with the Monroe law firm Hayes, Harkey, Smith & Cascio to question Gunter about his relationship with Monroe businessman Stanley R. Palowsky III as well as Gunter’s relationship with Palowsky’s father, Stanley R. Palowsky.

Sam Hanna Jr., publisher of The Ouachita Citizen, was issued a summons to appear for jury duty on Monday, Nov. 16.

Monroe City Council Tuesday


The Monroe City Council will meet Tuesday, November 10, 6:00 PM, Monroe City Hall, 400 Lea Joyner Expressway.

Here is the agenda.

Ruling in Ouachita Coverup: Judges, Law Clerks Above the Law


A judge this morning dismissed a lawsuit against 4th Judicial District (Morehouse, Ouachita Parishes) Law Clerk Allyson Campbell and five of the judges – Carl Sharp, Stephen Winters, Benjamin Jones, Wilson Rambo, and Frederic Amman, saying that they all enjoyed “absolute judicial immunity” for their actions.

In making his ruling, Judge Ad Hoc Jerome Barberra noted that while “lay people have difficulty grasping the concept of judicial immunity,” it was the “law of the land” and “was deeply rooted” in Louisiana jurisprudence.

Barberra’s behavior was eerily similar to that exhibited by former President Richard Nixon, who in 1977 famously proclaimed, “When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.”

Attorneys for the plaintiff Stanley Palowski III (Joe Ward and Sedric Banks) said they would appeal today’s ruling.

Barberra also made another questionable ruling today, sealing the records in the case and forbidding any of the attorneys from providing motions, pleas, or any related documents to anyone except court personnel.

That ruling flies in the face of a Louisiana State Supreme Court ruling in Copeland v Copeland that states in part:

Considering the strong constitutional bias in favor of open access by the public to court proceedings, we find the trial court’s blanket order sealing the entire record in this case to be overbroad. Although there may be some justification for sealing certain sensitive evidence in a proceeding, the parties have the burden of making a specific showing that their privacy interests outweigh the public’s constitutional right of access to the record.   The trial court, should it grant such relief, must ensure that its order is narrowly tailored to cause the least interference possible with the right of public access.

The case at issue today was Palowski v Campbell, et al. The plaintiff alleges that Campbell destroyed court documents in another civil case, and the defendant judges covered up the wrongdoing.

The original suit, Palowski v Cork, is a dispute between former business partners. Palowski alleges that Campbell’s actions prevented him from obtaining a fair hearing.

Barberra is no stranger to the concept of judicial immunity, as a 2005 suit against him was dismissed on the same grounds.

Judge Overseeing Ouachita Coverup Case Was Once Sued Himself

Barberra was sued again in 2010 by a prospective trial juror who claimed the information he revealed in a juror questionnaire was sensitive, and he wanted the document returned to him.

The federal suit was dismissed on ground the plaintiff had no right of privacy to the information.

Galjour v Rodrigue & Barberra

The actions by Barberra in open court this morning followed an hour-long secret session in chambers with only the attorneys present. Later two of the defendant judges went into the meeting, but the plaintiffs did not participate.

Ouachita Court Dox: Witnesses will Confirm Campbell Wrongdoing, Judge Coverup


Several witnesses will testify as to alleged wrongdoing by Fourth Judicial (Ouachita, Morehouse Parishes) District Court Clerk Allyson Campbell, and a subsequent alleged coverup by several judges in the district, a recent court filing by plaintiff Stanley Palowski III claims. The case is Palowski v Campbell, et al.

From the court filings:

Palowski reasonably believes that Judge Sharon I. Marchman of this Court will testify as follows. As far back as 2010, Defendant Campbell had a problem with being absent from work. When another law clerk reported Campbell’s attendance issue to her, Judge Marchman discussed this with defendant Judges Rambo and Amman, for whom Campbell worked at the time. Palowski believes that Judge Marchman will testify that Judges Rambo and Amman said they had no complaints about Campbell’s work, and they said they could find her when they needed her, so Judge Marchman had to remind them that the Court’s policy was that employees were only allowed to work from the courthouse, not from home or any other location.

Palowsky reasonably believes that local attorney Cody Rials will testify that in 2012, he complained to Defendant Judge Sharp that his law clerk, Campbell, had shredded his proposed judgement in a case that was pending before him. Palowski also reasonably believes that local attorney “Joey” Grassi will testify that he overheard Defendant Campbell bragging in a local bare about how she had shredded Rials’ judgement, so he approached her and discussed this with her. Palowski believes that Grassi will testify that Campbell told him directly that she shredded Rials’ judgement that she really enjoyed doing that to him.

Palowski also believes that Grassi will testify that he relayed this information to Defendant Judge Sharp during the investigation of Rials’ complaint. Thereafter, Sharp apparently shut the investigation down and sent Rials a letter, which he will be able to authenticate at the upcoming hearings, stating that Rials’ “concern” that Campbell was “personally biased” against him was “reasonable” and accordingly, she would be removed from any case involving Rials. Palowski believes that Rials will testify that the “concern” he reported to Judge Sharp was not that Campbell was biased against him, it was that she shredded a judgement he had submitted to the Court. By referencing an alleged concern of bias as opposed to the actual concern of document shredding, Judge Sharp concealed Campbell’s felonious activities.

Palowsky reasonably believes that Judge Marchman and Ms. (Laura) Hartt will testify that on April 15 ,2014, there was a review of Defendant Campbell’s hours from January 14 to March 31. As Judge Marchman and Ms. Hartt will likely testify, said review showed that on seven different days, Defendant Campbell reported that she worked seven hours even though her key fob did not show that she entered the courthouse on any of those days. On most of those days, she had excuses for being late, such as her flight from New York was late or she had tennis matches that morning, but then she apparently would not come to work (as evidenced by the lack of key fob activity) and would still report that she worked seven hours..

It is worth repeating that Defendant Campbell was being paid with public, i.e., taxpayers’ money, while she did such things as fly home from New York, play tennis, and go to the doctor, when she was supposed to be working for the public. Additionally, Palowski reasonably believes that Judge Marchman will testify that Defendant Judges Rambo and Amman had been approving her false timesheets for payment.

See here the documents:

Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant Judges’ Exceptions
Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant Allyson Campbell’s Exceptions
Combined Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant’s Motions

Sharp Overturned by 2nd Circuit


Fourth Judicial (Morehouse, Ouachita Parishes) Division G Judge Carl Sharp’s ruling last August on a motion that he be recused in Palowski v Cork was not valid. Sharp had ruled that he would not recuse himself, even though all the other judges in the district had done so.

Once a motion for recusal is made, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals said, the judge that is the subject of the motion cannot rule upon himself, and that another judge must hear the motion.

See here the Zach Parker story in the 10/29/15 Ouachita Citizen.

Palowski v Cork – Application for Supervisory Writs of Review

Monroe City Council Tonight


The Monroe City Council will meet tonight (10/27), 6:00 PM, Monroe City Hall, 400 Lea Joyner Expressway.

Here is the agenda.

Judge Overseeing Ouachita Coverup Case Was Once Sued Himself


Judge Ad Hoc Jerome Barbera, a retired judge from the 17th Judicial (Lafourche Parish) District who is presiding over the case Palowsky v Campbell, was once sued ten years ago in federal court for allegedly violating an individual’s civil rights in a divorce case.

U. S. District Judge Helen Berrigan dismissed the suit, ruling that Barbera was protected by “judicial immunity.”

Plaintiff Keith Labat, himself an attorney at the time, alleged that Barbera, among other things:

…had numerous ex parte conversations with plaintiff’s former spouse’s attorney to fabricate numerous stories of plaintiff’s having a drug and alcohol problem in order to give plaintiff’s former spouse preferential custody treatment from the divorce proceedings.

Another judge from the district, John LeBlanc, was also named in the lawsuit.

See here the documents from that lawsuit:

Federal Claim – Labat v Barbera & LeBlanc
Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Complaint
Memo in Opposition to Motion to Dismiss
Order and Reasons

Labat was later charged with and pled guilty to felony theft, forger, and issuing worthless checks.

Thibodaux lawyer pleads guilty to theft, forgery

Lawyer says he can’t repay bilked clients

He claimed the two judges froze his bank accounts and left him unable to manage his finances.

In 2008, Labat was disbarred by the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Attorney Disciplinary Proceedings

In the suit now at hand, Palowski alleges that Campbell destroyed court documents in another civil case (Palowski v Cork), and that several Fourth Judicial District judges covered up her wrongdoing.

Ouachita Court Coverup Update – 10/15/15


Second Circuit weighs Sharp’s recusal

Monroe businessman Stanley R. Palowsky III asked an appellate court to intervene in his lawsuit against a former business partner because of a Fourth Judicial District Court judge’s refusal to recuse himself from the case, among other actions taken by the district court.

That lawsuit sparked a criminal investigation of the Fourth Judicial District Court as well as a separate lawsuit alleging criminal wrongdoing by some Fourth Judicial District Court officials, including Judge Carl Sharp.

Palowski v Cork – Application for Supervisory Writs of Review

Palowski Appeals to get Evidence

A Monroe businessman asked the Second Circuit Court of Appeal to remove a stay of discovery in his lawsuit against Fourth Judicial District Court officials.

Attorneys for plaintiff Stanley R. Palowsky III filed their appeal with the Second Circuit last week, arguing that an ad hoc judge abused his discretion by staying discovery, or forbidding the taking of depositions and the answering of interrogatories, in the civil proceeding.

Palowski v Campbell – Application for Supervisory Writs of Review

Monroe City Council Tuesday


The Monroe City Council will meet Tuesday, October 13, 6:00 PM, Monroe City Hall, 400 Lea Joyner Expressway.

Here is the agenda.


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