Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Jordan Resigns!

At 3:05 pm, CST, Orleans Parish Dumbass Attorney Eddie Jack Jordan announced his upcoming resignation. This brings a bright spark of hope that the DA's office will soon begin prosecuting criminals instead of hiding them out in their homes. To start, Jordan muttered under his breath, "There's quite a few people here, huh?" Well no kidding. You call a press conference to confirm your uselessness as a public servant and you think no one will show up? You're denser than I thought.

Eddie Jordan:
Good afternoon. After careful and prayerful consideration, I have determined that it is in the best interests of the citizens of New Orleans, the prosecutors and staff members of the DA's office, and my family, that I resign my position as DA of Orleans Parish. I hope my departure from the DA's office will facilitate, induce and encourage the resolution and satisfaction of the federal judgment imposed against the DA's office.
I am resigning not because I am a quitter, but because I honestly think that this painful act will help prevent further disruption of the DA's office, the criminal justice system, and our city's fight against crime. I hope my departure from the DA's office will remove the threat of the imminent seizure of the office's assets including the office's payroll accounts. The resolution of that judgment will permit the hardworking employees of the DA's office to maintain their focus on putting violent criminals behind bars, assisting the victims and witnesses of crime, securing restitution for homeowners who have been defrauded, and collecting child support for single parents and their children.

He then introduced Keva Landrum, who has been serving as his first assistant during Gaynell Williams leave of absence to run for former judge Charles Elloie's vacated chair. Elloie, if you remember, was the worst of the revolving door judges in the Orleans Parish court system, repeatedly giving defendants in his court innumerable second chances to repeat their crimes, some say for compensation. Landrum served as first assistant DA under both Jordan and his predecessor Harry Connick, Sr. The decision to elevate her to Interim DA is said to be motivated by the fact that she is not, nor does she plan to be, a candidate for the office in next years election.

Jordan then expressed his desire to spend time with family before returning to the private sector. It's funny how many public servants make this statement, but it does make sense. The people whose trust was broken want nothing to do with them, and those few cronies of theirs who haven't been caught yet are certainly going to keep their distance. That doesn't leave many other people to spend time with, does it? Jordan also stated that he has signed no agreements with private sector firms as yet. Anyone want to lay odds on him hooking up with one of Bill Jefferson's shady operations?

Keva Landrum addressed the throng of the Big News Media and assured them she would assess the financial state of the office. She also alluded to plans to restructure the office to emulate the best DAs' offices in the nation. She assured citizens that she would work more closely with the NOPD to ensure the safety of our city along the lines of agreements made earlier this year, and promised the community an open and accessible style that would allow them to see that the DA's office was run fairly and honestly.

Mayor C Ray Nagin then addressed the crowd, thanking Jordan for making this decision to ease tensions of all concerned parties. He also called citizens to task to move forward and not harp on the mistakes of the past. Really? So he's going to stop bitching at Governor Blanco, President Bush and the United States Congress for the total mess they have made of the Hurricane Katrina recovery? I didn't think so. He also assured the plaintiffs of the lawsuit that he will continue to work for a win-win-win situation for them, the city and the state.

When asked if the plaintiffs were unwilling to work with him in resolving the settlement, Jordan simply stated his belief that it would be in the best interests of everyone for him to stay out of the picture, hence his decision to resign. He also maintains that race was not a factor in his decision to fire anyone. When pressed on any aspect of the case his reply became a standard loop of, "I believe that this decision is in the best interest of the DA's office."

Nagin remains steadfast that the city is not in a position to help pay off the settlement, citing that the DA's office is a state run office which receives only 1/3 of its operating budget directly from the city. Secretary of State Jim Donelon disputes this saying that the City of New Orleans is the primary source of the office's income. Also according to Nagin, the Governor can call for a special election to replace Jordan during next years congressional election to fill the seat vacated by Governor-elect Bobby Jindal.

When questioned about the ineffectiveness of the DA's office, Nagin stated that "The problems... didn't start with Eddie Jordan, it's something that's built up over a number of years." An interesting statement in the fact that Nagin is basically saying that things did not improve and existing problems were compounded in the years since Jordan took office.

Jordans resignation will take effect at the close of the DA's office tomorrow, October 31st.

Eddie And The Cruisers

What the hell kids? I leave town for a week and you guys let the town go straight to hell. There's so much I can rant about from the ridiculously skewed elections to Derrick Sheppard getting caught in 'Dollar' Bill Jefferson's cookie jar, to California rampantly flaunting their disregard for global warming, but I want to take this opportunity to discuss Orleans Parish DA Eddie Jordan and the complete fiasco he has created.

In a nutshell, Jordan fired a whole mess of people from the OPDA's office as his first official act as District Attorney, the majority of whom were white and subsequently sued him. I cant track down the actual numbers, (what I find on the web list different numbers in each report,) but I think there were 43 total employees fired, 5 black and 38 white. Jordan defended this by stating that he hired white employees too, but when the numbers were revealed it was a direct opposite. 38 blacks hired and 5 whites. As I said, I'm not sure of the actual numbers, but I remember the color flip-flop distinctly.

Jordan, to this day, claims he's not a racist and this may be true if in fact he was operating under direct orders of Bill Jefferson as has been rumoured. This may be Jordan's way of telling the truth without telling the whole truth and implicating his buddy Bill as a racist and political manipulator. Regardless, Jordan has run out of appeals and is now faced with a 3.7 million dollar settlement to the po' white folk he unceremoniously dismissed. Well, that is the DA's office is. Jordan himself faces no punishment whatsoever! The onus of this lawsuit falls squarely on the taxpayers of Orleans Parish and the State of Louisiana.

Now the DA's office is in danger of being shut down because there is no money to pay this settlement. All across New Orleans you can hear people saying "So what? It's not like the DA's office is doing it's job anyway." and for the most part this is true. Jordan claims a 70-80% conviction rate. Others say that this number is closer to 30-40%. Without access to court records I can neither confirm nor deny this but one thing is certain: with all the crime in this city, the DA's office has only brought 77 cases to trial between July and September of this year. And according to Jordan's numbers about 25% of those end in non-convictions. Pathetic.

Jordan has recently been looking under the couch cushions of the Orleans Parish City Council and checking the pay phone coin returns of the Louisiana State Senate and House, looking for whatever change he can find for his office to help pay this settlement. Good luck, Jack. (No, really. His full name is Eddie Jack Jordan.) The odds are against a bailout unless he resigns, which he is reluctant to do. Lawyers for the plaintiffs state that the DA's office has the assets to pay the claim citing vehicles owned by the office and the salary for Jordan's driver as assets which could be sold or done away with. By the way, Jordan's driver reportedly makes $70,000 a year. (And they say there are no good government jobs!)

(Whoops, hold the presses... WDSU reports that Jordan is currently addressing his staff and may soon make a public statement. I'll let you know if I hear anything.)

As for the lawsuit itself, there are some really big unanswered questions which the Big News Media seems unable to even ask. First, how much of the 3.7 million is going to the lawyers who handled the case? True, they won and deserve compensation, but wouldn't waiving the fee, or at least the profit over costs, be the civic thing to do? After all, New Orleans is their city too and if the DA's office shuts down where will these guys practice law? (Yes, I know there's a difference between civil and criminal law, but the firms which practice both will indeed lose business.) They still get to go in the record books as victors and the press will anoint them as heroes if they follow this route.

Then we have the white guys. How many of them actually found work after being fired? How many just cruised around town waiting for their inevitable big fat settlement check? Indeed, they all deserve something for their ordeal, but 3.7 million dollars? Give me a fucking break. This whole lawsuit was designed by the lawyers for the purpose of profit, not justice. If the white guys wanted justice they would have sued the DA's office for the right to return to their jobs and the removal of Eddie Jordan and they would have sued Jordan personally for monetary compensation. As it stands, Jordan ain't worth much, (monetarily, or as a human being,) so they decided to go after the DA's office and it's big ol' bank account. You want justice? Give all the fired employees their jobs back, plus pay them for the time they missed working there, regardless of whether they had other jobs in the interim, and add in a bonus payment of about four times their salaries. (An extra year of pay for each year they were out of work.) The court system should be used for justice. Period. Not to play the home version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

As For Eddie Jack himself, why the hell is he still in office? As if this debacle isn't bad enough to get fired, he now faces an even bigger mess relating to an incident from a few weeks ago. 20 year old thug Elton Phillips allegedly robbed a man at gunpoint and fled. The victim jumped into his Hummer and gave chase until he was able to ram Phillips' vehicle off the road. Phillips and his getaway driver fled to separate houses in the area and guess where Elton went? Yup, straight to Eddie Jordans' place. It seems that Phillips is good friends with Jordans' girlfriend, Cherylynn Robinson, and upon arriving called his grammy to come pick him up, staying at the home only a few minutes. Jordan asked what was going on and Phillips said someone deliberately hit his car and ran him off the road. Jordan stated that "He was a kid... He really looked innocuous..." and then scooted off back to bed.

What the fuck? You're the DA of a major city and you don't call the cops for a hit and run victim? Are you really that incredibly obtuse? Regardless of whether you think this kid is a criminal or not, you call the cops to report an accident! Perhaps if Jordan had acted apropriately, NOPD Detective Thelonius Dukes and his wife would not have been shot and robbed by Elton Phillips and his gangsta-nigga buddies the very next morning. Detective Dukes remains in critical condition from gunshots to the leg and lower torso. His wife was shot in the foot. Parts of the home invasion were captured by security cameras at the Dukes home.

I tell ya, you can't swing a prosthetic limb in this post without knocking over a fistful of Morons. And the sad part is we let this happen! We read the stories, we watch the news reports, then we shake our heads and say, "Wow, that's fucked up." and get another moccha latte from Starbucks and check the baseball scores. We need to make a stand as one and demand accountability from the so-called 'leaders' not just in New Orleans but across this country, and until we do, we're all at risk from Morons like Eddie Jack Jordan.