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New Orleans Attorney Profiles 2015
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East Jefferson General Hospital expands to St. Charles Parish, launching primary care clinic in Destrehan

Metairie’s East Jefferson General Hospital has opened the doors to a primary care clinic in St. Charles Parish that is similar to ones the publicly owned medical center runs in Kenner and Lakeview.  In a statement, hospital leaders said the new clinic at 159 Longview Drive in Destrehan is part of East Jefferson’s efforts to expand an… Continue reading →

Judge orders two youths removed from ‘unsafe,’ violent Bridge City detention center

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--The Bridge City Correctional Center in Westwego, La. is seen Friday, Aug. 7, 2015, after two juveniles, a 16-year-old from Iberville Parish and a 15-year-old from New Orleans, escaped early in the morning. A curved fence meant to prevent escapes was recently installed.

A judge has ordered state corrections officials to remove two youths from a troubled detention center in Jefferson Parish, declaring conditions at the Bridge City Center for Youth to be “unsafe.” Judge Mark Doherty, of Orleans Parish Juvenile Court, told the state Office of Juvenile Justice to transfer the boys to another detention center because of… Continue reading →

'She was my child': Person of interest in Jorion White death acknowledges suspicion, denies involvement

Jorion White

Daniel Beckley would not open the door. It was Sunday night, and outside, there were maybe 100 people on the lawn who had just learned that 16-year-old Jorion White was dead. Some of them were accusing Beckley of murder. “He’s inside!” they shouted, according to a police report. “He killed her!” Beckley stayed put,… Continue reading →

'Kids are so out of control' at Jefferson Parish youth detention center , official says

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--The Bridge City Center for Youth in Bridge City, La. is seen Friday, Aug. 7, 2015.

A juvenile detention center in Jefferson Parish has descended into chaos in recent weeks, with fights involving entire dormitories and with teens repeatedly kicking down doors within the facility, an Orleans Parish judge was told Thursday. Inmates increasingly have had the run of the Bridge City Center for Youth and even gained access to the roof… Continue reading →

Suit against Gretna, Redflex over traffic camera tickets seeks class-action status

Photo by James Minton on June 11, 2010, on La. 19 in Zachary for story slugged redflex.chuck for use Monday June 14. CAPTION: A Redflex Traffic Systems speed

A Monroe law firm has filed a lawsuit in state district court in Jefferson Parish seeking class-action status against the city of Gretna and Arizona-based Redflex Traffic Systems Inc. The suit claims the city’s use of an automated camera system to issue traffic tickets and the hearings at which cited motorists can challenge their tickets are both… Continue reading →

Ride on: Jefferson Parish judge dismisses cabbies’ lawsuit against UberX drivers

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Taxi Drivers including Muracin Brivil on the megaphone protest in front of New Orleans City Hall asking for the regulation of Uber and UberX drivers similar to the regulation of taxi drivers in New Orleans, La. Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015.

A Jefferson Parish judge has dismissed a lawsuit accusing drivers for the ride-hailing service UberX of using unfair trade practices to compete against the parish’s taxi drivers. Judge Ellen Kovach, of 24th Judicial District Court in Gretna, ruled Tuesday that the 20 plaintiffs in the case had no cause of action when they sued… Continue reading →

Disney cruise ship rescues 3 off Cuban coast facing credit card fraud charges from 2015 Harahan incident

(L-R): Luis Rivera Garcia, Juliet Perez, Jesus Enrique Gonzalez Torres. Photos from Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office.

It isn’t often that the Walt Disney Co. helps nab a group of fugitives wanted in New Orleans. But it turns out the castaways whom a Disney cruise ship found bobbing in the waters between Florida and Cuba recently were in a hurry to leave the United States for good reason. All are Cuban… Continue reading →

'My baby was left on the side of the road': Foul play suspected after missing Kenner girl found dead in St. Rose ditch

Jorion White

Jorion White was looking forward to getting her first car and dreamed of becoming a nurse or a hairdresser. On Sunday, two days after White was reported missing, a passenger in a car spotted the 16-year-old girl’s body in a St. Rose drainage ditch. Her body apparently had been dumped there, and deputies “suspect… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish to use future sales tax revenue for improvements around Ochsner campuses

Location of New Economic Development District

Jefferson Parish has created an economic development district around Ochsner Health System’s Jefferson Highway campuses and will use some of the future sales tax revenue collected there for public infrastructure and beautification projects to complement the hospital operator’s planned $360 million expansion. The Parish Council approved the district’s creation at its meeting last week.… Continue reading →

Citing judge’s order, Gretna won’t release cost of legal settlement

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- A fence at the home of lawyer Mark Morice in Gretna, photographed Friday, Feb. 12, 2016, was erected after the city of Gretna tore down its predecessor in 2011 for being too tall. Morice sued Gretna city attorney Mark Morgan over the incident.

Gretna officials have denied a public-records request seeking to find out how much the city spent to settle a protracted legal dispute with a local resident that began with an illegal fence and grew into seven lawsuits in both state and federal courts. The dispute, which at one point in 2014 was reported already to have… Continue reading →

Field at West Jefferson football stadium named after Ray Latoof, coach of legendary championship team

West Jefferson High School yearbook page honoring Ray Latoof, who is embracing the state football championship he and his team won in 1970 (courtesy of Wade Perrin)

To many who have heard it, the tale of how Ray Latoof guided the 1970 West Jefferson High School football team to a state championship after the squad’s coach died in his arms deserves a Hollywood film. But no movie has been made. So Latoof’s admirers recently decided to preserve his story in another way, petitioning… Continue reading →

Power restored in Kenner after outages affected 12,000+

Update, Friday, 6:30 p.m.: Power in Kenner was almost completely back after more than 12,000 Entergy customers lost electricity earlier Friday evening, the company’s outage map showed. An equipment failure at a substation in Kenner’s University City section caused widespread outages in the area about 5 p.m., officials said.… Continue reading →

Divided Jefferson School Board defeats plan for $100s of millions in new buildings, renovations; now what?

A sharply divided Jefferson Parish School Board on Thursday defeated a plan to build hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of new academic buildings for a school district whose facilities have an average age of 52 years. The plan — totaling as much as $1 billion over four five-year phases — would have… Continue reading →

Chapelle High School names new principal, who has been serving as interim principal

Leila Benoit

Archbishop Chapelle High School will have a new permanent principal for the 2016-17 academic year, though her face will be familiar to the faculty and students. Leila Benoit, 34, has been named the principal for the 700-student, all-girls Catholic high school in Metairie after serving an interim stint in that position, the Archdiocese… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish Council holds off endorsing state Senate bill changing way parish tourism agency is funded

Following a lengthy debate about whether proposed legislation would streamline financing for the Jefferson Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau or loosen parish oversight of its operations, the Jefferson Parish Council deferred a vote Wednesday on a measure endorsing a state Senate bill that would alter how parish tax dollars are funneled to the agency.… Continue reading →

Jefferson officials differ on bill aiming to change how parish tourism agency receives funding

The Jefferson Parish Council is scheduled Wednesday to consider endorsing a state Senate bill that would change the way the Jefferson Convention and Visitors Bureau receives its parish tax funding. The matter might seem routine, but it is causing controversy among parish officials. The bureau last year got more than $1.2 million in hotel-motel… Continue reading →

Audit questions Jefferson Parish reimbursements to youth center founded by ex-Saint Rickey Jackson

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- Hall of Famer Rickey Jackson greets Governor-elect John Bel Edwards before a Saints game against the Carolina Panthers in the Superdome on Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015.

A new audit from the Jefferson Parish Inspector General’s Office questions more than three-quarters of the parish’s reimbursements in recent years to a center for troubled youth founded by former Saints star Rickey Jackson. The audit, released Monday by Inspector General David McClintock’s office, said the Rickey Jackson Community Hope Center in Marrero… Continue reading →

Bill would expand veterans’ access to special court program in Jefferson, Orleans

A bill in the state House of Representatives would expand military veterans’ access to specialized probationary programs in Orleans Parish and Jefferson Parish courts — a change advocates say would help reduce recidivism by giving more defendants the counseling and treatment they need to turn their lives around. Judge Ellen Shirer Kovach, of the 24th Judicial… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish Sheriff's cruiser on way to burglary scene kills Marrero woman after hitting her car

Advocate staff photo by CHAD CALDER -- Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office deputies on the scene of a fatal crash in Marrero.

A Marrero woman was killed Monday morning when a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy crashed his cruiser into her 2011 Ford Crown Victoria at Barataria Boulevard and Mount Rushmore Drive. Mary Truxillo, 72, was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after the crash, which occurred about 9:20 a.m. She apparently turned east from Mount… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni assigns team to examine West Jefferson hospital lease deal

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Michael S. Yenni takes the oath of office as the new president of Jefferson parish from Judge Henry G. Sullivan as his wife Michelle Swanner Yenni holds the Bible. Seven council members, the sheriff, clerk of court and coroner also took the oath of office Wednesday, January 6, 2016 at the Jefferson Performing Arts Center.

Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni is having his staff “scrutinize the negotiations and valuations that led to the lease” of the parish-owned West Jefferson Medical Center, a deal that relied on fiscal information that now appears to have been badly off target. At a news conference Monday, Yenni said a team of top members of his… Continue reading →

Harahan mayor accused of politicizing former staff member’s resignation letter

Advocate staff photo by A.J. SISCO -- Harahan Mayor Tina Miceli at a Council meeting Thursday, April 16, 2015.

When Kevin Johnson stepped down as Harahan’s chief building inspector last month, his letter of resignation blamed corrosive political meddling by outsiders and called out two City Council members for treating him unprofessionally at a January meeting and making his job “distasteful and burdensome.” Now, however, Johnson says Mayor Tina Miceli wrote the letter laying the… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni pledges additional review steps to accompany forensic audit of West Jefferson hospital deal

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Michael S. Yenni takes the oath of office as the new president of Jefferson parish from Judge Henry G. Sullivan as his wife Michelle Swanner Yenni holds the Bible. Seven council members, the sheriff, clerk of court and coroner also took the oath of office Wednesday, January 6, 2016 at the Jefferson Performing Arts Center.

A forensic audit of West Jefferson Medical Center’s books won’t be the only review occurring after numbers at the center of last year’s hospital lease deal missed the mark by tens of millions of dollars, Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni pledged Friday. Additional steps will be “taken towards ensuring that the public” receives its due… Continue reading →

Grand Isle sunbather run over by island’s assistant police chief, authorities say

Birds are seen on the shoreline in Grand Isle, La.,in this Aug. 9, 2010, file photo. A Grand Isle police officer accidentally drove into a woman as she was sunbathing on the beach Thursday. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) ORG XMIT: LAGH101

The Grand Isle police officer who drove into a woman as she was sunbathing on the beach Thursday was the local department’s assistant chief, officials said Friday. Louisiana State Police Sgt. Nick Manale on Friday identified the Grand Isle officer involved in the incident a day earlier as Norris Esponge Jr. and… Continue reading →