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New Orleans Attorney Profiles 2015
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Jefferson Parish president candidate Mike Yenni raises $89,000 more than opponent Elton Lagasse in early part of year

Advocate staff photo by SUSAN BROADBRIDGE-- Michael S. Yenni takes the oath of office for a second term as Kenner Mayor during an inauguration ceremony at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner, La. Tuesday, July 1, 2014.

In the first part of the year, Jefferson Parish presidency candidate Mike Yenni raised about $89,000 more than his rival for the office, Elton Lagasse. But Lagasse this year has spent slightly more than Yenni — $8,110, according to campaign finance reports filed Thursday. It’s hard to draw too many conclusions concerning… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish’s Personnel Department opposes raising minimum wage for parish employees

Jefferson Parish Councilman Mark D. Spears

After studying the matter at the request of a Parish Council member, Jefferson Parish’s Personnel Department for now does not favor raising the minimum wage for parish workers by $1.72 an hour. The department said increasing the minimum wage for parish employees to $10.51 an hour would cost $442,000, “a substantial sum.” The report on a… Continue reading →

Kenner looks to boost youth athletics by leasing playgrounds to private operators

Advocate staff photo by RUSTY COSTANZA --  David Culpepper, Operations Director for the Association of Volleyball Professionals, checks the height of a volleyball net after installing a system to adjust net height at Coconut Beach in Kenner on Friday, April 24, 2015.

Responding to a falling number of participants in municipal youth athletics programs, Kenner City Council members have approved a measure that would allow the city to lease more of its playgrounds to private sports clubs and leagues. The city still intends to offer youth sports at playgrounds it doesn’t lease out, said Councilman Dominick… Continue reading →

Outgoing interim Jefferson Schools superintendent hopes to retain a role under new administration

Michelle Blouin-Williams

Passed over last week for the top position in the Jefferson Parish Public School System, Acting Superintendent Michelle Blouin-Williams said Wednesday she nevertheless hopes to retain a leadership role in a district she’s been a part of for 26 years. The man who beat her out for the job as the long-term successor to… Continue reading →

Jefferson schools superintendent’s proposed contract drawn up without whole School Board’s input, 2 members say

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- New Superintendent, Jefferson Parish school system, Isaac Joseph. Wednesday, April 15, 2015.

UPDATE, Wednesday, April 22, 2015, 7:15 p.m.: The School Board unanimously approved a contract paying new superintendent Isaac Joseph an annual salary of $200,000 for a term beginning May 1 and running through Dec. 31, 2016. That had been amended from a contract originally proposed for Joseph on Tuesday, which was for an annual salary of $230,000 and… Continue reading →

East Jefferson Hospital board calls off lease talks with potential operator HCA

Advocate staff photo by JOHN MCCUSKER -- East Jefferson General Hospital, Metairie, Tuesday, July 9, 2013.

After protracted negotiations, East Jefferson General Hospital’s board of directors announced Monday that, for the second time, efforts to reach a lease deal to have Hospital Corp. of America run the parish-owned medical center have failed. Hospital officials gave few details about the reason for the collapse, other than that it involved… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish IG disappointed proposed operational changes were deferred without ‘communication beforehand’

As Jefferson Parish Inspector General David McClintock tells it, he spent 25 days seeking feedback from parish council members about a package of legislation pertaining to his office’s operation that he asked them to consider passing. No one mentioned a word to him about the matter, he said — until it came up for discussion… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish paid $1.49 million in overtime to employees it’s not required to give it to, audit finds

Advocate photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Jefferson Parish Inspector General David McClintock speaks before the Parish Council Wednesday, January 15, 2014.

While they made up only about 6 percent of Jefferson Parish’s government workforce, 195 employees who are not owed overtime pay under federal law racked up 22 percent of the overtime compensation doled out by the parish administration in 2013, according to an audit report released Wednesday. The audit from Jefferson Parish Inspector General… Continue reading →

3 deaths in drainage canals prompt Jefferson officials to explore installing more car barricades

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--In light of recent deaths of motorists driving into drainage canals in Jefferson Parish, the Parish council is looking at putting safety rails in place like these barriers on a U-turn and both directions of traffic on W. Napoleon Ave. near Cleary Ave in Metairie, La. Wednesday, April 15, 2015.

After three people died in two cars that plunged into Metairie drainage canals in recent days, Jefferson Parish officials on Wednesday said they will explore what it would cost to erect crash barriers alongside canals in heavily trafficked areas. The focus would be on those spots because not all of the 340 miles of… Continue reading →

Isaac Joseph selected as new Jefferson Parish schools superintendent

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- New Superintendent, Jefferson Parish school system, Isaac Joseph. Wednesday, April 15, 2015.

Isaac Joseph, executive director of grants and federal programs for the Jefferson Parish Public School System, was chosen Wednesday to be the system’s next superintendent. Joseph, who was approved by a swift 6-3 vote of the Parish School Board, is a 29-year veteran of the Jefferson Parish system and will take the reins May 1. The board… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish Council authorizes settlement in red-light camera fines litigation

Ending a drawn-out court battle over the parish’s controversial former red-light traffic cameras, the Jefferson Parish Council on Wednesday agreed to a settlement that, if approved by the court, would allow drivers who were fined for red-light violations to recover a portion of the money they paid. Council President Chris Roberts announced the settlement… Continue reading →

Louis Congemi says he’ll run for at-large Jefferson council seat, not district one

At least for now, former Kenner mayor and Jefferson Parish councilman Louis Congemi wants his political comeback to happen at the expense of either Chris Roberts or Cynthia Lee-Sheng. Congemi on Monday said he intends to run for one of two at-large posts on the Jefferson Parish Council during the Oct. 24 primary election, and not for… Continue reading →

Grand Prix of Louisiana has officials hopeful big race leads to West Jefferson boom

Advocate Photo by VERONICA DOMINACH-- The Chevrolet powered Dallara IndyCar, left,  is prepared for the Verizon IndyCar Series race on a newly-configured 13-turn, 2.67-mile road course at NOLA Motorsports Park in New Orleans, La. Thursday, April 9, 2015. The Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana, held April 10-12, will feature a three-day festival combining LouisianaÕs culture Ð including live musical acts, entertainment and local cuisine Ð with the excitement of a Verizon IndyCar Series event.

Spectators’ attention will be focused this weekend on NOLA Motorsports’ 3-mile asphalt racetrack for the inaugural Grand Prix of Louisiana in Avondale, but economic development officials are hoping the event will put a much larger piece of real estate on the radar of visitors and, in some cases, their companies. The 750-acre racing park developed by… Continue reading →

'Innocent people are going to get killed if this crap continues,' Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand says after Monday's fatal Harvey shooting

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ--Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand yells as he address the media about Jefferson Parish deputies finding marijuana, firearms and ammunition in the vehicle of Desmond Willis, a man fatally shot by deputies this week. Authorities say Willis began firing at them after a traffic stop in Harvey , La. Wednesday, April 8, 2015.

At a news conference called to defend his agency’s fourth officer-involved shooting of the year, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand on Wednesday warned his constituents to “wake up” ... Continue reading →

Victim identified in early morning shooting in Harvey

Authorities have identified the man shot early Tuesday morning in West Jefferson as Stacy Johnson Jr., 20, of 3889 Chriswood Lane in Harvey. Officers reponding to reports of gunshots around 12:45 a.m. arrived at 3716 Clover Lane in Harvey to discover Johnson dead and Robert Cooley III, 19, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. They also found… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish Inspector General David McClintock aims to crack down on contracts, travel expenses, use and cost of credit and debit cards

Advocate photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Jefferson Parish Inspector General David McClintock speaks before the Parish Council Wednesday, January 15, 2014.

During his second full year in office, Jefferson Parish Inspector General David McClintock intends to audit the parish government’s contracts, travel expenses, cash transactions and the use and cost of credit and debit cards, he said in an annual report released this week. Issues related to the awarding and management of contracts in Jefferson… Continue reading →

Girl, 17, jailed after allegedly performing sex acts with boy, 14, in Bonnabel classroom

Photo provided by Google Maps -- Alfred Bonnabel Magnet Academy High School

A 17-year-old girl was jailed Monday after she told a deputy that she and a 14-year-old boy had gone into a vacant classroom at Bonnabel Magnet Academy High School and performed sex acts on each other, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. Tina Chong, a spokeswoman for the parish’s public school system, said… Continue reading →

Former State Rep. John LaBruzzo says Jefferson Parish Council may be where he attempts political comeback

Advocate staff photo by Bill Feig Former State Rep. John LaBruzzo, R-Metairie, at the State Capitol in Baton Rouge, La.., in June 2011.

Whenever he goes to the grocery store or brings his daughters to dance classes, former Louisiana State Rep. John LaBruzzo of Metairie says he hears the same question: When are you getting back into politics? The answer these days has been: Quite possibly for the Oct. 24 primary election for a Metairie-based seat on the Jefferson Parish… Continue reading →

High school student punched by Jefferson Parish deputy seeks more than $5 million in federal lawsuit

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Brady Becker stands with friends outside his home in Reserve. His face still carries the bruises from his arrest last Friday night by an undercover JPSO detective.

The mother of a high school student repeatedly punched in the face last month by a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy has filed a civil rights lawsuit, accusing Sheriff Newell Normand of promoting a culture in which deputies are rewarded for using excessive force. The lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in New Orleans, seeks… Continue reading →

Gretna council approves $17.6 million spending plan

The Gretna City Council unanimously approved a $17.6 million general-fund spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year at a special meeting Wednesday night. The action came with little discussion. The city projects general-fund revenue of $16.7 million, with the difference coming from revenue from Boomtown Casino. Total projected expenditures are down 5 percent… Continue reading →