EVERYBODY in the NOLA blogpocheh will be linking to this one today concerning the Walking Id's emails:
The e-mails lend credence to allegations made in a civil lawsuit filed by the city's first two crime-camera contractors, Southern Electronics and Active Solutions, that is being monitored by federal law enforcement. The suit, which targets Meffert, St. Pierre, Nagin, and the city, among others, claims that in their capacity as city employees or contractors doing city work, Meffert and his tech-savvy pals filched the blueprint for a wireless crime-camera setup from the two companies.
The suit in part revolves around the relationship between Meffert and St. Pierre.
Sometime after 2002, St. Pierre became the managing partner of Imagine Software, the firm owned by former Meffert employees that ran the mayor's technology office for the first few years of the administration.
In 2005, St. Pierre and his three Imagine partners bought a yacht that Meffert often bragged of owning and was allowed to use. After Hurricane Katrina, a St. Pierre firm also provided an employee, Jimmy Goodson, whose duties included acting as bodyguard and chauffeur to Meffert and captaining the yacht. Taxpayers picked up Goodson's $156,000 annual salary.
St. Pierre also founded NetMethods and Veracent, both of which eventually got city work. NetMethods was a subcontractor to Earthlink on the city's post-Katrina deal to install free wireless Internet access citywide. Veracent was a subcontractor to Dell on a city crime-camera contract.
St. Pierre did not respond to phone or e-mail messages. Meffert's attorney, Randy Smith, did not directly answer questions about his client's business relationship with St. Pierre but said his client will be "vindicated" in the end.The Trouble here in River City is truly coming to light, and the Mayor's office didn't want it to.
Clay's comment on Clancy Dubos' Gambit blog post on the latest shows how serious this all is:
The interoperability contract, quite frankly, justifies lethal injection for Meffert and crew.
Meffert caused the city to lose a grant to purchase interoperable communications equipment for all first responders (EMT’s, police, fire) because he wanted to favor a particular bidder (Imagine or one of its unholy offspring).
This all happened in the months leading up to Katrina. The big one hits and nobody can talk to anybody and lots of people died as a result.
Meanwhile, Minnesota had its ducks in a row for the same grant, got the equipment, and it was critical in the first few minutes after the bridge collapse. There was one ambulance set up on a hill that coordinated the entire response (police to cordon off the area, firemen to go after people in the water and pull people out of cars, and EMT’s to set up first aid stations).
If you want a couple of hundred cases of negligent manslaughter, there you go.