It stinks. No, not the payroll fraud case against Aaron Broussard, which correctly seems to have found him as Jefferson Parish President illegally paying his wife for duties she did not and could not fulfill. We will say, though, it sure smells like a small haul for such a big fishing expedition by Jim Letten's U.S. Attorney's Office.
What really reeks is the collective body odor of the Letten, Landrieu, Serpas gang. Every newspaper or radio/tv report on the New Orleans crime plague seems to center on a theatrically staged press conference featuring these three characters acting like Wyatt Earp, Doc Holiday and Marshall Dillon. The U.S. Attorney, the Mayor, and the Police Chief have formed their own crime syndicate repertory company. Following on each new heinous event, they raise the curtain and collectively perform the latest dramatic plot turn in their epic effort to write crime off the streets.
Meanwhile, in the back rooms where the paper shuffle is danced about, it has been discovered that Chief Serpas's hire-in date (actually he is a re-hire) on his pension reinstatement form was entered incorrectly, in order to secure him a 3xs higher retirement payout, once he goes again. The fact that an apparently overlooked technicality would have allowed the desired result without the false dating of the form is of no moment in scoring this a blatant and obvious example of payroll fraud. None of the three crime fighters, however, admits to knowing or having much interest in finding out who was guilty of falsifying the document. Serpas claims to be clueless, much the same as he is often found to be regarding police work.
But, a casual observer might be forgiven for thinking that Serpas could only know as little about the form as Sean Payton does the Saints' playbook. Coach Payton drew up the football plays, and it is hard to believe that Serpas didn't fill out his own paperwork when the Mayor appointed him Chief. Moreover, the fact that the phony submittal was accepted without question is an obvious indication of internal corruption at City Hall. The lack of concern by U.S. Attorney Jim Letten regarding the possible collusion of his two buddies to game the system is itself a crime.