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Mother Jones report: Federal court tosses out James O’Keefe’s libel suit in Mary Landrieu’s 2010 office incident

James O'Keefe

A federal court in New Jersey threw out James O’Keefe’s libel lawsuit steming from a MainJustice news website article that detailed O’Keefe’s involvement in gaining access to then U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office in 2010, according to a report published in Mother Jones. O’Keefe, a conservative filmaker, filed a lawsuit in 2013 claiming he was libeled… Continue reading →

Online commenting scandal involving ex-New Orleans prosecutors Sal Perricone, Jan Mann shrouded in secrecy despite new report

Sal Perricone, Jan Mann

A long-hidden report finally made its way into daylight this week, but the result isn’t quite a paragon of transparency. Three years after scandal shook the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Orleans, the Justice Department this week released the findings of a wide-ranging and widely watched misconduct probe that blasted former prosecutors Sal Perricone and Jan… Continue reading →

New Orleans board approves leasing World Trade Center building for Four Seasons project

Advocate staff file photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  New Orleans Building Corp. on Tuesday gave permission to sight a lease agreement with a development team.

Pushing aside the objection of one of the teams on the losing end of last week’s decision approving development of a Four Seasons hotel and condominiums inside the former World Trade Center building, the New Orleans Building Corp. on Tuesday gave its executive director permission to sign a lease agreement for the site with the development team of… Continue reading →

Attorney for Bourbon Street shooting suspect Trung Le pitches argument to secure witness names

Trung T. Le

A prosecutor with Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office acknowledged Tuesday that it can’t withhold the names of witnesses to last summer’s Bourbon Street shooting unless it can prove to a judge that their safety is in danger. But just when lawyers for accused shooter Trung Le might get those names remained in doubt after… Continue reading →

Photos released of escaped inmate -- an accused murderer with mental illness history last seen in Mid-City-area of New Orleans

Lorenzo Conner

A murder suspect’s brazen early morning escape Tuesday from a state van touched off a disjointed, multiple-agency manhunt through Mid-City that continued into the evening with no sign of his whereabouts. Lorenzo Conner, whose mental state convinced a judge last year to rule him incompetent and return him to an East Feliciana Parish hospital, somehow rid… Continue reading →

20-year-old man fatally shot on Mayo Boulevard

New Orleans police report a 20-year-old man was fatally shot in the 6800 block of Mayo Boulevard around 8:30 p.m. Monday. Police said when officers arrived at the scene, the victim was lying in the street with multiple gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene, and has not yet been identified. Homicide Detective… Continue reading →

Justice Department report scathing in its findings of former federal prosecutors Sal Perricone, Jan Mann

Sal Perricone, Jan Mann

Sal Perricone, the former federal prosecutor, hid behind a computer for years, assailing criminals, New Orleans attorneys and judges in vitriolic comments he penned under online news articles using an array of aliases. But when confronted in March 2012 by his boss, former U.S. Attorney Jim Letten, Perricone removed his mask in a heartbeat, owning up… Continue reading →

Mayor names new economic development adviser

Rebecca Conwell

Mayor Mitch Landrieu is bringing on a new adviser who has experience in governmental relations and coalition building for both Tulane University and a private consulting firm to guide his administration’s economic development efforts. Rebecca Conwell will serve as Landrieu’s senior adviser for economic development, according to a press release from the city. She replaces… Continue reading →

Hearing about Chinese drywall damage scheduled April 28

An attorney says last week’s $3.2 million payment for Chinese drywall damages to seven houses is a good sign for thousands of others in at least six states. Plaintiffs’ attorney Russ Herman says it seems now to be a matter of proving damages for up to 4,000 other people who sued Taishan… Continue reading →

Brad Pitt foundation sues manufacturer over allegedly defective wood

Advocate Photo by VERONICA DOMINACH -- One of the Make It Right homes that has the 4 years old wooden floorboards on December 20, 2013 in New Orleans. Make It Right is tearing up and rebuilding porches and steps on about 30 homes after finding that a special type of wood that was used during construction isn't holding up after a couple years.

Actor Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation is suing the maker of a supposedly glass-infused wood that the nonprofit group used to build decks and stairs at dozens of homes in the Hurricane Katrina-ravaged Lower 9th Ward. The group says the innovative product began rotting prematurely despite a 40-year guarantee. The 12-page lawsuit, filed… Continue reading →

New Orleans superintendent Henderson Lewis Jr. expects schools to return to local control

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- The OPSB's new superintendent, Henderson Lewis, center, visited Edna Karr Charter Friday March 27, 2015. He spoke to students like Damian Johnson. At left is principal Harold Clay.

The state took over most New Orleans public schools in 2005 after years of rock-bottom test scores and financial crisis. Henderson Lewis Jr. wants them back. He’s the new superintendent for the Orleans Parish School Board, the local body that used to govern all of the city’s public schools. And in a wide-ranging interview… Continue reading →

Neighbors file lawsuit to block Cafe Habana project

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Sean Meenan, who owns and operates Cafe Habana and Habana Outpost restaurants in New York, California and Dubai, has proposed putting one at a long abandoned gas station at the corner of North Rampart and Esplanade Tuesday, September 3, 2013. This is the corner in 1939.

Four French Quarter residents have filed suit against the City Council and City Planning Commission to try to block construction of a Cuban restaurant at Esplanade Avenue and North Rampart Street. The Civil District Court lawsuit — filed by Charles Garber Jr., Rodney Villarreal, Rene Fransen and Edward Bonin — says the commission and the council… Continue reading →

Plans for CBD hotel, French Quarter restaurant withdrawn

Preservationists and French Quarter residents were handed twin victories last week when controversial projects proposed for the Quarter and the Central Business District were withdrawn. Developers, at least for now, will not move forward with a plan to demolish several mid-19th-century buildings at Canal and Tchoupitoulas streets and replace them with a 20-story hotel tower. The… Continue reading →

New names at Galatoire’s: Louisiana shipbuilding magnate 'Boysie' Bollinger, banker John C. Simpson join expanded ownership group

Photo provided by Michael Terranova - John Simpson, left, and  Donald "Boysie" Bollinger have joined the ownership group of the French Creole dining landmark Galatoire's.

Though certain dishes and many traditions at Galatoire’s Restaurant seem immune to change, the ownership group controlling the historic French Quarter restaurant has been much more open to re-evaluation. This week, that group added two high-profile members, with Louisiana shipbuilding magnate Donald “Boysie” Bollinger and banker John C. Simpson becoming minority owners. John Georges,… Continue reading →

UNO to honor Gordon ‘Nick’ Mueller, and other news of higher education

The University of New Orleans will present Gordon “Nick” Mueller with an honorary doctorate during its spring commencement May 15 at the Lakefront Arena. Mueller is a former history professor and administrator at UNO, as well as a driving force behind the creation of the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. “Nick Mueller’s… Continue reading →

City Park promises legal action against trespassers trying to block new golf course

Photo provided by Jon Hopper -- City Park officials were notified of the latest act of vandalism and trespassing occurring near the construction site of the new golf course. An individual apparently vandalized the security fence around the site with three other individuals that were wearing masks. One individual allegedly possessed at least two incendiary devices while establishing a position in a tree.

Officials at New Orleans City Park are threatening legal action after a third trespasser climbed a tree at a construction site to protest a new golf course being built on a portion of the park’s Couturie Forest. The park’s statement Saturday night came two days after a group called the City Park for Everyone Coalition filed… Continue reading →

Winning offer for World Trade Center site guarantees New Orleans exactly what it wants -- big money

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON-- Ships travel along the Mississippi River next to the World Trade Center building in New Orleans, La. Friday, June 13, 2014.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration has never been shy about expressing what it hoped to gain from leasing the former World Trade Center building for redevelopment: money. And a lot of it. When a previous developer, after more than six months of negotiating, refused to raise his financial offer for rights to the riverfront site, he… Continue reading →

Crimestoppers to start paying rewards sooner

Crimestoppers of Greater New Orleans no longer will require tipsters to wait until a defendant is indicted before they can collect reward money for providing information that helps law enforcement to crack cases. With the exception of homicide cases, tipsters will be paid their full cash reward following an arrest in a felony investigation, even if… Continue reading →

In New Orleans, ‘eligible’ delinquents increasingly routed to adult courts, prisons

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD --  Joshua Jones, 17, walks to the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court Tuesday, January 27, 2015, for a court appearance on an armed robbery charge. After testing positive for marijuana, the judge revoked his bail and remanded him to jail.

One young man’s story sticks with Judge Mark Doherty. The teen had made his way to Juvenile Court twice before for minor offenses. Then it got worse. “He got arrested for a crime of violence which basically, next to murder, is the worst thing — an armed robbery,” Doherty said. Doherty, who has spent… Continue reading →

Special report, video: Story of McDonogh 35 student at heart of key question: Do young armed robbers belong in adult court?

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD --  Joshua Jones, 17, walks to the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court Tuesday, January 27, 2015, for a court appearance on an armed robbery charge. After testing positive for marijuana, the judge revoked his bail and remanded him to jail.

Here came trouble in a lemon V-neck sweater, necktie and pressed khakis. Joshua Jones, 17, arrived in court on a January morning looking every ounce the fly-right prep student, down to the McDonogh 35 lanyard dangling from his crisp white collar. “I’m just taking one day at a time,” he said, doe-eyed, repeating a… Continue reading →

New Orleans officials hope to move young offenders awaiting trial out of Orleans Parish Prison

New Orleans City Councilwoman Susan Guidry took a first stab last week at dealing with one thorny aspect of the city’s handling of accused juvenile delinquents: where youths headed to adult court should be kept while they await trial. Should they be treated as adults and held in Orleans Parish Prison? Or should they… Continue reading →

Feds’ probe of former St. Charles DA Harry Morel continues with fresh subpoena

Federal authorities apparently are continuing to investigate a once-rejected case involving alleged sexual misconduct by former longtime St. Charles Parish District Attorney Harry Morel. At least one new subpoena was issued in the past month. Although the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2013 declined to bring charges against Morel, The New Orleans… Continue reading →

Photos, video from New Orleans City Park construction protests

Aiming to halt construction to preserve a Live Oak tree in City Park, Saturday a protester sat in the tree while others rallied in support.

According to the community group City Park for Everyone Coalition, the tree is located in Couturie Forest of City Park. However, the protestor is not acting on behalf of the coalition. This is not the first… Continue reading →