MORE HEAT ON MAYOR TYLER IN WATER UNDER-BILLING LAWSUIT
Thursday, June 15, 2017 … 8:32 P.M. …
A “Motion to Compel” filed in the Caddo District Court public record yesterday has notably increased political and legal pressure on Shreveport Mayor Ollie Tyler.
The lawsuit – Suit No.: 596,181-A, Sand Beach Properties, LLC v. City of Shreveport – was filed last October by attorney Jerald “Jerry” Harper. According to the Louisiana Secretary of State, the company’s only two officers are Scott Pernici and Michael Wainwright.
My initial article about the lawsuit was written and published online on October 15, 2016, linked below.
Harper’s Motion to Compel asks the Court to …
“… enter an Order directing Ollie Tyler to answer the questions posed and any questions related to those areas of inquiry as set forth in more detail above.”
At issue are questions about any investigation(s) now underway which arose from the water / sewer under-billing botch. A charge publicly leveled by Tyler in that context has now back-fired, and then some.
In an October 17, 2016, article in the Shreveport Times, reporter Alexa Talamo wrote …
“… Tyler said last week that she thought the city was being subjected to “blackmail.” She further said Pernici and Wainwright could not have determined the error without insider knowledge. She says the matter remains under investigation.” (SEE link below.)
When Tyler was first deposed by Harper almost four months later, on February 10, 2017, she was asked about the investigations to which she had earlier and publicly referred. In yesterday’s filing, Harper summarizes his point this way …
… “In public statements, Tyler suggested that a criminal investigation of Michael Wainwright and Scott Pernici (principals of Sand Beach Properties, LLC) had been initiated. Also, she made public statements to suggest that the information claimed by Pernici as confidential and proprietary had, in ‘fact,’ been provided to him by a ‘mole’ in the City of Shreveport which was also ‘being investigated.’”
Tyler, with the assistance of the City’s attorney, Julie Lafargue, refused – in many different ways – to answer any such questions. Harper responded by scheduling a second deposition for May 16, 2017.
In that deposition, Harper returned to pressing Mayor Tyler about the investigations she said were underway:
HARPER: Whose conduct was being investigated?
TYLER: Anyone who had any knowledge about the water-billing error.
HARPER: Well, who would that have included? Who did you know that that included?
TYLER: I did not know.
HARPER: Well, so was there anybody outside your administration whose conduct you wanted investigated?
HARPER: So, the investigation was an investigation of your administration’s activities?
LAFARGUE (Tyler / City of Shreveport attorney): I’m going to object …
Harper made no headway after Lafargue’s objection. His subject “Motion to Compel” is the result.
Harper’s insistence is in no way theatrical or inconsequential, and the key is this question: “So, the investigation was an investigation of your administration’s activities?”
Tyler made it publicly clear from the jump that the water / sewer under-billing matters trace back to her predecessor, Cedric Glover. As Harper hones in on questions about who is being investigated, Tyler will not identify whether it is her’s, Glover’s or both.
Given that top city officials and handlers work or have worked for both Glover and Tyler, there are many possible targets.
More to the point of the subject Motion, the clients of Harper are not among them.
© 2017 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
October 17, 2016, Talamo article in Shreveport Times: