Along with registered lobbyists like Lafayette’s Randy Haynie and former U.S. Rep. Bob Livingston, a slew of high profile individuals appears on a list of people identified as “lobbyists” by the embattled Jefferson Parish landfill company.
That list, seized by government officials when they raided River Birch’s Gretna offices last year, was obtained by The Times-Picayune. Among those on the list were Timmy Teepell, Gov. Jindal’s chief of staff, and Garret Graves, his executive assistant for coastal activities. Both deny any financial relationship with River Birch owner Fred Heebe.
Lafayette’s Henry Mouton, 54, admitted this summer to using his position as a Wildlife and Fisheries commissioner to lobby public officials statewide in an attempt to keep the Old Gentilly Landfill closed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He admitted to receiving 170 checks totaling $463,970 from an unidentified “co-conspirator” in return for his efforts, which also included trying to prevent the Two Rivers Recycling Landfill from opening in Catahoula Parish.
Mouton could spend up to five years in prison and a receive a maximum $250,000 fine after pleading guilty Wednesday afternoon to federal charges of conspiracy to receive bribes and illegal payoffs.
In its story published late last night, the T-P reported:
The list, obtained by The Times-Picayune, is a compendium of lawyers, consultants, journalists, political officials and some actual lobbyists who, at least tangentially, orbited the waste management issues that plagued the New Orleans area during the tumultuous months after Hurricane Katrina.
The list offers further evidence that Heebe’s River Birch Inc. ran a complex and concerted campaign to close the Old Gentilly Landfill in New Orleans, which had been shut down decades earlier as a possible environmental hazard but was reopened to collect construction and demolition debris after the 2005 storm.
Many of those on the list said this week they had never worked for Heebe or River Birch, indicating the list might be more a compilation of those who could exert some influence over the public perception of the Old Gentilly Landfill than a list of paid lobbyists.
Perhaps the most familiar name on the list is Garland Robinette, the WWL radio on-air personality who received $250,000 from Heebe in 2007 after using his talk show to question the environmental integrity of rival landfills.