Saturday, August 22, 2009

Go Down, Mose Jeff . . . .

All right! Now we're making some progress!

For the second time in less than a month's passage, we've looked on as TWO members of the Jefferson political machine family were served their just desserts. Earlier this week, "Dollar Bill's" brother, Mose, was convicted by a local jury on 4 of 7 counts in a federal indictment focusing on bribery of a public official.

It seems that, a few years ago, good brother Mose managed to get some $140,000 into the hands of former Orleans Parish School Board member, Ellenese Brooks-Simms, shortly before she rammed through a contract to purchase a software-based teaching system sold by one of Mr. Jefferson's commercial enterprises. Good ol' Mose argued that the money had nothing to do with the contract -- he was simply helping out a friend who was going through hard times. The trouble with his argument is that Ms. Brooks-Simms had already rolled and pleaded out. So, once again in the Jefferson Family saga, condemnatory recorded conversations surfaced, this time courtesy of the subject of the bribe.
Mose got off on the money-laundering count -- that's okay. Downright bribery is a little worse on the going-to-hell scale than re-purposing a few funds.

Next up -- after sentencing and the filing of an Appeal Petition -- the January trial of Mose, sister Betty Jefferson, her daughter, and a few others (including Mose's main squeeze, Renee Gill-Pratt -- former state legislator and New Orleans City Council member) for stealing funds not from mere school children in one of the poorest and most underperforming school districts in the country, but from other, multiple nonprofit groups dedicated to helping impoverished New Orleanians. That gives a whole new meaning to "movin' on up," don't you think?
The whole thing is beginning to resemble a Greek tragedy wherein hubris acts as the catalyst for the downfall of the once-mighty. Without the "pity" factor.

These people -- these successful people -- are supposed to be "role models" and poster children for pulling oneself out of poverty. But when someone emerges from the quicksand of poverty by climbing on the backs of those still being sucked down, he deserves a special comeuppance. It appears that, insofar as the Jefferson family is concerned, the comeuppance will be an extra heapin' helpin' of just desserts, served up cold, just as one would serve revenge.

With a little sugar on top for added sweetness.

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