Lee Zurik Investigation: AG wants more time on `Dirty Deeds` - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Lee Zurik Investigation: AG wants four more months for `Dirty Deeds` report

Researcher Keith Cressionnie testifies before the State Mineral Board in Baton Rouge Wednesday Researcher Keith Cressionnie testifies before the State Mineral Board in Baton Rouge Wednesday
Assistant Attorney General Ryan Seidemann at Wednesday's board meeting Assistant Attorney General Ryan Seidemann at Wednesday's board meeting

"Obviously, you are making progress…?" State Mineral Board member Tom Arnold asked Assistant Attorney General Ryan Seidemann at Wednesday's board meeting in Baton Rouge.

"Yes," Seidemann confirmed – but he made clear that the AG's office has not made enough progress to give the Mineral Board a report on its investigation into oil royalties dating back to the 1930's.

Seidemann told the board, "We are taxed beyond our limit."

The AGs office asked the Mineral Board for a four-month extension.

Back in May, the Mineral Board voted for the attorney general to look into findings from a series of FOX 8 News reports that showed oil leases handed out in the 1930's by Governors James Noe and O.K. Allen.  A portion of those leases then were re-directed back to the governors' company -- the Win or Lose Corporation, formed by yet another former governor, Huey Long.

Descendants of those three former governors still benefit from those leases today -- all totaled they've made more than $400 million.

Seidemann said, "I have not been alive for the duration of these issues.  And so it is a learning curve."

The Mineral Board unanimously passed the resolution, giving the attorney general a four-month extension.

"The true wealth of our state was stolen by conspiracy, collusion, apparent fraud, intimidation and neglect of the public good," testified  independent researcher Norman Billiot.

Billiot and co-researcher Keith Cressionnie have spent 30 years looking into the three former governors' scheme.  They asked the Mineral Board to approve the extension, but also to stay on top of the attorney general.

Cressionnie told board members, "I have over 3,000 names of Louisiana citizens that wrote in and just signed the petitions and approve of what we're doing and rooting for us.  So, picture 3,000 guys in here right now, you know, wanting the same answers."

" I think half of them have called me as well," acknowledged Arnold.

Cressionnie wants a fair investigation and wonders if that's happening, since two of Louisiana's most powerful politicians have taken campaign contributions from descendants who are still making the money.

The Attorney General, [Buddy] Caldwell, and Governor [Bobby] Jindal have received campaign contributions from the heirs,"  Cressionnie testified.  "That concerns me as Joe Citizen, as to where I stand."

The AG's request gives until May to come back to the Mineral Board with a report.  The AG's office could ask for additional time, because researching Win or Lose remains so complicated.

Seidemann testified, "The actual history and, more importantly from our perspective, the legal nuances and the law that applies and things like that are things that I don't know intuitively know – neither does my staff.  So we're having to back up, learn and research this thing.  The issues are vast.  They are, if correct, significant."

It's significant in that, if the state recovers these leases, it would bring at least an additional $30 million to Louisiana every year -- money now going to descendants of three former governors could instead go toward funding our kids' educations, repairing roads and taking care of the sick. 

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    Thursday, April 27 2017 12:17 AM EDT2017-04-27 04:17:43 GMT
    Friday, April 28 2017 11:32 PM EDT2017-04-29 03:32:02 GMT
    Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children.

    more>>

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children. 

    more>>
  • Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

    Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

        One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction.  She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    more>>

    One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction. She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    more>>
  • Homeless man gets makeover from big-hearted cops

    Homeless man gets makeover from big-hearted cops

    Tuesday, April 25 2017 2:44 PM EDT2017-04-25 18:44:10 GMT
    Tuesday, April 25 2017 3:49 PM EDT2017-04-25 19:49:50 GMT

    Police officers in Rome, NY, went the extra mile to give back to their community, helping one in need.

    more>>

    Police officers in Rome, NY, went the extra mile to give back to their community, helping one in need.

    more>>
Powered by Frankly