Former Mayor Ray Nagin called to New Orleans as witness in civil lawsuit

Nagin returns to New Orleans to testify in civil case

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is expected to be in New Orleans on Thursday as a witness in a civil case between two between a landfill owner and Waste Management of Louisiana.

According to federal court documents, the plaintiff, Waste Management, and defendant, River Birch Inc., which is owned by Fred Heebe, asked the court to bring the former mayor to New Orleans for a deposition.

The original lawsuit was filed in 2011. Waste Management alleged that River Birch engaged in a long-running conspiracy to limit and exclude competition for landfill disposal services around New Orleans.

The defendants also include Heebe, the owner of Shadow Lake Management, Co., which is the parent corporation of River Birch, and Albert Ward who is the father-in-law of Heebe and former president of River Birch.

The plaintiff stated in court documents the company suffered direct injury as a result of the defendants' actions in two instances: the premature closure of the Chef Menteur landfill in 2006 as part of a scheme to transfer more Hurricane Katrina clean-up debris to River Birch's landfill. Also, the efforts to prematurely oust the plaintiff as operator of the Jefferson Parish landfill as part of a scheme to transfer the Parish's municipal solid waste to River Birch landfill under an exclusive 25-year contract.

Waste Management claimed Nagin received $20,000 in campaign funds from four companies tied to Heebe. Waste Management claims these were bribes.