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September 14, 2005

La. Congressmen Uses Precious Federal Resources To Save Valuables From Own Home

Yeah, I know it's on Drudge. Stay with me. There's a little bit at the end that makes it worth reading again:

Amid the chaos and confusion that engulfed New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina struck, a congressman used National Guard troops to check on his property and rescue his personal belongings — even while New Orleans residents were trying to get rescued from rooftops, ABC News has learned.

...

ABC News that Jefferson, an eight-term Democratic congressman, asked the National Guard that night to take him on a tour of the flooded portions of his congressional district. A 5-ton military truck and a half dozen military police were dispatched.

Lt. Col. Pete Schneider of the Louisiana National Guard tells ABC News that during the tour, Jefferson asked that the truck take him to his home on Marengo Street, in the affluent uptown neighborhood in his congressional district. According to Schneider, this was not part of Jefferson's initial request.

...

The water reached to the third step of Jefferson's house, a military source familiar with the incident told ABC News, and the vehicle pulled up onto Jefferson's front lawn so he wouldn't have to walk in the water. Jefferson went into the house alone, the source says, while the soldiers waited on the porch for about an hour.

Emphasis mine. I'm buiding to something here.

Finally, according to the source, Jefferson emerged with a laptop computer, three suitcases, and a box about the size of a small refrigerator, which the enlisted men loaded up into the truck.

"I don't think there is any explanation for an elected official using resources for their own personal use, when those resources should be doing search and rescue, or they should be helping with law enforcement in the city," said Jerry Hauer, a homeland security expert and ABC News consultant.

The Louisiana National Guard tells ABC News the truck became stuck as it waited for Jefferson to retrieve his belongings.

...

The soldiers signaled to helicopters in the air for aid. Military sources say a Coast Guard helicopter pilot saw the signal and flew to Jefferson's home. The chopper was already carrying four rescued New Orleans residents at the time.

Okay, at the tail-end of the story, here comes the connecting-up part. Remember that laptop computer?

In an unrelated matter, authorities recently searched Jefferson's property as part of a federal investigation into the finances of a high-tech firm. Last month FBI officials raided Jefferson's house as well as his home in Washington, D.C., his car and his accountant's house.

...

Last week, Jefferson set up a special trust fund for contributions to his legal defense in light of the FBI investigation. A senior federal law enforcement source tells ABC News that investigators are interested in learning if Jefferson moved any materials relevant to the investigation. Jefferson says he did not.

Well, as long as he says so.

Thanks to DB.



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posted by Ace at 01:08 PM

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