On Monday night, City Councilor Brad Lown spoke in approval of a separation agreement for Stephen DuBois, a Police Chief who had been accused of financial exploitation. The case allegedly states that Goodwin, a police officer working under DuBois, had worked on a case involving an elderly resident and was later gifted her house in her will. The suit filed claims that the elderly lady was exploited by DuBois though Lown has openly said he had limited involvement on the case, only being a late arrival.
This was met with disagreement from attorney Paul McEachern, who acted as co-counsel during the validity case which resulted in a finding that Sgt. Aaron Goodwin, since terminated from the police force, had gained control of the elderly resident’s estate, worth more than $2m, unlawfully.
The Severance Deal
Early in October, Lown advised his fellow councilors to agree to the endorsement of a revised separation agreement with Chief DuBois, which would see him leave his position in the police force by the 1st January and then pay him three months of severance pay. With two years left on DuBois’ contract, it was hoped that this deal would be cheaper than having to fork out for the cost of a lawsuit.
Lown noted also that DuBois has served in the Police Department for twenty-two years, and said that at the time DuBois became chief, no wrongdoing was found involving Goodwin and Webber by the state, after an independent investigation into the matter was conducted.
No Evidence of an Offense
Lown said that he agrees DuBois has made mistakes, but he doesn’t see any evidence of an offense worth terminating the chief. According to Lown, the severance agreement is the best option, as any alternatives are worse.
However, McEachern says that there was ‘no particular reason’ as to why DuBois did not testify in court during the ten-day probate hearing which was held to dispute the inheritance left to Goodwin by Webber. He states that other officers who did testify, including former deputy chief Corey MacDonald, said that the entire command staff knew from as early as January 2011 that Ms. Webber had wanted to leave Goodwin her house, with DuBois being amongst those who were aware of this.
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Friends Off Duty
MacDonald testified during the hearing in April that by February of 2011, the fact that Aaron Goodwin was believed to be in receipt of a house left to him as an inheritance by Webber, who he had met whilst on duty a few months prior, was common knowledge. According to MacDonald, the then-police chief Lou Ferland, DuBois – then deputy – and three different police captains were all aware that Goodwin was expecting to inherit a house. MacDonald also included in his testimony that the police made a policy decision in relation to the relationship between Goodwin and Webber, stating that an agreement had been reached that Goodwin would be friends with Webber off-duty, and would not get involved in any police business which was pertaining to her. If you want to know about pharmaceutical fraud you should contact pharmaceutical fraud attorneys.
Webber’s designated personal police contact was Police Capt. Mike Schwartz.
In New Orleans news, not-for-profit organization the Birthing Project USA is currently being sued by its former executive director, who has filed claims that the organization has failed to pay back wages which she is owed.
Joia Crear-Perry, who is a practicing New Orleans doctor specializing in Obstetrics and Gynecology, filed suit against The Birthing Project USA on July 9 in the New Orleans Parish District Court. Perry alleges that the Birthing Project USA has not paid her past due wages, and that she was in an agreement with the organization dated on Dec 30, 2014 to serve as their executive director during a time period dated Jan 1, 2015 to April 30, 2015. Perry has raised allegations that for reasons other than any failure of hers to fulfil the obligations included in her contract with the Birthing Project, her employment was terminated in February 2015.
The plaintiff is a public health expert who has received a number of awards and honors, including the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust Award in 2006 and the Tulane Xavier Center for Excellence in Women’s Health Award. She has an appointment as a National Institutes of Health Student Fellow, and has served as a director for various clinical services for the City of New Orleans Health Department. In addition, she has served on the executive committee of the New Orleans Medical Association. According to fellow doctors, she has an outstanding reputation as not only a clinician in her chosen practice, but also as an administrator. Do you have information about Pharmaceutical Fraud? If No you should visit http://www.mahanyertl.com/pharmaceutical-fraud-whistleblowers/
The Birthing Project USA describes itself as ‘the only national African American maternal and child health program in the USA’. According to their website, they are a volunteer effort to encourage better outcomes of birth and provide practical support to women both during pregnancy and for a year after the birth of their children.
Since her employment was terminated without good and just cause, Crear-Perry argues that she is entitled to the full salary which she would have received had she been able to carry out the full term of her services. The plaintiff claims that the Birthing Project gave an insufficient reason for terminating her employment, stating their reason as being to move forward with their plans to hire a permanent executive director as well as re-locate their national office to a permanent location.
In the majority of states, employees are presumed to be employed at will, meaning that their employment can be terminated immediately and for no reason. However, this does not apply to the case brought by Crear-Perry, as she was covered by an employment contract. The early termination of her contract due to the alleged reasons puts the Birthing Project in breach of employment law.
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Joia Crear-Perry is represented by Jerome J. Pellerin, and the case has been assigned to Judge Piper D.Griffin. The defendant, the Birthing Project USA is accused of breach of contract, with an unspecified amount in damages sought for including both wages owed and attorney’s fees. The case number is 2015-06550.