Louisiana Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera
In installment one of this series on contractor Billy Broussard, we focused on on a FEMA contractor, Jeffrey Jones, misrepresenting himself as “FEMA” when he is actually a contractor with Fluor which, in turn, is a contractor with FEMA.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav, Brian Fairburn, the then-head of Livingston Parish’s Office of Emergency Preparedness, flatly blamed over $40 million in FEMA denial of claims on Jones’ misrepresentation and, during the 17 minutes Jones spoke on the first video of the preceding link for a meeting at the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s (LLA) Office on Wednesday, February 6, 2019, there can be no question he gave every indication that he is a FEMA employee, and those who did not know him beforehand certainly walked away with that mistaken perception.
In this installment of the series, we present Broussard placing the LLA’s office on the defensive by playing a stunning recorded tape at that same meeting at the LLA’s Office. On that recording, the former Deputy Director of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP), Mark DeBosier, bragged on his ability to get the LLA to “just hold their noses and stick their fingers in their ears” regarding approving FEMA project worksheets. Let’s take a look at Broussard dropping this bombshell on LLA’s John Morehead and Morehead’s reaction soon thereafter:
Broussard confronts Morehead on DeBosier’s bragging about his muscle with LLA and his ability to get them to “close their eyes and put their fingers in their ears.”
Note: Broussard supplied us with a copy of the tape he played, and we STRONGLY urge our subscribers to play it for two reasons:
#1) Since people are talking near the tape’s beginning, it’s advantageous to get a crystal-clear hearing of the tape, which can easily be done by CLICKING HERE.
# 2) Broussard failed to play the entire tape. He left out the first 0:20 of the 1:33 tape at the audio link above. Importantly, at the 0:12 mark (which Billy didn’t play at the meeting), DeBosier states, “There will be an end to it. I don’t know how long it’s going to take, but there’s too much money at stake.”
We’ll first note that, prior to the audio being played, Morehead is literally proud to “be the scales” that determine FEMA worksheet approval. He reinforces his total agreement with Broussard: “…By your own admission, LLA is the scale.” That’s a very emphatic statement of agreement with Broussard that “LAA is the scale.”
Nevertheless, upon Broussard saying, “I’m going to tell you how I feel about the scales,” and playing the audio file linked above, suddenly Morehead did a total 180 and emphatically denied that he’d indicated that the LAA is the scale. He attributed that statement to Broussard and Broussard alone.
Morehead then felt compelled to explain the damning statements uttered by DeBosier which are recorded on the tape, and he even went so far as to say Broussard had “impugned my office” by playing the tape. Morehead then says DeBosier’s comments should be taken in the “proper context” and that DeBosier is actually indicating that he intends to “override something LLA has written.”
Here’s our take on Morehead’s knee-jerk attempt to explain away DeBosier’s bold and damning statements: Morehead conveniently ignores the final words of DeBosier’s quote “We make sure that there’s no fingerprints on it.” Well, we find that statement to be: #1) extremely damning (as is “there’s too much money at stake,” but Morehead didn’t get to hear that, but Morehead’s simply ignoring the commentary about “fingerprints” is not a mere oversight — he KNOWS that’s damning!!), and #2) totally inconsistent with “placing the LLA’s Office on notice of an impending override.” Why? Because, if THAT was DeBosier’s intent, we should all expect to see GOHSEP’s and/or LLA’s fingerprints all over it, yet DeBosier goes out of his way to ensure any such fingerprints would essentially be wiped clean!
As an inactive CPA, Sound Off Louisiana‘s Robert Burns can vividly recall in auditing classes the coverage of the inherent conflicts of performing an audit engagement, and the biggest element of those conflicts is that it’s the client who is paying for the audit. Thus, the potential always exists for that client to exert influence over the auditor to produce the client’s desired result. When that transpires, the appropriate action is to draft a letter to the client terminating the audit contract and withdrawing from the engagement.
Morehead readily admits that “GOHSEP pays us to provide sunshine,” but there’s no denying the inherent conflict of GOHSEP paying for that “sunshine” and the potential for pressure to be exerted upon the LLA as a result of, as DeBosier readily admits, “pressure being placed on me.” To us, that seems to be the far more likely appropriate “context” in which DeBosier’s comments should be viewed (particularly with the “fingerprints” commentary on the end which Morehead fails to even acknowledge).
Since Mr. Purpera was not present for this meeting, we intend to provide him with the opportunity to appear on camera and provide his own explanation for DeBosier’s bold and damning statements entailing LLA. If he declines, we can only assume he is content with Morehead’s knee-jerk explanation of those comments which, being blunt, we don’t buy for one second!
Broussard has plenty more audio recording clips, and TRUST US FOLKS, the material that will be provided in Installment 3 of this series will blow your minds. You WILL NOT want to miss Installment 3 of this fascinating series!
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