This is a story that Troy Hebert asked us to write.
It is also a story with much ado about formers.
Former Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) Director and current candidate for U.S. Senator Troy Hebert emailed LouisianaVoice earlier this week with a copy of a news story from the New Orleans CityBusiness Report, which quoted from a Baton Rouge Advocate story that Hebert had been cleared of wrongdoing in connection with alleged preferential treatment of certain applicants for liquor licenses from ATC. http://www.theadvertiser.com/story/news/2016/09/19/fbi-clears-former-atc-commissioner-troy-hebert/90714008/
With all the third-person reporting swirling around FBI agent Maurice Hattier Jr., former liquor lobbyist Chris Young, his brother, former Jefferson Parish President and former candidate for Lieutenant Governor John Young, and former State Sen. Julie Quinn, it’s rather difficult to stay focused on the actual legal proceedings in which Chris Young was asking Middle District Federal Court in Baton Rouge to formally dismiss child pornography charges against him.
Okay, that’s formal, not former, but you get the drift.
Chris Young, you will remember, was indicted on child porn charges after he forwarded a text containing a video of an underage boy having sex with a donkey (this sounds more and more like a Farrelly Brothers comedy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farrelly_brothers).
Hattier allegedly tried (rather crudely, if true) to lean on Chris Young to give up Hebert in order to grease the skids on his investigation of Hebert.
(Putting Hebert’s guilt or innocence aside, it is disconcerting to note that the FBI more and more relies on strong-arm tactics and witness intimidation to produce the desired results in its efforts to obtain indictments and convictions instead of traditional, less tainted methods.)
The sister of John and Chris Young was hired by Hebert for the New Orleans ATC office and sources told LouisianaVoice that anyone desiring a liquor permit from the state was referred to Chris Young for legal representation. Those same sources said that Chris Young rarely, if ever, actually appeared before an ATC hearing. Instead, sources said, all the details were worked out by Chris Young and Hebert behind closed doors.
The CityBusiness story said Hattier testified that the FBI had closed its investigation of claims of public corruption on Hebert’s part.
But things got really weird.
While correctly citing a joint effort by LouisianaVoice and Lee Zurick of WVUE-TV in New Orleans as the original source of the FBI investigation, CityBusiness then veered far off course when it reported, “Speculation centered on New Orleans attorney Julie Quinn as the source” of our story.
While CityBusiness is correct in saying we relied upon anonymous sources (because the sources feared retaliation if their identities were revealed) we can say with absolute certainty that Julie Quinn was not—repeat, was not—one of our sources.
Moreover, Quinn, a former state senator and former fiancé of John Young, was also described by CityBusiness as having competed with Chris Young for alcohol clients and having had “a rocky relationship with Chris Young while dating John Young.
“Quinn’s legal clients have run into ATC trouble with various permit issues and a strip club sting (Operation Trick or Treat was a statewide sting joint operation of ATC and Louisiana State Police last October) that involved drugs and prostitution.
Quinn on Monday told LouisianaVoice she had never represented a client before ATC. “I don’t do liquor licenses and I have never in my career represented a single client in a liquor permit matter,” she said.
Here is a copy of the email we received on Monday from Troy Hebert:
From: Troy Hebert [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, September 19, 2016 10:03 AM
To: Subject: Fw: Press Release: FBI clears former ATC Commissioner Troy Hebert
Please see the following article from the New Orleans Business Report. I respectfully ask that your media outlet give this story the same coverage/space/time to clear my good name as when/if your media outlet first reported the story.
U.S. Senate Candidate
No problem, Troy. Perhaps this will jump start your campaign and get your poll numbers up to 1 percent.
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