Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Rule of Law over the Comite River


Family: Business closures illegal


BATON ROUGE, La. -- Two Zachary residents argue that Louisiana wildlife officials cannot stop them from charging recreational vehicle owners who use their property to access the Comite River. Richard Shane Rush and Betty Holmes Rush want a federal court to award them damages for loss of dirt sales, timber sales and money they received from recreational vehicle owners.

The Advocate reports ( the lawsuit was filed this week in Baton Rouge federal court.

One families struggle to survive has turned into a federal court battle that could bring one state agency to its knees. In Louisiana, corruption is still a common practice for those willing to do anything for power. No surprise that Louisiana ranks number one in the US for being the most corrupt state.

Unfortunately for two Zachary residents, corruption has revealed its ugly face and now they have become targets of the federal and state agencies who are trying to take three hundred acres of land from the Rush family.

The mother, Betty Rush and son, Richard Shane Rush claim they've had enough of the illegal harassment by striking back and taking the fight to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. A unresolved civil lawsuit originally filed by LDWF in the 19th Judicial District of Louisiana has been ongoing since 2009, but sources claim LDWF has assessed fines against the Rush's property for over $170,000 as of last year.

No you don't need to adjust your screen, $170,000 and rising at a tune of $3,000 per day.  After hearing about this sickening abuse, I became physically ill. I would hate to know how the Rush's feel, because apparently LDWF is trying to use the fear of unlawfully assessed fines to force this family into submission. The Rush's filed a motion to dismiss LDWF's civil scam back in August of 2013.  The motion to dismiss will be heard by Louisiana District Judge Kay Bates and the court date is allegedly set  for the first week in December.  The question now is whether District Judge Bates will hand down a final verdict or punt this battle over to Chief U.S. District Judge Brian A. Jackson, which could give us a glimpse into the future of whats about to come down against LDWF.  My personally feeling is hopefully both judges throw the book at LDWF.

It's shameful the way this family has been forced to endure cruel and oppressive acts used by the tyrant running LDWF. Irrefutable evidence provided in the Rush's federal lawsuit against tyrant Robert J. Barham, shows his arbitrary claim of jurisdiction looks like a joke. Foolishly determined to hide the truth and not to back down, Barham mistakenly believes its his divine right to ruin the Rush's livelihood and not be held accountable for his corrupt acts of abuse. Well Barham, how does it feel to get slapped in the face with a federal lawsuit?  Bet he didn't see that one coming.

Just to add insult to injury,  LDWF filed criminal charges against Richard Shane Rush, for theft of timber.
Did you catch that one?

  • LDWF arrested this guy for stealing his own trees on his own land.  

Wow can someone explain how its possible to steal something you already own.

  • Impossible, because last time I checked, its not illegal to steal your own stuff.  
  • Maybe LDWF needs to hire new legal council that is capable of understanding the law.

Just when this story seemed it couldn't get any more disturbing, I discovered that in February of 2009, LDWF wasn't the only fascist agency that wanted to take control of the Rush's property. At the same time US Army Corp of Engineers informed the Rush's of their intent to acquire their land by eminent domain for the unfinished flood control project named the Comite Diversion Canal.

The project is said to be 20 percent complete at a cost of $70 million and now over 6 years behind schedule.   Last year 80,000 residents who have been paying property taxes for the project for 12 years filed a class action lawsuit against ARBC.

Construction plans show this flood canal starts on the Rush's property which is located along the Comite River. Now I have trouble believing that's just some coincidence! But wait this story gets even more disturbing when the Amite River Basin Commission (ARBC) took charge of acquiring the Rush's property for the flood project. Next ARBC hired a full time attorney from Baton Rouge named Larry Bankston to oversee the acquisition. I bet he did more than just oversee the acquisition because this guy is one piece of work.

Let's see what kind of person Larry Bankston is?


Only in Louisiana can a state senator:

  1. Be convicted of bribery while in office 
  2. Get disbarred from the Louisiana Bar Association
  3. Spend 4 years in federal prison
  4. Walk out of prison and get readmitted to the Louisiana Bar Association
  5. Be hired by a Louisiana state agency that is in charge of millions of taxpayers dollars
Who says crime doesn't pay in Louisiana

In 1994, Bankston, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, met in his law office with Fred Goodson, the owner of a video poker truck stop in Slidell in St. Tammany Parish. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bankston and Goodson discussed a plan to manipulate the legislative process so as to protect the interests of the video poker companies. In return, the key lawmakers would net clandestine financial interests in the video poker truck stops.
C. B. Forgotston, an attorney, government watchdog, and an opponent of gambling, then from New Orleans but now in Hammond, referred to the Bankston case, accordingly: "It's one of the things we were worried about in the beginning: that it [gambling] would totally corrupt our political system. ... People would just laugh and say our system is already corrupt. But you've never seen anything like this. 
On October 4, 1996, Bankston was indicted on five counts of racketeering. In 1997, Bankston was found guilty on two of the counts. One count was the acceptance of a bribe from Fred Goodson. The bribe was phantom "rent" of $1,555 monthly paid to Bankston for "non-use" of the lawmaker's beachfront condominium in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Prosecutors determined the arrangement a "bribe" and a "sham". He was given a 41-month sentence and ordered to pay a $20,000 fine. Bankston served most of his sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in BeaumontTexas. While in prison, Bankston appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans, but the judges upheld his conviction on July 27, 1999.
Bankston was released from the Bureau of Prisons on November 6, 2000, and he then served a remaining portion of the sentence in a half-way house in Baton Rouge. On March 9, 2002, Bankston was disbarred by the Louisiana Supreme Court, retroactive to November 19, 1997.  On February 5, 2004, with only one dissenting vote, the disciplinary committee recommended that the high court re-admit Bankston to the practice of law. There had been concern by the committee that Bankston had not been sufficiently remorseful over the commission of his crimes.

As a result of the continued assault by LDWF, the Rush's once successful lifestyle must have turned into one hell of a nightmare to live in.  However, the upcoming federal court showdown could deliver the Rush's knock out punch to Robert Barham and send LDWF running with its tale tucked between its legs. The next interesting part to the story might be whether or not the Rush's pursue litigation against USACE and ARBC. One thing is certain with this battle over private property, there will be more to come.

  (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),

  ga('create', 'UA-46021752-1', '');
  ga('send', 'pageview');


1 comment: