Central to St. Pierre's defense is that he had a "reasonable reliance" on Drake's advice that what he was doing was legal. But the defense is no good if the advising lawyers don't have all of the relevant facts or if their advice isn't followed.
Referring to notes he took at the time, Drake said he wrote down that Meffert had used the credit card for $50.
Drake said he had no idea the card charges actually amounted to $130,000, or that St. Pierre had paid Meffert $38,000 in October 2004.
He also didn't know that Meffert had persuaded Nagin to issue an executive order exempting technology contracts from the city's bidding rules, at least not until prosecutor Matthew Coman showed it to him a few weeks ago.
"That's a license to steal," was Drake's shocked reaction.
In 2002, as Nagin was preparing to take office, T-P reporters Frank Donze and Gordon Russell wrote,
Listen to the small circle of friends and advisers that Nagin has drafted to help him assemble his administration, and you might think the age of techno-government is about to dawn in New Orleans.Did it ever!