The morning of August 7, the second day to qualify for October 12’s primary election date, a messenger sent by Murphy Painter arrived at your writer’s house mid-morning.
“Murphy asked me to give you this…
…and tell you he’d like to meet today,” this mutual friend passed along his message and the thumb drive pictured above; assuring that he was “only a messenger” and did not “want to get in the middle of this…whatever it is.”
Subsequently that messenger, unhappy that he had been used by Painter, claimed to have “cut off all ties” but stressed his wish to remain anonymous. He had learned “whatever it is;” a half-baked, lame-brained attempt at coercion (if it hadn’t been so desperate and ineffectual the term “blackmail” could have been employed). As it happens your writer possesses hours of recordings of Painter; all lawfully obtained, with disturbing excerpts too numerous to list.
One of those excerpts is Painter describing a heinous crime, three-decades old that was, apparently, never investigated. Probably the one Painter is worried about, it was forwarded to the appropriate authority on June 24.
The thumb drive, Painter’s weapon of coercion, contained two recordings.
- A 2-hour, 21-minute conversation dated April 11, 2019 between Brandon Golson, a potential candidate for Ascension Parish Council District 5, and Tina Brito who operates a local social media page; and
- A five-minute conversation dated October 28, 2015 between Painter’s messenger and District 8 Councilwoman Teri Casso who had won a second term four days earlier.
What do these recordings have in common? Three of the conversationalists are not fans of Pelican Post and seem to detest your writer. You can’t please everyone. That Painter deemed any of it something your writer would worry about is still a mystery.
In fact, here’s a sample of Brito, talking tough in a perpetual state of delusion. There’s a bit of the potty mouth to Brito so be forewarned…
The thumb drive was Brito’s. She surreptitiously recorded her lengthy conversation with Golson on April 11, presenting it to Dempsey Lambert who thought he was going to face Golson in the October 12 election. Golson had a change of heart and did not qualify.
Lambert forwarded the thumb drive to Murphy Painter who downloaded the five-minute Teri Casso conversation on August 5, two days before the plan went into action. Given its content we rather doubt Casso knew of Painter’s plot. We are fairly certain that Casso does not want the audio published.
A text to Painter was sent the morning of August 7 which did not elicit response. So, a call was placed at 12:46 p.m. wherein your writer told Painter:
“A mutual friend handed me a thumb drive this morning, telling me you’d like to meet. Is that true?
A surprisingly chipper-sounding Painter replied that he would “call back in a few minutes” amid the unintelligible drone of background voices. Painter never called but one of his oldest allies (and another mutual friend) did call within ten minutes. Said individual asked a series of questions about the recording of Painter described above.
Given that morning’s strange events, your writer was less forthcoming than normal, even coy. That seemed to end it…until Painter sent a text a few hours later claiming he knew nothing about the matter. As for the recording in question, a few details remain to be sorted out before dissemination.