Settlement Avoids Trial In Post-Katrina Trash Case

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A civil lawsuit over post-Hurricane Katrina trash disposal involving former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and others has been settled.

The confidential settlement reached last week avoided a trial set for Monday. It involved claims by Waste Management of Louisiana that River Birch — owned by Fred Heebe and Albert Ward — made campaign contributions to local officials to gain advantages in the debris disposal business.

Nagin, imprisoned on unrelated charges, was ordered to give a deposition in the case.

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River Birch was once the subject of a federal investigation. That was abandoned after Heebe's lawyer discovered in 2012 that a federal prosecutor made anonymous online posts critical of Heebe and others. The scandal led to the resignation of then-U.S. Attorney Jim Letten, who wasn't implicated in online posts.

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