Walter Guillory is scheduled to appear in federal court Friday at 9:30 a.m. and plead guilty to federal bribery and wire fraud charges, the court calendar reveals.
The former executive director of the Lafayette Housing Authority was charged in a bill of information Dec. 19 for his role in a bid-fixing scheme at the Lafayette Housing Authority and Opelousas Housing Authority. The bill of information accuses the former executive director of receiving more than $100,000 in bribes while heading the two agencies.
|Photo by Robin May|
|Former LHA Executive Director Walter Guillory is scheduled to appear in federal court Friday and plead guilty to his role in a bid-fixing scheme that favored a single contractor.|
The guilty plea, widely expected in light of the decision not to bring the case to a grand jury, comes three years after Guillory resigned as ED of the Lafayette agency.
Guillory was in charge of the LHA from 1998 through 2010, having served a dual role heading the OHA from 2005 to 2009. He resigned in October 2010, in the midst of a federal investigation of the agency. The federal probe was prompted by an independent audit that pointed to 16 serious problems with how the agency is managed and questioned more than $240,000 in payments to contractors working the Disaster Housing Assistance Program, purportedly designed to help poor people find suitable housing after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Former Lafayette City-Parish Councilman Chris Williams was a DHAP case worker, a fact that came to light as a result of the independent audit. Fired along with the other case workers, he has been in an ongoing battle with the LHA over back pay.
The first person charged in the bid-fixing scheme, Garnette Thomas, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in September. According to evidence presented at the guilty plea, Thomas was employed as the OHA’s grant and capital funds coordinator from 2005 to 2009 and admitted that she conspired with other unnamed conspirators to send and receive fake bids by email in order to circumvent state and federal bid laws. Prosecutors say Thomas and others used letterhead and information of other contractors not placing bids on the projects to further the scheme.
The feds say Guillory's and Thomas' efforts benefited a single contractor, identified in court papers as "K.A." The IND contends K.A. is Kendall Anderson of Anderson Iron Works.
Guillory, according to the bill of information charging him, approved the contracts with full knowledge that bid rules, laws and regulations were not being followed.
Additional charges and/or indictments are expected in the case. Read more here.
Local and state agents Thursday night raided The Keg, the popular college bar located in the area known as The Strip, leading to the (at least) temporary closure of the venue.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, April 18, 2014:
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
C & C Technologies, HIT Fitness, R3 Sciences, the Acadiana Symphony Association and the United Way of Acadiana recognized for innovation.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra has decided to end its traditional Independence Day spectacular known as Red White & Boom.
Under the deal, Teche shareholders would get 1.162 shares of IberiaBank for each share of Teche stock.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
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Thanks to the inaugural 2012 INNOV8, a design for lifting heavy objects was brought to market.
The annual juried competition recognizes excellence in architecture, interior design and historic preservation in Lafayette and the five surrounding parishes.
Cypress Bayou GM hosts open house.
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