Despite a strong argument that Chris Williams’ back-pay lawsuit against the Lafayette Housing Authority was nothing more than a stunt to glean even more unearned money from the public, it appears the former city-parish councilman will indeed get his way as a joint motion for dismissal was filed Thursday in district court.
The fight between LHA and Williams emerged in August 2010 when he and several other case workers were terminated from their work on the federal Disaster Housing Assistance Program. Their termination stemmed from a blistering audit that revealed improper documentation, or rather no documentation, of their hours worked or their miles driven, despite receiving $600 monthly car allowances and $2,960 paychecks, which were based on a full-time pay rate of $37/hour for 40 hours/week. For Williams, even more questions were raised with the discovery that he held a second full-time job at UL Lafayette.
Williams claims the DHAP work was actually being handled by two female workers, Paula Scott and Michelle Mouton, from his nonprofit, the Lafayette Training and Career Development Center.
Though his original claim was for about $20,000, it is unclear how much Williams was seeking through his lawsuit and how much he will get it what appears to be a negotiated settlement. (The Daily Advertiser has repeatedly reported that he is seeking $2 million, but we could not find that figure in the lawsuit or get anywhere near it based on his claims.)
While LHA Executive Director Katie Anderson did not return our call for comment, the news of Thursday’s joint motion — which is the equivalent of an out-of-court settlement that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has agreed to — is quite surprising, especially considering HUD's original vow to fight Williams to the end. HUD is LHA's primary source of funding and is calling the shots on the lawsuit.
Williams’ claim most likely wouldn’t have held up in court: Not only does he lack documentation of ever performing the case work, he also has no written contract. Williams’ case, in fact, is based on a vague verbal agreement made with Jonathan Carmouche, the LHA’s former second-in-command who vanished from the area following a federal investigation into corruption at the housing authority.
According the Clerk of Court’s office, Thursday’s joint motion has been submitted to 15th Judicial District Judge Edward Broussard for approval.
"I have never seen anyone who worked harder for our people than Sen. Mary Landrieu, so I would like to share a synopsis of a few of the many things she has done to help Louisiana."
Even if Jimmy Graham's production dips while the star tight end recovers from a shoulder injury, it looks like Drew Brees won't have much trouble finding other targets.
A former campaign manager for Senate candidate Rob Maness is striking at the Republican contender's tea party support, saying Maness only sought to appeal to conservative organizations because he needed money for his campaign.
Ninety-two percent of public school teachers were rated either effective or highly effective in a report the state issued marking the second year of a new statewide evaluation process.
Corporations spending in state elections; Kenny G and Hong Kong; states resist gay marriage and more national and international news for Thursday, October 23, 2014.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
School board members Mark Babineaux, Hunter Beasley and Tehmi Chassion can vote to fire Cooper — because we all know that’s exactly what they’ll do.
District 2 school board candidate Simon Mahan is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent and former Carencro Mayor Tommy Angelle in the Nov. 4 election.
District Attorney Mike Harson is showing his desperation by falsely attributing quotes to his opponent and blocking journalists from his social media.
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The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
The recently established Downtown Lafayette Restaurant & Bar Association will host a special viewing of the upcoming New Orleans Saints taking on the Carolina Panthers in the open air of Parc Sans Souci on Thursday, Oct. 30.
Belief in a national outbreak of the Ebola zombie virus is becoming more of a threat every day, and The Hayride — Louisiana’s one true bastion for unrelentingly conservative political commentaries — thought it wise to share a certain special someone's “important message” with readers Tuesday on what to do when, not if, it comes.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.
JPMorgan Chase is giving $1 million to Louisiana's community and technical colleges, to help with workforce training efforts to match students to available jobs.
President Barack Obama is turning to black radio listeners to plead for midterm votes, a targeted approach to drum up Democratic support at a time when many candidates don't want him around in person.
Law firm unveils newly renovated 200-year-old building.
UL grad named web developer at BBR Creative
Lafayette-based emergency department staffing and management company raises $120 million in senior credit facilities through GE Capital, Healthcare Financial Services.
High-rise apartment building, parking garage, hotel and retail part of new development.
A common thread runs through many of those we oppose: Enshrining in the Constitution protections on programs and their funding sources has had a disastrous effect on Louisiana’s most important economic development engine.
"I am extremely disheartened by the political machines that are attempting to hijack my efforts along with others that advocate for children."
Landrieu, who is fighting to keep her seat for a fourth term, said that Ebola is serious and precautions should be taken, but she accused Republicans of using the virus outbreak in West Africa to "create fear" here at home.
The number of Louisianans with jobs continued to set records in September, but the state's unemployment rate kept rising.
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