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.
We will be offering our recommendations on the constitutional amendments tomorrow.
Three bedroom in Lawtell or two bedroom in Rayne
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The justices did not comment in leaving in place lower court rulings that dismissed the lawsuits against BP and other companies involved in the worst U.S. offshore oil spill.
White registration is down by 7,700 voters while black registration has shot up by 7,100 voters.
Even though it had been rumored for months, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu finally pulled the trigger recently on a major campaign shakeup that moved control over to a few Big Easy insiders.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Louisiana's health department says it will seek law changes to stop billing sexual assault victims for exams and tests.
An investment group led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets will buy the Louisiana power company Cleco for $3.4 billion.
It wasn’t the historic slashes to higher ed funding or the ensuing tuition spikes that recently had LSU’s student body and faculty riled up in collective outrage.
"I feel it is appropriate to speak up when there are topics that are being bandied about with little or no factual data to back them."
Urgent Care clinics unprepared for Ebola; Nazis collected Social Security; Hawaii dodges a bullet and more national and international news for Monday, October 20, 2014.
Monday's Blogs from the Bog!
Will $400 be enough for the re-election campaign of LPSB's Hunter Beasley to overcome two years of holding our school system hostage and hurting the education of our children all because of a personal dislike of the superintendent?
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham said Friday he expects his playing status in Detroit to be decided by coach Sean Payton on Sunday, shortly before the game.
Two bedroom cottage in Lafayette or three bedroom traditional in Erath
Gulf Brew ready threads
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Coming off the high of a fourth quarter comeback against Tampa Bay and a helpful bye week, linebacker Junior Galette sees a real turnaround coming for New Orleans' struggling defense.
Former President Bill Clinton, the Democratic Party's most popular surrogate this fall, is heading to Louisiana early next week for a campaign rally with U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.
Time and again you hear people say DA Mike Harson is unbeatable because he's doled out political favors over the past 20 years. But a new lawsuit could end that speculation.
We welcome nominations from readers and leaders throughout the business community in Lafayette and the five surrounding parishes.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Ebola is kind of terrifying if you watch too much Fox News and CNN. Especially Fox, which makes everything look terrifying because, well, War on Christmas and Obama and all.
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Whatever district you are in, please do your research. Find out what the schools need in order to teach. Better yet, ask your child’s teacher. They know!
Get your groove on with two free concerts in Downtown Lafayette Friday, both at Parc Sans Souci.
After the season's signature win (so far), here are some helpful tips for Cajun Nation during the conference stretch.