Despite a strong argument that Chris Williams’ back-pay lawsuit against the LHA 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.
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.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council will consider on Tuesday a revised plan to the transform a block in Downtown Lafayette into a mixed-use residential-retail-commercial development that doesn’t include giving title to the property to the Lafayette Public Trust Finance Authority, an arrangement the council rejected earlier this month.
Trying to combat the national undertones of Louisiana's U.S. Senate race, Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu is traveling the state this week on a sort of pork celebration tour, telling voters about the projects and aid she's delivered to Louisiana.
Ever thought that big, pink Gulf coast shrimp you ordered at the restaurant or bought from the store didn't taste juicy or salty enough? Maybe it wasn't from the Gulf.
The state treasurer won't sign financial documents needed for $200 million in borrowing or for a refinancing of existing debt until he believes they accurately explain the surplus disagreement.
Bill Cassidy voted for 97 percent of the bills signed by Barack Obama.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is joining South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on her campaign bus tour.
A New Iberia man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a 4-year-old girl and scalding her 3-year-old brother.
A district judge decided Wednesday against sanctioning attorney/school board candidate Dawn Morris for her behind-the-scenes role in a lawsuit against Mark Cockerham.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler says Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration may have improperly destroyed records in the state employee health insurance program, in the middle of a heavily-criticized rewrite of benefit plans.
San Fran wins the World Series; Sistine Chapel improvements; Kurds moving toward Syria and more national and international news for Thursday, October 30, 2014.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
Paper cites the former ADA's "experience as a prosecutor, his demonstrated integrity, and his ideas for reshaping the [DA's] office" in urging voters to support Keith Stutes Nov. 4.
Louisiana officials have sent a letter to the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene un-inviting members of the group who have recently been to ebola-affected West African countries from attending the group’s annual conference in New Orleans next week.
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A state district judge said he will rule Friday on a preliminary injunction to keep some charter schools from receiving $60 million through Louisiana's public school financing formula.
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New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram doesn't see his dramatic spike in production as any sort of validation.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu is facing off one last time with her two main Republican challengers before next week's election.
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Off a narrow gravel road running between a handful of mostly abandoned lots near a Mississippi River levee, down past sprawling oak trees and thick weeds, a lectern framed by banana trees has been set up in front of three short rows of folding chairs.
Hillary Rodham Clinton is heading to New Orleans this weekend to stir up voter support for Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.
Saints coach Sean Payton has spent much of his team's erratic season trying to build his players up.
The Daily Advertiser has weighed in on this year's LPSB elections with nine endorsements.