When the Lafayette Housing Authority’s board of commissioners voted Oct. 28 to give former Executive Director Walter Guillory and Deputy Director Jonathan Carmouche 30 days of pay, they were led to believe U.S. Housing and Urban Development monitor Dan Rodriguez had approved the payment. Not so, says Rodriguez.When the Lafayette Housing Authority’s board of commissioners voted Oct. 28 to give former Executive Director Walter Guillory and Deputy Director Jonathan Carmouche 30 days of pay, they were led to believe U.S. Housing and Urban Development monitor Dan Rodriguez had approved the payment. Not so, says Rodriguez.
Rodriguez, who has been traveling to Lafayette from Houston for the past couple of weeks to help turn the troubled housing authority around after a series of blistering audits questioned its management and expenditures, gave explicit instructions to the LHA’s board of commissioners: not one penny can be spent without HUD approval.
When the board met on Oct. 28, three days after Guillory and Carmouche resigned, board member John Freeman told his fellow commissioners that Rodriguez had informed him it was standard HUD policy to pay for 30 days, according to fellow board member Donald Fuselier, who voted to make the payment. “Freeman advised us Mr. Rodriguez had agreed to it. I relied on what Mr. Freeman said.”
Freeman did not return voice mail messages left on his cell phone Monday and Tuesday.
Rodriguez, through the LHA’s human resources director, issued the following statement via email on Nov. 4: “The payment to the ED and Deputy ED of 30 day pay is NOT APPROVED by HUD even if the Board approved it,” he wrote. Rodriguez directed the HR head to send the statement to all board members.
Guillory, who was getting more than $186,000 a year plus a $5,000 business allowance when he resigned, and Carmouche, whose salary was $85,000 (though he got an extra $20,000 for inspecting homes in 2009 and had already been paid $11,300 when he stopped conducting inspections this year after the 2009 audit questioned the extra work), were eligible to receive payment for 48 hours worked and up to 300 hours of accrued annual leave, according to the email.
At that same Oct. 28 meeting, the board also came close to voting on whether to pay fired Disaster Housing Assistance Program case managers for a month of back pay, The Daily Advertiser reported. It was the first meeting attended by newly appointed board member Shirley Vige. The Advertiser noted that Freeman and board member Leon Simmons attempted to amend the agenda to include a vote on the back pay matter for the DHAP workers, who claim they are owed for 30 days because they did not get a 30-day notice of their dismissal, a requirement of their contracts -- all of which had expired when they were terminated in August. But when Fuselier and Vige shot down an attempt to vote on the matter, it failed to make the agenda for lack of a two-thirds vote.
Rodriguez did not return phone calls or an email seeking comment on these issues.
It wouldn’t be a first, however, as the Chamber has thrown money behind Landrieu before.
The Democratic incumbent, seeking her fourth term in office, is a strong supporter of the Export-Import Bank, which helps finance exports of U.S. companies.
The world is a politically tense place these days with hot spots ranging from the Middle East to Ukraine. In Louisiana and Mississippi, where the political chessboard tends to be a lot less threatening and at times entertaining, this election season is living up to expectations.
American companies export smog; UN calls for cease-fire in Gaza; fist bump keeps germ transfer down and more national and international news for Monday, July 28, 2014.
Monday's Blogs from the Bog!
Louisiana has joined nine other states in support of Indiana’s appeal of a federal judge’s ruling that the Hoosier State’s ban on sam-sex marriage violates the Constitution.
The Saints are being cautious in an effort to minimize risk of re-injury.
LSU Health Sciences Center says people with a common, hard-to-treat kind of lung cancer can join a new national trial to test drugs faster.
As New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis spoke about the opening of training camp, steep, tree-covered mountains were in full view behind them.
The family of fallen cyclist Lon Lomas is speaking out after the release this week of the man charged with his death.
"The solutions are obvious: undo consolidation, or amend the charter to make this hybrid attempt at a new form of government work better."
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is considering whether to get involved in a lawsuit against Gov. Bobby Jindal for his attempts to undermine use of the Common Core education standards in Louisiana's public schools.
The latest meeting of a south Louisiana flood board that stirred political turmoil with a lawsuit against the oil and gas industry is taking place amid uncertainty over the future of the lawsuit — and the board's own membership.
The photos taken nearly a mile under the Gulf of Mexico are so clear that small holes are visible in a lifeboat that may have gone down or been scuttled when a passenger ship was sunk by a Nazi submarine in 1942.
Advocate columnist and Jindal shill Quin Hillyer has been against the New Orleans levee board lawsuit from day one, but a recent piece targeting author/activist John Barry prompted the perfect rebuttal from the board’s former vice-president, who takes Hillyer to task on just about every distorted claim he’s made on the issue.
Thousands of people who bought health insurance through the marketplace created by the federal health care overhaul face price hikes next year that could top 10 percent.
Louisiana fell one spot in an annual national ranking of child well-being that looks at poverty, education and health access.
A federal judge has decided he doesn't need to hear more arguments in the case of a gay couple who want a Louisiana marriage license.
Saints again bring playoff aspirations into 2014 campaign.
New details in the case against the man arrested for last week’s bomb threat and bank robbery has surfaced, including a MidSouth Bank surveillance video showing the alleged suspect attempt an early-morning bank robbery.
Parents and teachers who support the Common Core education standards sued Gov. Bobby Jindal Tuesday over his actions against the multi-state standards, accusing him of illegally meddling in education policy.
An arrest was announced this morning in connection with last week’s bomb scare at UL Lafayette.
Attorneys, judges and others interviewed by LaPolitics expect 15 to 20 district judge races this year.
"I feel like I'm under siege," an attorney said recently over drinks at Galatoire's Bistro in Baton Rouge. "We all do. Every time I turn around somebody wants a check. District attorney races. The judges. They're killing us."
As a requirement for running for Congress in the 6th District, former Gov. Edwin Edwards has filed his financial disclosure statement with the U.S. House showing his income in 2013 totaling $242,787.