Attorney Richard Becker penned a letter March 14 to the state attorney general for an opinion on whether records for the partnership formed to develop Cypress Trails Apartments are a matter of public record, but the request never made its way to the AG.
Attorney Richard Becker penned a letter March 14 to the state attorney general for an opinion on whether records for the partnership formed to develop Cypress Trails Apartments are a matter of public record, but the request never made its way to the AG. Becker wrote the letter on behalf of the LPTFA, which is spearheading the apartment development.
“The attorney general’s office did not receive the request,” says AG spokeswoman Sharon Kleinpeter.
Becker could not be reached for comment this morning on whether he will submit the request — or resubmit, if by chance it was lost in the mail or misplaced or overlooked by the AG's office.
In connection with this week’s cover story, “How Gachassin Games the System,” the attorney made a written request to the AG dated March 14 and provided The Independent with a copy of the letter. The letter was written in response to our request for access to records on the partnerships and individuals involved in the 72-unit apartment complex for the elderly under way at Moss and Sophie streets in north Lafayette. We also asked to see a copy of the consulting contract signed between the publicly funded development and Greg Gachassin, a former LPTFA board member. The $10 million project is being funded in large part with low-income housing tax credits awarded to the LPTFA by the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency.
To execute its first low-income housing development, LPTFA formed an affiliate non-profit entity that is the general partner in Cypress Trails Limited Partnership, which also includes a private entity representing a tax-credit investor as the limited partner. LPTFA’s affiliate owns .01 percent interest as the general partner, with the private group owning 99.99 percent as the limited partner. Initially, LPTFA’s project involved the Lafayette Housing Authority, but LPTFA recently asked to remove LHA from the deal because of its financial and management problems that are the subject of an ongoing FBI investigation. With the LHA involved, the records for the partnership were exempt from the Louisiana Public Records Act, due to a special exemption for “affiliates” of housing authorities. The Independent now contends the partnership has forfeited that exemption.
LPTFA is a trust organized under the laws of the state that holds millions in assets for the benefit of city of Lafayette.
What the AG’s office did receive from Becker on March 15 was a request about whether the public trust can accept written votes from its board members without holding a public meeting. Becker indicated in the letter that LPTFA had recently formed an affiliate non-profit, presumably CTLP, to develop and own a low-income housing tax-credit project in Lafayette and has had difficulty coordinating the schedules of a quorum of its board of trustees for the numerous document approvals. The LPTFA board is already short one member, as the original documents creating it call for it to have a board of five.
The AG’s response to Becker’s request? No. The state’s Open Meetings Law requires a vote with a “live voice,” the AG informed him, and that person must be physically present.
“The request for an opinion concerning the application of La. R.S. 42:11 et seq, the Open Meetings Laws, to the Lafayette Public Trust Financing Authority was received in our office on March 15,” Kleinpeter says. “In response to that request, Opinion 11-0070 was released on Monday April 18. Our log in and paper work indicate that this was the only request from LPTFA.”
February trial date indicates parties were unable to negotiate a settlement.
Gov. Bobby Jindal has been viewed as a health care policy wonk, and he's tried to build on that image ahead of a likely 2016 presidential campaign, positioning himself as the candidate with substantive ideas.
Jerry Jones watched what he called the best effort he's seen in 25 years as owner of the Dallas Cowboys in the first half, and that was before Tony Romo had the longest scramble of his career and DeMarco Murray finished off yet another 100-yard game.
Two of the most recognizable women in Republican politics, Sarah Palin and Mary Matalin, have been heavily involved in Louisiana’s current election cycle.
Even though the Louisiana Democratic Party has thrown its support behind former Gov. Edwin Edwards’ congressional bid, national Democrats are not expected to follow suit.
Volcano recovery suspended; Mossad recruiting online; high fees in Ferguson and more national and international news for Monday, September 29, 2014.
Monday's Blogs from the Bog!
“[Mike] is no longer the energetic ADA that his recent ad is trying to portray. I just think Mike needs to get the hell out.” — Kermit Harson, DA Mike Harson’s brother
The New Orleans Saints have listed Jonathan Goodwin as questionable for Sunday night's game in Dallas, raising the prospect that second-year pro Tim Lelito will start at center for the first time.
The endorsements keep coming for District 9 LPSB candidate Jeremy Hidalgo, who picked up his fifth vow of support Thursday, this time from the Chamber’s political action committee.
Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter will be out knocking on doors this weekend with anti-abortion activists encouraging people to vote against his colleague, Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.
The ACLU of Louisiana has sued Abbeville's mayor and police chief over a policy barring police from any social media use showing the city in a bad light.
Prospective Republican presidential candidates are expected to promote "religious liberty" at home and abroad at a gathering of religious conservatives Friday, with anti-Obama speeches from the likes of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
The American Zombie blog by New Orleans independent journalist Jason Berry has a photograph of U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier having dinner with Lafayette attorney Pat Juneau — yeah, that Pat Juneau, the BP claims administrator whose fate Barbier will soon decide.
But retirees and employees who face the higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs responded angrily, telling lawmakers that they shouldn't be held responsible for what they consider the Jindal administration's mismanagement of the Office of Group Benefits.
Indictment accuses ‘chef’ who claims to work for the needy of stealing from a disabled man in his care.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's top budget adviser says the state employee health insurance program will face a dire financial scenario without the heavily criticized changes planned by the administration.
Louisiana's last execution was in 2010, and plans for the next lethal injection have been put on hold amid an ongoing legal dispute about the drugs that would be used. More than 80 people are on death row, awaiting execution, in Louisiana.
If the Saints' defense hasn't corrected early season errors it could be in for a long Sunday night.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu is traveling to the Citgo refinery near Lake Charles to highlight her successful stalling of a bill to impose sanctions against human-rights abusers in Venezuela's government.
Gov. Bobby Jindal will be spending his next few days in the key presidential campaign states of New Hampshire and Iowa.
The Chamber’s Empower PAC has endorsed its second candidate for this year’s LPSB elections, announcing it will support the reelection campaign of District 5 incumbent Kermit Bouillion.
And he just lost the frat-bro vote!
Republican congressional candidate Zach Dasher is getting an advertising assist from his famous "Duck Dynasty" family.
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration skipped required legal steps in making changes to the health insurance plans that cover state employees, teachers and retirees, the state attorney general's office said Tuesday.