Sterling Colomb, executive director and founder of the Lafayette-based Colomb Foundation, has hired high-powered Baton Rouge attorney Mary Olive Pierson to fend off state Treasurer John Kennedy’s claim that the foundation must repay the state some $300,000 in grant money obtained in 2008.
The money was used to build a community center in Arnaudville out of which the Colomb Foundation operates and holds events. The Colomb Foundation is one of several non-governmental organizations in Louisiana that Kennedy’s office says have failed to provide adequate records accounting for their expenditures of state grants. One of the other NGOs, Serenity 67, is operated by Colomb’s wife, state Sen. Yvonne Dorsey-Colomb.
In the five-page letter to Kennedy, Pierson reiterates in detail rebuttals Colomb has made about Kennedy’s accusations against the Colomb Foundation — chiefly, that the foundation did in fact provide records to show how it spent the grant money and that Kennedy’s crusade against the NGO’s is politically motivated.
“Obviously but unfortunately, no amount of compliance by the Foundation is good enough for you and your first assistant, Mr. Ron J. Henson. I suspect that compliance by the foundation does not fit into your apparent political agenda for re-election or, even better, a campaign for Governor,” Pierson writes in the letter, which is reproduced in full here: