City-Parish President Joey Durel Wednesday appointed Michael Hebert to serve as the next city-parish attorney, pending approval by the City-Parish Council. If approved at the Jan. 25 council meeting, Hebert will replace outgoing C-P attorney Pat Ottinger, who announced his resignation in December after serving seven years in the post.
In a press release announcing the nomination, Durels says he “considered many different attorneys with whom I have worked over the past seven years as possible replacements for this important position. I took into consideration their qualifications, experience and whether or not they would even want the job. Because of his vast experience in governmental law, Mike Hebert stood out in the crowd. I am very pleased that Mike has agreed to assume responsibility as director of the Legal Department and as city-parish attorney.”
Hebert has served as an assistant C-P attorney and was the Lafayette city attorney during the final term of Lafayette Mayor Kenny Bowen pre-consolidation. He has infrequently advised the current council in Ottinger’s stead when the former was unable to make meetings.
Hebert is a 1985 graduate of LSU’s law school and is a partner with the New Orleans-based law firm Milling Benson Woodward, which has an office in Lafayette. According to Durel’s office, Hebert’s primary areas of pracice include consulting and litigation in the areas of employment law, telecommunications, information technology law, public utility law, municipal law, construction law, business disputes and governmental relations.
Ottinger also endorses the nomination in the same press release: “I am very gratified that Joey has selected Mike Hebert for this position and am equally pleased that Mike has agreed to serve in this capacity. Mike has been an important confidant and colleague to me during my tenure and has assisted me greatly in the performance of my duties. No person has such a depth of experience and knowledge of the workings of municipal and parish government as does Mike Hebert. I am confident that he will serve Lafayette well in this capacity, and I commit to assist him in any way in the transition and beyond.”
In a phone interview, Durel says Hebert will bring integrity to the job. “I don’t think there’s an attorney in Lafayette who has done more to earn the position — and want it — than Mike,” Durel says. “I was there when he argued before the state supreme court for the fiber issue. He’s done a lot of LUS work, and he’s probably one of the top annexation attorneys in the state. And he’s just a good guy. ...I’ve heard nothing but praise for him.”
MAY 23 Here's a story in the Picayune about some statistics that must come as a blow to folks who believe that any private school can do a better job of educating kids than any public school: Danielle Dreilinger reports that only 30 percent of the voucher kids are passing. That's less than half of the state wide average, she says. It's an interesting statistic because most of the schools (if not all) taking voucher kids have never had their students' standardized test scores released to the public before.
MAY 23 Stephen Sabludowsky blogs on Bayou Buzz about auditor requests here. Recently the state GOP started crowing about a request from the Legislative Auditor, claiming they were being targeted because of their anti-tax stance. (Uh, your what?) Denial and hyperbole aside, the state Democratic party blew holes in that theory with an email announcing they'd received the same request, Sabludowsky writes here.
MAY 23 Jim Brown blogs about the senate race in this post. He says that, given Bobby Jindal's "lack of traction" on the national stage, it might make more sense for the governor to consider running against Mary Landrieu for the senate seat. Since Tim Teeple left the Cassidy team, it makes sense he might land on a Jindal for Senate team, Brown opines.
MAY 23 In this Louisiana Voice post, blogger Tom Aswell writes of rumors that his nemesis, state Superintendent of Education John White, may be soon departing Louisiana for a federal post. It's hard to believe, given his performance, Aswell says, but stranger things have happened. An anti-White BESE member says that, if true, White is quitting before he can be fired.
MAY 23 In this post on American Zombie, blogger Jason Berry writes about the Mother's Day shooting. Mayor Landrieu said that "this is not who we are," but the fact is, this is New Orleans, Berry writes. The violence infused in the city is the result of a culture created by "sins of omission or sins of commission," Berry writes. It's not a problem that can be solved by legislating, policing, praying or publicizing, he says: Someone's got to understand what's happening first.
MAY 23 This post in the Westside Journal tells us what Port Allen Mayor Deedy has been up to lately: vetoing ordinances, apparently. This story is most interesting, however, when it delves into a petition that has been circulating around the city lately. It accuses the former mayor of a lot of nasty things; the former mayor says it is full of lies and "broken syntax" which may be a larger offense in his eyes.
MAY 23 This editorial posted in The Advocate is a bit confusing. The writing is poor - definitely not up to the usual editorial writing standard there - and the point is hard to grasp. Apparently, the writer is saying that privatization of state efforts is OK, as long as there is oversight and transparency, but Jindal's not good at that, and the legislature shouldn't over-react. Okey Dokey. Can't they get one of them Pulitzer-winning people to write an editorial?
MAY 23 This post on The Lens gives you links to a new Google Earth tool that allows you to see any spot on earth transform over the past 30 years. Bob Marshall, who covers the coast for the paper, says that in the case of Louisiana's coastline, it's possibly something you don't want to see, because it's not a pretty picture. There are several clips here, showing critical areas erode away. For Marshall, it was vindication for all those times he was met with eye-rolling when he talked about erosion.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.
Philip deMahy Sr., a once respected New Iberia ad exec, was sentenced May 2 to spend the next two years (he faced up to 100 years) in a state penitentiary after state and federal investigators found dozens of images depicting children engaged in lewd sexual acts on his personal computer.