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 24 Blogger Robert Mann posts this entry about the Baton Rouge Chamber's recent report on Louisiana's higher education system. It's critical to economic development, and yet our system is facing a "funding crisis" with no way to resolve it, the report says. The Chamber says control of tuition and fees must be returned to the higher ed governing boards.
MAY 24 Here's a NBC33 story about Tyrann Mathieu. He has signed with the Arizona Cardinals, inking a $3 million, four-year deal. He gets a signing bonus of $265K, but gets another, larger bonus if he doesn't get cut from the team for doing drugs. The deal reportedly includes mandatory tests and meetings for the player.
MAY 24 Jarvis DeBerry posts here about the redonkulus rhetoric that would have us believe NOLA is a safe city with a murder problem. Maybe the city's crime stats don't compare with its murder stats because you can't manipulate a murder, he says: a dead body's a dead body. It just doesn't make sense, he says, and his readers agree: a poll asks if they believe the city is safe, and more than 90 percent say no.
MAY 24 Jindal administration officials announced Thursday that the privatization of public health care is going to cost a lot more than they budgeted for, the Advocate reports here. "I'm so surprised," said no one. Anywhere. The cost they're projecting now is more than $1 billion - a lot more than the $626 million budgeted for it. And, it's more than it cost the state to operate those hospitals. So why are we doing this again?
MAY 24 Blogger CB Forgotston ridicules the recent PR campaign by the state GOP in the wake of a legislative auditor's request to both major parties. The GOP (apparently unaware that the Dems got the same request) started yammering about being targeted because it had "killed" a tax increase. CB finds that laughable, but it's also pretty funny that the GOP was comparing this episode to the IRS scandal (Because the President has so much to do with our state auditor. Right?).
MAY 24 Politico details some recent fund-raising efforts by Sen. David Vitter, which have raised the question of his future political plans. This time, it is a $5,000 per head "bayou weekend" that includes "Cajun cooking" and an all-caps "alligator hunt," the story reports. Funds raised go to a super PAC that can spend money to support Vitter in federal or state races, the story points out.
MAY 24 The pink building on Royal in the quarter was sold at a sheriff's sale Thursday, this Picayune story reports. An injunction that would have halted the sale wasn't enforced because the family failed to post a $150,000 bond, the story reports. So the owner of the mortgages on the building bought it, for nearly $7 million. Now the feuding family will have to negotiate with that company to get a lease on the building that has housed their business for close to 60 years.
MAY 23 This post in Louisiana Voice tells us about a bill by a Winnsboro lege that would require all public high school students to take at least one Course Choice online class in order to graduate. (What?) Blogger Tom Aswell says it's a monument to "waste and corruption," especially in light of the problems he's exposed with the program in recent weeks. Idaho had a similar program, but voters removed it by a 2-1 margin, Aswell says.
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.