Former assistant Lafayette city attorney Lester Gauthier, in an opinion issued Saturday, says he believes the one-year extension of Lafayette Consolidated Government’s contract with RedFlex was improperly extended. Gauthier bases his opinion on a review of the contract itself along with the resolution authorizing the contract and the Lafayette Home Rule Charter.

Although Gauthier’s opinion doesn’t carry the weight of law, he makes a compelling case that an extension of the contract, or franchise, required passage of an ordinance and, further, that the charter does not authorize any LCG employee other than City-Parish President Joey Durel to sign the contract. (An employee in LCG’s Purchasing Department, according to a report last week in The Daily Advertiser, actually signed the extension.)

Gauthier served the city of Lafayette as a staff attorney from 1992 to 1995, prior to consolidation of city and parish governments. He is a member of the Lafayette Parish Democratic Executive Committee — a committee on which Mike Stagg, Durel’s opponent in the Oct. 22 election, also serves.

City-parish attorney Mike Hebert could not be reached for comment.

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