Third Circuit orders Rubin to allow Durel’s appeal
Fifteenth Judicial District Judge Ed Rubin ruled Oct. 31 that City-Parish President Joey Durel be held in contempt of court for removing three Lafayette Housing Authority commissioners on Nov. 19 after Rubin had reinstated them late last year on an earlier dismissal (the city-parish council upheld both removals). The judge ordered Durel to pay a $258 fine and perform eight hours of community service.
In early November, Durel filed with the Third Circuit Court of Appeal a motion to appeal Rubin's ruling; after the board members filed an objection to the appeal and motion to dismiss it, Rubin set a Dec. 22 hearing.
On Thursday the Third Circuit Court of Appeal granted Durel’s emergency writ and ordered Rubin to sign Durel’s motion for appeal. After the appellate ruling, Rubin canceled the hearing.
John Freeman, Joe Dennis and Leon Simmons were among five LHA board members dismissed in August 2010 by Durel after a scathing independent audit found financial mismanagement that also led to the resignation of the executive director and deputy director. Rubin reinstated the commissioners, but Durel again dismissed them in November 2010 after an alleged open meetings violation. A district judge did not find ample evidence to prosecute the men for the alleged violation, and Rubin again reinstated them, also citing Durel for contempt in ordering the second dismissal.
The ongoing matter of the board members’ service appears moot, however, as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is now running the troubled LHA and acting as its board of commissioners. Despite that action, Freeman, Dennis and Simmons are continuing to meet and conduct LHA business. Read more on the LHA’s problems and the dismissal saga here.
MAY 22 This post was written the day after the second line shooting in NOLA, by Brentin Mock. Mock is a friend of Deb "Big Red" Cotton, a blogger who was shot in the back and was seriously injured. It is a raw, emotional piece of writing, something the writer obviously felt he needed to get off his chest. But it raises questions that can't be easily dismissed, and might give some insight into where the source of these events truly is.
MAY 22 In this Baton Rouge Business Report post, Rolfe McCollister considers the privatization of bus service in Baton Rouge. After decades of under-funding, it is a mess, and although a tax (partially) passed last year, improvement hasn't happened yet. McCollister apparently feels it is time to let private business get in on the transit business.
MAY 22 This post on Bayou Buzz by Jeff Crouere urges the defeat of a bill that would grant modest pay increases over the next several years to the state's judges and clerks of court. The state is in no position to fund pay hikes, Crouere argues, with the pay increases costing a total of $9 million over several years. It sends the wrong message to the (proverbial) hard-working people of Louisiana, he says.
MAY 22 The Advocate reports here that State Treasurer John Kennedy is complaining about a meeting of the corporation that oversees the state's tobacco settlement. The Governor wanted it restructured, and he has some support, but not a lot. The corporation agreed with his plan, but Kennedy didn't, and it appears that the meeting was noticed in a manner completely different than that of all previous meetings. Kennedy's given to hyperbole, but in this case the fish don't smell too fresh.
MAY 22 In this Advocate story, Carencro Police Chief Carlos Stout says the recent federal indictment of a strip club owner is all wrong. The indictment alleges that drugs and prostitution went on with impunity because club staff made arrangements with "local" police. Stout says it never happened, and while his cops do work security in the parking lot, they're not allowed inside.
MAY 22 This amusing post in DIG Baton Rouge recounts an ad that ran on Craig's List recently; the advertiser was seeking tenants for a Beauregard Town house. He knew his market, and wrote an ad that the most ironical hipster couldn't resist. Apparently, he really did know his market, because the ad worked like a charm.
MAY 22 In this post in The Lens, Mark Moseley comments on the rhetoric Gov. Jindal employed in trying to save his tax "reform" package. One interesting point concerns Jindal's use of his brother, Nikesh, in a little story. Nikesh left Louisiana because of his inability to get a decent job, the story goes, but the story won't hold water: Nikesh lives in DC, which has an income tax level comparable to Louisiana, Moseley says. If income taxes caused the dismal situation, it should exist in DC too. Right?
MAY 22 This post by columnist John Maginnis traces the trajectory of the bill that would fund construction at community and technical colleges -- and bypass the Board of Regents and traditional higher ed funding mechanisms. Sure, it will bust the legislature's self-imposed debt limit, but some leges feel that there's more need (because there is more growth) in the community and technical college area than in the university area, he says.
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
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.