Wednesday, March 2, 2011
By The Independent Staff
Lafayette Housing Authority resident board member Leon Simmons didn’t slice off his ear, but he sure made that van go — until the feds finally affixed a boot to his free ride. The man who believes the media are “some damn buzzards” and, more important, the man twice kicked off the LHA board, had been gallivanting around in an LHA-owned van even after being kicked off the board — an ouster he successfully appealed before a state district court judge. LHA rules say Simmons was to drive the van only for official reasons, yet he motored up to an LHA protest last fall in it, twice drove it to court to fight allegations he participated in an illegal executive session, and used it as recently as last week when he arrived at a meeting with officials from HUD — the folks who admonished him about using the van in the first place. HUD monitor Dan Rodriguez finally had enough and took the keys from Simmons. Long overdue.
If it’s true the FBI always gets its man, Lafayette resident Henry Mouton is in some deep you know what. A former commissioner with the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries appointed to the post by then-Gov. Mike Foster, Mouton was indicted last week by a federal grand jury in New Orleans. He is alleged to have cut a deal with a Crescent City-area landfill company to help keep a rival landfill closed by lobbying elected officials and federal agencies. In exchange, the feds say, Mouton received almost a half a million dollars in bribes. The bureau’s case against him appears to be exhaustive: The 44-page indictment gives a check-by-check rundown, including check numbers, of what Mouton allegedly accepted between April 2003 and October 2005. But more damaging: the feds say he lied to them on at least four occasions. The checks range from $2,000 to $18,000 — 36 checks in all. Mouton has so far declined comment on the indictment and is keeping a low profile.
Note to Glenn Stewart: You’ll attract more flies with honey than with vinegar. The real estate developer and erstwhile physician who is seeking a special taxing district for a parcel of land he’s developing into a planned luxury hotel and convention center on Kaliste Saloom Road went all balsamic on members of the Tea Party of Lafayette during a public forum held by City-Parish Councilman Keith Patin last week. Dismissive and condescending, Stewart from the outset assumed an adversarial posture with the tea crowd, referring to them as “idiots.” After the meeting Stewart was sarcastically contrite: “I’m sorry I used the word idiot,” he told The Ind. “I should have said lunatic.” The tea party movement, we’ll observe, trends toward bloviating gas baggery and undue idolization of 18th century men who wore powdered wigs and velvet breeches, but inasmuch as they’re citizens with legitimate concerns over government policy — and we’ll give them that — they deserved a more reasonable reception.
A nationwide search is under way to fill the vacancy of Lafayette Regional Airport Director Greg Roberts following his resignation over an incident in which he allegedly pointed a fake gun at an engineer during a meeting in June, and a replacement is expected by January.
The Ragin’ Cajuns got off to a superb start Saturday night, and the Human Jukebox made the soaked season opener even sweeter for the third-largest crowd in Cajun Field history.
The Louisiana health department will follow a federal judge's order and refrain from immediately penalizing doctors who are trying to comply with a new abortion law that requires them to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital, a spokeswoman said Monday.
Halliburton says it has agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle a substantial portion of plaintiff claims arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
While bogged down with qualifying candidates last month, Secretary of State Tom Schedler didn’t lose sight of the true endgame coming in November and December.
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A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,575 rigs were exploring for oil and 338 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,776 active rigs.
A crew began erecting the 25-foot mini-wheel late morning Friday in anticipation of the evening’s Hottest Night of the Year party at the park.
Frances Boothe of Nunez, who also happens to be filmmaker Stephen Meaux’s grandmother, prepares a cool-weather fave.
The magazine's senior football writer also predicts a break-out year for Saints fourth-year running back Mark Ingram.
New Iberia colonial or Broussard traditional home
The LPSB is poised and ready to move forward with the termination of Pat Cooper following a discussion Thursday with the attorney hired for the investigation of the superintendent, but a decision of this magnitude should be left up to the new board seated in January, especially with three pro-investigation board members bailing out come the new year.
Fiery style for game day
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the effects of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking will help state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh rested his regulars and watched with delight as Ray Rice's backups ground out 214 yards rushing in a 22-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
High-profile criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford awaits his fate in the Curious Goods conspiracy trial.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is set to put the kibosh on the legal ownership of monkeys trained to help the disabled, and the agency wants to know what you think.
A federal judge on Thursday asked lawyers battling over Louisiana's new, restrictive abortion law for an agreement that apparently could let clinics stay open — at least for a while — after the law takes effect Sept. 1.
Three bedroom Port Barre cottage or three bedroom historic district Opelousas home
No laboring for shoppers this holiday
It will be next month before Gov. Bobby Jindal will likely get a chance to change the membership of a South Louisiana flood board that is suing dozens of oil, gas and pipeline companies.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
An abortion rights organization wants a federal judge to block enforcement of Louisiana's new abortion law while its lawsuit to overturn the law makes its way through court.
Republican presidential prospects Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are planning to speak at an Iowa Christian conservative event in September.
The attention surrounding Victor White III has spiked with the release of last week’s autopsy report, which has raised a number of serious questions about the night of his death and has put the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office under an increased wave of scrutiny as more national media outlets are jumping on the story, most recently seen on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.