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.
We will be offering our recommendations on the constitutional amendments tomorrow.
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Acadiana's nightlife guide.
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Monday's Blogs from the Bog!
Will $400 be enough for the re-election campaign of LPSB's Hunter Beasley to overcome two years of holding our school system hostage and hurting the education of our children all because of a personal dislike of the superintendent?
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham said Friday he expects his playing status in Detroit to be decided by coach Sean Payton on Sunday, shortly before the game.
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Former President Bill Clinton, the Democratic Party's most popular surrogate this fall, is heading to Louisiana early next week for a campaign rally with U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.
Time and again you hear people say DA Mike Harson is unbeatable because he's doled out political favors over the past 20 years. But a new lawsuit could end that speculation.
We welcome nominations from readers and leaders throughout the business community in Lafayette and the five surrounding parishes.
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Ebola is kind of terrifying if you watch too much Fox News and CNN. Especially Fox, which makes everything look terrifying because, well, War on Christmas and Obama and all.
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Whatever district you are in, please do your research. Find out what the schools need in order to teach. Better yet, ask your child’s teacher. They know!
Get your groove on with two free concerts in Downtown Lafayette Friday, both at Parc Sans Souci.
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