Feb 15, 2011 12:01 PM by Shawn Kline

Judge: LHA Board did not violate laws

Three Lafayette Housing Authority Commissioners alleged to have violated open meeting laws were not found to be in any violation.

Retired Judge Arthur Planchard was appointed to the case, hearing testimonies from the commissioners and witnesses on Monday.
The meeting in question dates back to October 26th where an executive session was scheduled to talk about personel matters- now known to be about former Executive Director, Walter Guillory and his second-in-command, Jonathan Carmouche. However, the day before the meeting, both Guillory and Carmouche resigned.

Since the two resigned, the commissioners say there was no need to call an executive session. There was however, some confusion and the session was still called. Because it was an "executive session" to discuss peronel matters, members of the public and the media were asked to leave the room for about 30 minutes.

"There was a lack of appropriate description." Judge Planchard said about the agenda. "There was a lack of a proper vote." He says, "a failure to identify the individuals to be discussed (as well)."

Planchard says according to testimonies, two of the three commissioners left the meeting room after the session was called and no Housing Authority business was discussed while the public was asked to leave.

"(The commissioners) did not willfully and knowingly participate in an illegal meeting," Planchard said in his decision.

Due to the lack of contradictory evidence, Judge Planchard found no violation of open meeting laws.



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