Oct 25, 2010 7:06 PM by Shawn Kline

LHA Director resigns

A pair of unexpected resignations hit the Lafayette Housing Authority.
Both LHA Director Walter Guillory and Assistant Director Jonathan Carmouche put in their letters of resignation Monday morning.
This all stems around the audit revealing financial and management problems; but the resignations came as a shock to many LHA employees.
"I didn't know," Linda Fontenette says, "I had no idea."
Fontenette has been with the housing authority for 25 years- she's seen HUD take over a couple of times- most recently in 1998 when HUD officials appointed Guillory to oversee the housing authority.
Now, another turnover after their letters of resignation.
"We were all crying (Monday) morning because we hated to see him leave us," Fontenette said.
Guillory and his second in command, Jonathan Carmouche sent the letters after state auditors found more than $400-thousand in mishandled funds.
"The leadership runs in control of this organization," John Freeman said. "So the buck really stopped with them."
Commissioner Freeman finally reviewed the audit last week- he's one of three board members who were relieved from their post in August- but a district appeals court ruled they were unlawfully removed and reinstated them.
He says Guillory's resignation comes at a time when the housing authority needs to start with a clean slate.
"The only place you can go from here is up." Freeman says, "there's no other place to go but up- we're at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to this organization."
Starting a rebuilding process that leaves employees like Linda Fontenette with a lot of unanswered questions.
"There are some people that just came on board and I'm sure they're worried about what's going to happen next whose going to be here and whose not."
HUD officials are back in town but they say they have no intentions to take control of the housing authority but they will be here to help commissioners steer it in the right direction.


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