Covering Louisiana

Apr 3, 2014 12:46 PM by AP

More apply to serve on board suing 'Big Oil'

HARAHAN, La. (AP) - A nominating committee had at least five names to consider Thursday for a seat on a Louisiana flood control board that is suing dozens of oil and gas companies over coastal wetland loss.

The seat on the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East must be filled by a St. Bernard Parish representative. It is now held by lawyer Tim Doody. His term has expired but he continues to serve until a replacement is appointed.

The nominating panel's choice goes to Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has refused to re-appoint Doody. Jindal has made it clear he wants to stop the lawsuit the authority filed last summer against more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies.

State law requires the nominating panel to send Jindal two nominees for the St. Bernard-based post. The panel re-nominated Doody earlier this year, along with another applicant, retired judge David Gorbaty, who, it was later found, was not eligible to serve.

The panel declined to withdraw Doody's nomination, despite Jindal's opposition. But it agreed to submit a new choice to replace Gorbaty.

According to applications for the post filed with the nominating committee, those interested in the seat are Tyrone Curtis Ben, a human resources manager at The Guidance Center Inc., a counseling service in Chalmette; attorney Michael Ginart Jr.; Chad Michael Lauga, president of a New Orleans area local of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; David James Maag an Information Systems Specialist at Tulane University; and Joseph Albert Oster Jr., a retiree and member of the St. Bernard Parish Republican Executive Committee.

None of the applicants mentioned the lawsuit in the section of the applications where they were asked their reasons for applying for the authority.

Doody's brother, insurance agent Sean Michael Doody, had also applied. However, Tim Doody said that application was made when his own eligibility had come into question. Tim Doody was found to be eligible and remained a nominee. He said Wednesday that his brother had asked to have his name withdrawn.

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