St. Landry

Apr 25, 2011 11:12 PM by Shawn Kline

Opelousas Housing Authority looks at Legislative Audit

Another legislative audit released on a housing authority commission.
This time, highlighting what went wrong in Opelousas.

Behind the walls of the Opelousas Housing Authority, Joe Ann Tyler is the person in charge.

"We're fighting fires day by day." Tyler says, "I'm not kidding you."

The Executive Director says she inherited many of those problems left by former E.D., Walter Guillory.
You may recall Guillory also supervised the Lafayette Housing Authority during its audit released last summer.
Guillory eventually resigned in November. Now, his name is printed all over another audit:

Nearly $50,000 paid to Guillory's personal consulting company, including a severance payment which may have violated state law.

Deeper into the report, auditors mention other questionable expenses that incurred under Guillory's supervision:

More than $88,000 spent on a community band for children. The housing authority, now missing more than $20,000-worth of those instruments.

Even more bizarre, some OHA board members tried to fund their own police force at the dismay of Opelousas Police Chief, Perry Gallow. The board, spending $200,000 in the process. The money used on police cars, a radio system, uniforms, pistols, and even a police dog.

Tyler, like many others at the housing authority have been scrambling to clean-up the finances since 2009. Tyler now wondering if HUD will also take over the housing authority in Opelousas.

"I wouldn't want to see HUD come down and take over." She says, "but with everything that's been going on here, I wouldn't doubt that they would not."

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