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Aug 30, 2010 1:55 PM by Letitia Walker

Protesters Call for Durel's Resignation

KATC has just left a press conference where protesters are calling for the resignation of Parish President Joey Durel. The group was speaking in support of the Lafayette Housing Authority and board members who were recently let go. They say Durel's decision to replace a majority of the board was unfair. We'll have more tonight on Acadiana's News Channel at 5, 6, and 10.

The move came after an audit discovered "mishandled funds" and "sloppy paperwork" within the Disaster Assistance Program. However, the commissioners say they didn't have their hands in that operation and question why they're being pushed-out.

Durel says he's replacing them with people who are 'more knowledgeable' with audits. Durel has the power to appoint all of the seven commissioners. One is left. Durel says that commissioner is also a lawyer and would help assist in the investigation of the Disaster Relief Program.

"It's preventing money from going to the poor people who they were supposed to be helping," Durel said about the misuse of funds. "The elitists in this community are taking money and putting it in their pocket maybe unfairly or even fraudulently."

Housing Authority Executive Director Walter Guillory says he approved a pay raise within the program... The audit suggests a total of five agents received more than $240,000.

So why so much? Guillory says he never specified how much to raise salaries by. He tells us he simply said, "stay within budget."

"I should've been more specific," Guillory said. "That probably would've been the thing to do."

The audit also points out several invoices that were never filed or filed after purchase. More than 100 discrepancies were found- most of them attributed to sloppy paperwork and communication by both the Housing Authority and the agents within the program.

 

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