Posted: Dec 3, 2010 9:13 AM by Nichole Larkey
LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - State troopers have deferred to a federal investigation of the Lafayette Housing Authority and will not act on a state lawmaker's request for an investigation of an authority meeting, a state police spokesman says.
Rep. Ricky Hardy, D-Lafayette, had requested a state investigation to determine if an audio tape of a housing authority board meeting on Oct. 26 had been tampered with.
The tape could have shed light on whether the board conducted a closed-door session in violation of the state open meetings law. City-Parish President Joey Durel cited that allegation in an effort to dismiss board members John Freemen, Joseph Dennis and Leon Simmons.
Housing authority officials said a tape recorder that was supposed to be running during meeting either malfunctioned or was not properly turned on. The three board members have denied anything wrong occurred.
State police spokesman Stephen Hammons said his agency had learned of a federal probe and would not intervene. Hammons would not say what federal agency is investigating.
Housing authority board member Donald Fuselier said he asked for an FBI investigation following the release of an audit last summer that questioned expenses and management at the agency. Fuselier said he did not know the status of the investigation.
Following the audit, the housing authority executive director, Walter Guillory, and Jonathan Carmouche, the deputy director, both resigned. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has sent an official to Lafayette to monitor the authority's housing and spending.