For the first time, we’re hearing from Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux about the controversy surrounding his assistant Marcus Bruno.
Records show Bruno got a federally-funded loan through a non-profit for his personal business.
KATC’s media partner, The Acadiana Advocate broke the story last week and pointed out a potential conflict of interest, since LCG has oversight of the non-profit.
Robideaux said he stands by his aide and so does his legal team, arguing that Bruno himself does not have oversight.
“The two conflict of interest issues are whether or not he’s got the ability for inside information or if he’s in a decision making position and it was determined that both of those criteria he was not in violation of. He’s not a member of the board and the report will give you all the details of how they came to that conclusion,” he said. “I think everything that was required was done and so it was all above board, it meets all the regulations, all the rules.”
The roughly 90-page report was given to the council about two hours before the council meeting.
We asked for a copy of that report and were told it’s not public record because of attorney-client privilege, adding that both him and the council are clients of the LCG attorneys.
But he says he plans to release the report once the council has had a chance to look it over.
“The lawyers are saying until it becomes a non-internal document, once the council has a chance to look at it, we can release it out to the public if we so choose. And certainly that was always the intention to release it to the public,” said Mayor-President Robideaux.
Still the story could mean changes at LCG.
“We’re going to look internally to see if there’s a way to address this on the front end and start requiring all sub-recipients to maybe work with us, as it relates to conflict of interest. It wouldn’t have changed the results of this, the results would’ve been the same, but we would’ve known on the front end,” said Robideaux.
During the interview, Robideaux was also asked about the Current’s article saying Robideaux bought Bruno’s wife’s home after she failed to pay property taxes, but he denied comment.