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CPC to act on Bruno investigation, dormant funds transfer and deconsolidation

Posted at 12:15 PM, Mar 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-07 19:32:53-05

Tuesday’s City-Parish Council meeting promises to be a lively one.

Three items on the agenda are likely to spark at least some debate.

Resolution 013-2019 asks for a special investigation into matters involving Mayor-President Joel Robideaux’s assisstant, Marcus Bruno, in particular a federal business loan he obtained through a city-parish agency that he is involved with.

Last month, Robideaux responded to a story by our media partners at The Advocate that revealed Bruno obtained the loan through the Lafayette Neighborhoods Economic Development Corporation, an LCG agency that Bruno picked board members for and approved the bylaws of. His response was to have his attorneys investigate Bruno’s loan; the investigation said Bruno didn’t violate any laws. Since then, Robideaux also has requested that HUD and the state Ethics Board review the transaction as well. To read our stories on this, click here, here and here.

The resolution on Tuesday’s agenda invokes the council’s authority, provided for in the charter, to conduct its own investigation, “for the purpose of:

  • Fully determining and investigating the facts surrounding the loan between the direct appointment of the Mayor-President and the LNEDC
  • Making a complete investigation and inquiry into any potential conflict of interest involved in this transaction and any other related transaction
  • Determine whether any violations of LCG policies and procedures have taken place.”

The resolution requests the assistance of District Attorney Keith Stutes for the investigation, and directs the council president to request opinions from the state Board of Ethics and HUD.

Another resolution would request that the Acadiana Metropolitan Planning Organization “delay a decision on the Lafayette Mayor-President’s requested transfer of dormant project funds pending an evaluation by the Council and that the Mayor-President communicate with the Council on future AMPO funding matters.”

According to the resolution, Robideaux requested that the AMPO reallocate more than $8 million that was dedicated to projects in the city-parish without informing the council. The money was to be transferred to eight projects, seven of which are new projects, the resolution states.

However, the council was never told about any of this, and wasn’t told about Robideaux’s request, the resolution states. Since the council is the governing authority of the city-parish, it needs to be involved in this reallocation of funds, the resolution states.

Lastly, the council is set to address the snafu involving last year’s deconsolidation vote, with a resolution that asks the state Attorney General for an opinion on the redrawing of districts.