At least some of the emails reportedly deleted by LUS and former director Terry Huval have been found, Lafayette City-Parish attorney Greg Logan admitted at Tuesday's City Council meeting. In a story first reported by The Current, the statement was made after the council meetings lasted well into the night, finally adjourning at around 3 a.m.
Councilman Glenn Lazard brought up the topic at the meeting, saying he was contacted by a member of the media asking if he was aware or "if they were able to locate those emails that had reportedly disappeared on some server somewhere."
Responding to Lazard, Mayor-President Guillory said he was trying to "maintain that degree of separation to not interfere with the investigation" and didn't have an update to provide, but asked Logan to speak on the issue.
At the podium, Logan explained the systems used by LCG and LUS to archive emails.
"We don't know that all of the emails have been found. There is a barracuda email device here that archives our emails for both LCG and LUS. And then they installed a barracuda software solution at LUS and there were some emails uploaded into that. Plus there was what is called PST, which are backup email files on Mr. Huval's computer that were also uploaded into a server. We now have all of those."
Logan added that the numbers don't appear to have "the huge discrepancy" that was earlier reported. A letter from LCG and Logan to the Louisiana State Police earlier this year states that there were somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000 of Huval's emails deleted in 2011, which was the time frame of communication regarding the pricing structure of the Power Outage Monitoring System and Sewer Lift Station Fiber Service between LUS and LUS Fiber affiliates.
Lazard clarified, "The short answer is some of those reported emails have been located?"
Some or all of the emails have been found, Logan said. "We don't know for sure. Because there's no way to put a file back together. They're coming from many places."
Again, Lazard asked for clarification: "So it's a possibility that we're able to obtain all of them?"
"Correct," said Logan.
The admission comes after Guillory requested in February that the Louisiana State Police conduct an investigation into "serious matters" which occurred at divisions of LCG, LUS, and LUS Fiber.
The letter to LSP stated that the request for investigation "concerns the integrity of public records, the destruction of which appears to be an attempt to cover up a crime." The letter went on to name former LUS director Terry Huval and four other individuals whose names were redacted.
The letter states that an internal investigation uncovered enough evidence to warrant further investigation by LSP "into the destruction of computer files, e-mail archives and possible manipulation of accounting or public finance records."
"We believe certain individuals at LUS & LUS Fiber are guilty of injuring public records; theft; malfeasance; and/or criminal mischief," Logan continues in the letter.
The counsel's statements in Tuesday's meeting seem to contradict previous allegations that Huval's emails were purposely destroyed.
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.
To reach the newsroom or report a typo/correction, click HERE.
Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Evening News Headlines, Latest COVID-19 Headlines, Morning News Headlines, Special Offers