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Opelousas Housing Authority cancel meeting, citing concerns of unethical practices

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Posted at 10:23 PM, May 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-13 00:11:21-04

We're getting answers about an alleged unethical meeting involving Opelousas Housing Authority.

Instead of having the meeting at the housing authority office as usual, it was leaked that Wednesday night's meeting was instead happening at the commissioner's house.

Then suddenly, about an hour before it was scheduled to start, the meeting was canceled.

Opelousas Housing Authority chairperson Linda Prudhomme said the meeting was canceled after receiving several calls from concerned residents. Those calls came in even before a call from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“We didn't do it to upset the public,” said Prudhomme.

The Opelousas Housing Authority is in process of hiring a new director.

Opelousas Mayor Julius Alsandor says the moving of a public meeting to someone’s house was concerning.

“Their task is to do the very best job that they can for those that they are representing, but also for the City of Opelousas, because the Opelousas Housing Authority is located here in the heart of the city and they are representative of the people here,” said Alsandor.

When we found out the meeting had been moved from its regular location to someone’s home, we went to the commissioner’s house, which was listed as the new meeting location, to ask why.

“I don’t know. The president called me and told me it was canceled. We were just going to eat afterwards, that’s why," said commissioner James Rollins.

“We didn't do it to upset the public or to make it seem like we were doing something unethical,” added Prudhomme.

Under Louisiana's Sunshine Laws, public meetings are to be held in public entities, and at least 24 hours before any type of meeting - including regular, special or rescheduled - the date, time, location and agenda must be posted.

“We just wanted to combine the process and we did have some concerns about a breach in our privacy. However, once it was brought to our attention that some concerns about it being unethical, we realized that they may have that appearance. We did not want that to appear to be such because that was not our intent,” said Prudhomme.

The chairperson for the housing authority says their meeting is rescheduled for next Wednesday, when a new executive director will be announced.

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