Lawsuit settlement ends public spat with contractor, council
LIVINGSTON - The parish government settled a lawsuit between Livingston Parish and disaster contractor Corey Delahoussaye and his company C-Del, Inc. Thursday.
The agreement, worth $325,000, ends a years-long battle between Delahoussaye and the parish over a billing argument related to cleanup after Hurricane Gustav. Delahoussaye was accused of going to a Mardi Gras parade, working out at the gym and playing golf during hours he claimed to be working. Delahoussaye, who has already been paid $1,893,983.60, maintains he did nothing wrong.
The area district attorney, Scott Perrilloux, has sought to try Delahoussaye in criminal court and some members of parish government have voiced opposition to settling or paying Delahoussaye until the case runs its course.
"I wanted to make sure that any settlement reached in the civil cases would not affect the District Attorney's ability to move forward with the criminal case against Delahoussaye," Parish President Layton Ricks said.
But, in February, a judge found no probable cause in the case against Delahoussaye.
Then, Perrilloux had choice words for the judge.
"Just because they wear black robes doesn't mean they're always right," he said.
"The Council made the offer to pay C-Del $325,000," Ricks said, "and although I have been reluctant to write a check to Mr. Delahoussaye pending the outcome of the criminal case, our attorney has made it absolutely clear that the council does have the authority to settle this particular case as long as the funds are available, which they are, and as long as the District Attorney approves the settlement. With these Charter conditions having been met, I have no choice but to carry out the Council's settlement offer and write the check to Mr. Delahoussaye."
Delahoussaye countered Thursday, he is concerned the settlement check won't pass muster at the bank.
"I am skeptical in depositing any checks from the parish account as my last one had a stop payment on it," he said. "I will feel more comfortable once the check clears."
"Moreover, it is a shame that the taxpayers had to spend over $100,000 on legal fees and audits to shave off $50,000 from my invoice all of which was under the legal advice of Scott Perrilloux. What a gross misuse of taxpayer money," he added.
Follow the publisher of this post on Twitter: @treyschmaltz