La. Wildlife and Fisheries boss resigns amid reports on alleged kickback scheme
LAFAYETTE - The head of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has resigned after he was implicated in an apparent kickback scheme involving a contract the agency signed with a private contractor, sources told WBRZ.
LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet who abruptly resigned Friday morning, is believed to have signed that contract in October 2021, according to The Advocate.
The allegations emerged this week after Dusty Guidry, who was appointed by Governor Edwards to the LDWF Commission, pleaded guilty to bribery-related charges in Lafayette. Two of those counts stemmed from claims that Guidry would refer accused criminals in the Lafayette DA's office to specific private companies where the defendants would pay for classes in exchange for having their charges dismissed, and a portion of that money would go back to Guidry.
Court documents also said Guidry conspired with a high-ranking LDWF official on a similar scheme that involved sending contracts to a specific company that would handle hunting and boating licenses and resolve legal violations. Court documents alleged that officials would receive kickbacks upon their retirement and also get an ATV worth roughly $14,000.
LSU Law Professor Ken Levy said things may not end well for Montoucet.
"When the feds are on to you good luck," Levy said. "They have ample investigative resources, and if they are aware of you committing this kind of corruption they have the laws and investigative agents and will to come after you."
New documents released this week appeared to link Montoucet to the scheme, according to The Advocate. Montoucet, 75, earns about $125,000 in his role as LDWF secretary, which is appointed by the governor.
"Bribery is interesting because people who engage in bribery think it's a win win," Levy said. "You profit, I profit. What's the harm? The harm is to us the people who trust them to do their jobs and their jobs are to serve us in these agencies."
Guidry allegedly pocketed about $89,000 himself. He previously worked in the East Baton Rouge DA's office and resigned from his role there following his arrest on drug charges in 2021.
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