Louisiana news briefs
Panel denies Livingston Parish’s $59M Gustav costs
LIVINGSTON (AP) — A three-judge panel has denied Livingston Parish’s $59 million in claims against the Federal Emergency Management Agency for Hurricane Gustav cleanup costs.
The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Civilian Board of Contract Appeals issued its ruling Monday. It follows a five-day hearing held in late May.
The panel ruled that the parish already received more money from FEMA than could be justified by the parish’s documentation of the work. By law, its decision is binding and cannot be appealed.
Civil Service Board rules against Hammond chief
HAMMOND (AP) — The Hammond Police and Fire Civil Service Board says evidence supports Police Officer Jennifer Payne’s complaint against the chief and the department.
The board members met for about seven hours Monday to review around 800 pages of text that included 18 interviews about the case.
The board voted to proceed with a disciplinary hearing against Police Chief Roddy Devall and Public Information Officer Vince Giannobile for violating the rights of a police officer by issuing personal information about her in a news release
The board ordered the city to issue notices of pre-disciplinary hearings to Devall and Giannobile and for the city to conduct those hearings by July 14, or at another agreed upon time.
Payne was arrested April 29 for alleged doctor shopping.
to restart Lafayette murder case
LAFAYETTE (AP) — The judicial wheels are turning again in the first-degree murder case against Landon Broussard, whose trial was blocked this year when state money for expert witnesses dried up.
Attorneys for Broussard told a state judge on Monday that the case’s second mitigation specialist, Stacey Farraro, received state money in early June to begin her role in the case. Farraro will look into Broussard’s past, researching appellate court decisions that could affect the case and lining up witnesses.
Broussard, 22, has been awaiting trial in the March 2013 death of 3-year-old Julien Madera.
Julien’s mother, Laura Smith, 24, pleaded guilty on May 19 to cruelty to a juvenile,
Team chosen to revitalize LSU lakes
BATON ROUGE (AP) — Officials have chosen a team of architects and engineers that will spearhead the project to salvage and revitalize the slowly dying Baton Rouge lakes.
SWA Group, an international landscape architecture and urban design company, was selected from a group of four finalists that pitched their visions at a community meeting Monday.
Kinder Baumgardner, president of SWA Group, said the company specializes in projects that promote healthy living.
The Baton Rouge lakes were created in the 1930s out of a stretch of swampland. But the lakes have been slowly drying up over the years. They are currently less than 3 feet deep.
Former school board member faces ethics charge
LAFAYETTE (AP) — A former St. Landry Parish School Board member in federal prison for soliciting a bribe from a candidate for superintendent is now facing charges from the state Board of Ethics.
The Ethics Board, in charges made public Monday, is seeking unspecific penalties from Quincy Richard Sr., who was convicted last year of trying to squeeze $5,000 from superintendent candidate Joseph Cassimere to secure the board member’s vote of support.
Richard reported to prison in March to begin serving a 33-month sentence.
The ethics charges stem from the same facts in the federal bribery case.
Quincy Richard Jr., the former board member’s son and attorney, says he had not seen documentation on the ethics charges.