Some Livingston officials having second thoughts about paying contractor Corey delaHoussaye


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LIVINGSTON, Louisiana — Some Livingston Parish Council members are having second thoughts about paying a former parish contractor

Corey delaHoussaye is accused of going to a Mardi Gras parade, working out at the gym and playing golf during hours he claimed to be working for the parish after Hurricane Gustav.

The Advocate reports ( DelaHoussaye faces prosecution in state court on numerous counts of falsifying public records and theft related to his billing. DelaHoussaye claims his prosecution, the termination of his contract in 2011 and parish officials' refusal to pay his final invoice are retaliation for his reporting alleged illegal activities by the parish's Hurricane Gustav debris contractors.

DelaHoussaye said the Federal Emergency Management Agency — whose lead attorney referred to him as a "confirmed FBI informant" during a May arbitration hearing — relied heavily on information he compiled about the debris removal work to defeat the parish's claims for $59 million in storm-related costs.

But prosecutors have said delaHoussaye committed fraud by billing the parish for time he was not actually working.

The Advocate reviewed delaHoussaye's time sheets and daily work logs for the 24 months his company, C-Del Inc., was under contract with the parish and found additional problems, including instances of double-billing, repetitive and inconsistent work log entries and staff hours billed for putting out campaign signs and cleaning the office — tasks C-Del was not hired to perform.

DelaHoussaye said those problems could be chalked up to clerical errors, misunderstandings about how his hours were recorded and a lack of internal oversight for the company's billing records. He has denied billing for time he spent off the job, although he did admit billing from a Lafayette Mardi Gras parade once because he was "on the phone constantly with two agents that day."

The 21st Judicial District Attorney's Office has charged delaHoussaye with 73 counts of falsifying public records and eight counts of theft related to his billing. A hearing to determine whether there was probable cause for the charges is set for Feb. 23.

Council Chairman Chance Parent said parish officials should wait until after the hearing to decide whether delaHoussaye is owed anything beyond the $1.9 million the parish already paid C-Del for work on wetlands mitigation and burn site closures. DelaHoussaye's unpaid final invoice totaled more than $379,000.

Information from: The Advocate,

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