Contractor accused of falsifying billing expected to enter plea Wednesday

Former Livingston Parish contractor Corey Delahoussaye is expected to plead not guilty Wednesday to 81 charges of public record fraud and theft after he allegedly falsified billing invoices related to parish Hurricane Gustav cleanup work.

Delahoussaye will enter his plea during his arraignment at the Livingston Parish Courthouse in front of Judge Bruce Bennett, of the 21st Judicial District, said his attorney, John McLindon, on Tuesday.

The District Attorney’s Office filed a bill of information in December charging Corey Delahoussaye with 73 counts of filing or maintaining false public records and eight counts of theft. The bill says the false public records were filed between July 2010 and September 2011.

The bill came about two weeks after a Livingston Parish grand jury, on an 8-2 vote, declined to indict Delahoussaye in the case. One more vote would have led to an indictment. District Attorney Scott Perrilloux has said his office would formally charge Delahoussaye after the grand jury vote.

Livingston Parish hired Delahoussaye and his firm, C-Del Inc., in October 2009 to help resolve wetlands permit and mitigation issues lingering from the parish’s debris cleanup efforts from Hurricane Gustav in 2008.

Delahoussaye billed the parish for about $2 million, but the then-outgoing Parish Council terminated its contract in August 2011 with C-Del after council members raised questions about Delahoussaye’s invoices.

Delahoussaye was accused of playing golf, working out at a health club and taking his children to swim meets during time he claimed he was working.

Delahoussaye has denied the claims. He has said his termination was in retaliation for his reporting of alleged improper and illegal cleanup work of three firms he was supposed to monitor.

Delahoussaye also has said a golf club at which he played recorded incorrect tee times and days for him and he worked more than 40 hours per week but billed only 40 at the parish’s request.

Delahoussaye also has said he sometimes disguised the actual hours he worked because he was working as an FBI informant at the time. An FBI spokeswoman has declined comment when asked if Delahoussaye worked for the agency.

Shortly after taking office in 2012, Parish President Layton Ricks stopped payment on a $379,000 check issued to Delahoussaye by then-Parish President Mike Grimmer for Delahoussaye’s Gustav work. Ricks has repeatedly declined to sign the check.

Delahoussaye sued the parish and the three cleanup and monitoring firms — International Equipment Distributors, Alvin Fairburn & Associates and Professional Engineering Consultants — in August 2012, claiming they conspired to disgrace him and violate his civil rights.

The three engineering firms have since been dismissed from Delahoussaye’s lawsuit, but the parish and Ricks remain as defendants.

Perrilloux investigated Delahoussaye in November 2011 but turned the case over to federal authorities one month later.

The state Inspector General’s Office also began looking into Delahoussaye’s dealings with the parish in 2012. Agents from the Louisiana Inspector General’s Office seized at least 42 electronic devices from Delahoussaye’s Baton Rouge home on July 25 that contained records investigators believe show Delahoussaye falsified his billing records.