Ex-Livingston contractor denies theft charges

Corey Delahoussaye also accused in fraud

Former Livingston Parish contractor Corey Delahoussaye’s attorney said Wednesday he will ask a judge to disqualify the 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office from prosecuting Delahoussaye’s public records fraud and theft case.

Attorney John McLindon said it would be improper for the District Attorney’s Office to handle the case because Delahoussaye sought legal advice from assistant district attorneys in that office while working for the parish, which had contracted Delahoussaye’s company to do cleanup work after Hurricane Gustav.

The district attorney serves as legal adviser for Livingston Parish for all governmental affairs, according to the parish’s home rule charter.

“I’m going to file a motion to recuse their entire office and ask that the attorney general for the state of Louisiana take it over,” McLindon said.

District Attorney Scott Perrilloux declined comment, saying he’d rather wait until the motion is filed to make any remarks about it.

McLindon spoke about the motion after Delahoussaye pleaded not guilty to 81 charges of public records fraud and theft that accuse him of falsifying billing invoices for Hurricane Gustav cleanup work.

Delahoussaye has been accused of playing golf, working out at a health club and taking his children to swim meets during the time he claimed he was working for the parish during the post-Hurricane Gustav cleanup.

Delahoussaye has steadfastly denied the accusations.

The 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office in December charged Delahoussaye with 73 counts of filing or maintaining false public records and eight counts of theft.

The bill of information says the false public records were filed between July 2010 and September 2011.

The charges came about two weeks after a Livingston Parish grand jury, in an 8-2 vote, declined to indict Delahoussaye in the case. One more vote would have led to an indictment, Perrilloux has said.

Delahoussaye, dressed in jeans and a black pea coat, made his plea at the Livingston Parish Courthouse in front of 21st District Judge Bruce Bennett.

Bennett assigned Delahoussaye’s case to state Judge Brenda Ricks and set a March 6 court date for motions.

“He’s going to take the stand, he’s going to tell his story, and he’s going to be acquitted,” McLindon said outside the courthouse.

Delahoussaye did not speak to reporters Wednesday.

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 about $2 million, but the then-outgoing Parish Council terminated the contract in August 2011 after council members raised questions about Delahoussaye’s invoices.

Delahoussaye has said his termination was in retaliation for his reporting the 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 hours 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 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 former Parish President Mike Grimmer for the cleanup work.

Ricks has repeatedly declined to sign the check.

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

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

The state Inspector General’s Office also began looking into Delahoussaye’s dealings with the parish sometime in 2012.

State agents 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, according to a search warrant.