The gist: Lafayette’s City Council handed over its months-long investigation of Mayor-President Josh Guillory to the Louisiana legislative auditor’s office. No findings have been disclosed yet as the probe moves forward.
Get caught up quickly: Within weeks of Guillory’s return from rehab last summer and amid a story about a construction equipment rental company he quietly started with his wife in 2021, the Council unanimously voted to investigate his administration. The investigation focused on LCG’s drainage program and Guillory’s use of public resources, namely his security detail.
The council is leaving the rest of the investigation to the legislative auditor’s office, Councilman Glenn Lazard said Tuesday night. The council’s contracted auditor turned over its findings, which will remain confidential until and unless the LLA decides to release them.
“This is really a very complex matter, so [our investigators] will not be issuing any reports of any findings that they may have. All of their information has been turned over to the Louisiana legislative auditor,” Lazard told council members at Tuesday’s meeting.
Read more on the Guillory investigations
Use of Lafayette Police Department officers for the M-P’s full-time personal security is the subject of an investigation launched by the City Council late last year.
The legislative auditor’s office would only confirm that the agency is conducting an investigative audit at LCG.
The FBI has joined two federal agencies scrutinizing Lafayette’s drainage projects, this time with an eye on the relationship between the contractor and Mayor-President Josh Guillory.
Though the council initially authorized $100,000 for its investigation, only $49,500 of that had been spent as of Tuesday.
State auditors launched their own investigation into Guillory’s administration in January and began by following the path laid out by the City Council’s probe. Council members met with members of the LLA’s investigation team and agreed to provide them with any information obtained by their probe.
Guillory pushed back on the council’s inquiry, calling it a political witch hunt before dumping thousands of pages of documents before the council at its first meeting after authorizing the investigation in September.
The document dump was a belated response to a set of questions the council sent to Guillory’s administration about several drainage projects and LCG’s dealings with Rigid Constructors, a contractor that has been awarded many of LCG’s largest projects. Sources told The Current in August that federal investigators were looking into Guillory’s relationship with Rigid as part of an ongoing probe.
Without a final report from the City Council’s investigation, it will be up to the legislative auditor’s office to release any findings from either probe. Information about either has been very limited so far.
“I really wish I could provide more information, but because this matter is still an investigation, it is not appropriate to do so at this time,” Lazard said Tuesday.
What will we learn and when? That’s a question with implications during this year’s election. The M-P faces at least two challengers this fall, and the investigations are sure to figure into the campaign. The LLA has not released a timeline or scope for its investigative audit into Guillory’s administration. Typically, the office’s probes either result in a report of any infractions or fraud it unearths, along with potential referrals to prosecutors, or a letter verifying that an investigation was conducted and no wrongdoing was found.