[UPDATE: After this story was published online, HUD spokeswoman Patricia Campbell responded to The IND’s emailed questions, issuing this statement: “As the contract for the Executive Director of the Lafayette Housing Authority expires on May 31, 2016, Floyd Duran, the HUD HACL Receiver and the Board for the HACL, will make a resolution at tomorrow’s HACL board meeting to initiate a national search for an Executive Director. The goal would be to complete the selection process by the contract expiration date. The Mayor/President of Lafayette has been informed of the decision and, should the resolution be approved, he or his designated representative will participate on the selection panel. The Mayor has agreed to appoint a new HACL Board of Commissioners by the end of March."]
For unknown reasons, the woman brought in to clean up the mess left by Walter Guillory will be shown the door when her contract expires May 31.
A source close the Lafayette Housing Authority tells The IND that Katie Anderson, who took over the troubled housing agency in 2011, was this month informed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that her contract will not be renewed when it expires May 31. Anderson has been working on an annual contract with the LHA, which remains under HUD receivership after financial mismanagement led to the dismissal and subsequent conviction of its former director, Walter Guillory, on bribery and bid-fixing charges.
In 2014, Guillory was sentenced to 28 months in federal prison. The contractor who benefited from the bidding scheme and another former LHA employee who participated in it were given probation.
Former Mayor-President Joey Durel, who was sued after he dismissed three board members in the wake of the agency’s troubles, had long refused to name a new board to the troubled agency — a decision that has kept it under HUD’s control. Floyd Duran, the public housing director in Albuquerque, N.M., has been serving as the LHA’s receiver and board chairman for about 18 months. HUD spokeswoman Patricia Campbell tells The IND in an emailed response that Duran is out of the office and would likely be unable to answer our questions about Anderson’s impending departure and plans for her replacement until next week. (HUD policy prevents Anderson herself from commenting.)
The agenda for the LHA’s March 17 meeting indicates it will review a resolution to approve a national search for a new executive director. It was a national search that led to the hiring of Anderson in 2011. Before joining the LHA, she led the DeRidder Housing Authority from 1992-2011 and was widely considered a competent replacement for Guillory.
The 3 p.m. meeting will be held in the Community Room of the LHA’s Kattie Drive offices.
The IND’s housing authority source says Mayor-President Joel Robideaux, who took office in January, has agreed to reappoint the five board members, one of whom must be a resident receiving assistance from the LHA. Such a move would bring the LHA out of HUD receivership and back under local control.
It’s unclear whether Robideaux plans to have a hand in Anderson’s replacement.
Robideaux was not immediately available to respond to questions emailed to his chief communications officer. This story will be updated with his responses.