Baton Rouge city-parish technology director Don Evans is the latest public official claimed in the ongoing federal case against Belle Chase tech vendor Mark St. Pierre and former New Orleans Chief Technology Officer Greg Meffert.
Baton Rouge city-parish technology director Don Evans is the latest public official claimed in the ongoing federal case against Belle Chase tech vendor Mark St. Pierre and former New Orleans Chief Technology Officer Greg Meffert. Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden announced Friday that Evans is resigning, effective Oct. 31, and has been placed on leave from his job effective immediately.
A motion from U.S. Attorney Jim Letten's office last week expounded on St. Pierre's alleged kickback schemes to public officials in exchange for government contracts. The motion alleges those extended beyond Meffert and New Orleans City Hall, and that both Evans and recently former Lafayette Chief Information Officer Keith Thibodeaux also partook in the quid pro quo. Prosecutors noted that Thibodeaux's wife Celeste was hired by a St. Pierre company, Imagine Software, at a rate of $80 an hour following Hurricane Katrina and ultimately made $100,000 off the contract. On Thibodeaux's recommendation, LCG subsequently hired St. Pierre's NetMethods company for almost $200,000 worth of work.
Thibodeaux was fired last Wednesday, the day after City-Parish President Joey Durel says he was made aware of the public filing. A press release from Lafayette Consolidated Government noted that city officials had been cooperating fully with representatives of the United States Attorney's Office in the Eastern District for a year on the case and that LCG was reporting the incident to the Louisiana Board of Ethics.
Thibodeaux is yet to be targeted in the case or charged with any crime. Both he and his wife have obtained separate legal counsel in the case. Former U.S. Attorney Mike Skinner, who now specializes in white collar defense, is representing Keith Thibodeaux. Celeste Thibodeaux has retained local defense attorney Gerald Block. Both Block and Skinner declined to comment on the case