Gachassins supporting Hardy's opponent

by Leslie Turk

About 60 percent of District 44 challenger Vince Pierre's political contributions come from the family of development consultant Greg Gachassin, the subject of state Rep. Rickey Hardy's ethics complaint.

State Rep. Rickey Hardy's ethics complaint against development consultant Greg Gachassin (which, according to Gachassin's attorney, prompted an ethics investigation) appears to be benefiting his opponent in the District 44 race.

Vince Pierre (at left), nephew of former District 44 state Rep. Wilfred Pierre, raised $5,230 from Jan. 1 to Sept. 12, according to campaign finance reports. Of that amount, $3,000 comes from the Gachassins: $2,500 from Nick Gachassin Jr., Greg's father, and $500 from Gachassin law firm.

On May 2 Hardy, who helped expose mismanagement and fraud at the Lafayette Housing Authority, lodged a formal complaint with the state Board of Ethics. "It would seem as if Mr. Gachassin has violated the ethics laws of the State of Louisiana while serving as chairman and member of the Lafayette Public Trust Finance Authority... [and] appears to have been in ethics violation even after his resignation from the [LPTFA]," Hardy wrote to the state's top ethics administrator, Kathleen Allen. Hardy's complaint is connected to Gachassin's work for two low-income housing developments financed or spearheaded by the LPTFA while he was serving on the board.

Hardy, who pledged in August to stop taking all campaign contributions and returned donations he had received from the previous month, did show $1,000 in contributions he took in early in the year - $250 from Air Product Political Alliance, $500 from CRPPA Local PAC, and $250 from Robert D. Lowe.

The most recent reports, which were due by Sept. 22 - 30 days prior to the primary election - show Pierre with $914 cash on hand and Hardy with $9,830.

View Pierre's report here and Hardy's report here.