These are my observations of the Cormier administration’s first 21 months – in no particular order:
(1) Litigation – At the present time, I am aware of the following lawsuits that are nothing but political in nature and are making Plaquemines the laughing stock of the regional legal and business community:
- Four Lawsuits against 16 defendants total – including Hinkley, Buras, Lott, and Williams. So far, these four lawsuits have cost the Parish $350,000 plus in attorneys fees plus $127,000 in damage awards and counting. All 16 defendants have won their lawsuits at the trial court level. The lawsuits had so little merit that they did not even go to trial – they were all dismissed by the courts because there was no evidence to even proceed to trial. President Cormier has (or is soon to be based on comments made in the paper) appealed every one of the lawsuits – wasting more taxpayers’ money and exposing the Parish to even more damages. Oh yeah – the Ethics Board has found NO evidence of wrongdoing. Everyone knows that these lawsuits will not make the Parish a dime as none of them have any merit. Everyone knows that President Cormier is continuing this lawsuit due to the vendetta against those that he believes are not on his side. During the campaign for the special election in 2016, Cormier promised he would use his skills and acumen as an attorney to review these lawsuits and if they had no merit, they would be dismissed. 23 months later – Cormier is still pursuing these lawsuits even though the Council voted to withdraw their support. Cormier in a council meeting said they had merit – so far – he has lost everything legal that he has touched as parish president – we will see if he can keep his streak alive with these four suits as the defendants gear up to start court all over again…. When will this end?
- Ballay v. Cormier – Cormier claims he did not file the suit – and thus he is not the aggressor. But the facts are simple – the Council assigned the DA Bldg 201 (like it had assigned buildings to numerous departments in the past) – the PPG awarded the contract to CDW – but then Amos refused to sign the contract. CDW sued the PPG – CDW won – Amos was ordered to sign the contract – he refused – he was held in contempt for failing to sign the contract by an outside judge who must think we are crazy – and then tells the paper he won the war against Ballay? Now the DA and his staff office gets to stay in an office the floods every time it rains, leaks and has plumbing that is rotting away. But that is OK because Amos won the war. He says he is at war with the DA? Is that the reason he did not sign the contract – because he is at war? What a great impression this must have on businesses that might want to move here and the regional community at large
- Council v. Cormier – Cormier won’t move – so far he has lost every hearing and motion in that lawsuit. It’s not like they want to move him to a dump – if they did – I would understand – but they want to move him to a newly renovated first-class office that is close to finance, engineering, permits, health, and other administrative offices. I don’t get it
- Council v. Cormier 2 – Cormier wants 5 votes not 6 to spend BP money – which by the way right now there is no BP money because it is tied up in litigation with the law firm that got the PPG that money – Council realizes that the BP money is the only thing right now keeping the PPG alive and wants extra control over the spending. Amos wants to get his hands on the money before the election. I think most prudent government leaders would want the additional oversight that one vote carries to ensure wise spending of the BP money. I can’t fault the council for that one.