Council meeting for first time since resignation

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 10, 2009



LAPLACE – Succession of power, a vote calling for a special election and a discussion regarding several parish contracts under scrutiny are just some of the highlights of the St. John Parish Council’s first meeting since the resignation of Parish President Bill Hubbard.

Parish officials will begin Tuesday’s meeting with a re-reading of the succession of power into public record.

With former Chief Administrative Officer Pat McTopy taking over as acting parish president, the order has shifted and those changes need to be addressed, said acting Chief Administrative Officer Buddy Boe.

Because of the sudden resignation of Hubbard last month, the parish must now hold a special election to find a replacement. Parish bond attorney Hugh Martin has proposed a resolution for council approval that calls for the special election to be set for March 27. He said candidates may qualify for the race from Feb. 3 through 5.

The council will also take action on four parish contracts that have been under scrutiny in connection with bribery scheme involving Hubbard that was made public late last month.

The council is expected to hear the results of a legal review from the St. John District Attorney’s Office and state legislative auditors of contracts awarded to Davezac Consulting Engineers, Parson & Sanderson and Pipeworks Plumbing and Demolition.

A bill of information from the U.S. Attorney’s office stated Hubbard took bribes from the three companies, identified as A, B and C, that hold general maintenance and consulting contracts with the parish. The bribes helped Hubbard purchase a Toyota Camry for a girlfriend.

Boe said the parish administration will recommend cancellation of the four contracts based on the results of the audit and legal review.

The council will meet Tuesday at the P. D. Hebert Building in LaPlace starting at 6 p.m.

In other parish news, McTopy said Thursday he has named former parish president Arnold Labat as his utilities director. Labat, 79, fills the position vacated by Ralph Bean, who was terminated two months ago. Labat was parish president from 1992 to 1999.