Mayor Tyler Responds to Report of Federal Investigation
Reports have surfaced about a federal investigation involving Shreveport City Government. Mayor Ollie Tyler is now speaking out through an attorney who is handling the case. KTBS has aired a story focusing on what they report is an FBI investigation into the city’s water billing error. According to the report, federal authorities are looking into the possibility of shakedowns and kickbacks at city hall dating back to the Glover Administration.
The KTBS report also claims some of these alleged shady deals might still be happening. Attorney Jerry Harper who represents Scott Pernici says he has gotten numerous complaints about what he calls “pay for play”.
A lawsuit by Pernici is still pending against the city of Shreveport. The investigation centers on Lynn Braggs and David Aubrey who have done work for both the Glover and Tyler campaigns. In the KTBS report, Harper alleges the two men acted as go-betweens for companies seeking city contracts and the city in the pay to play scheme.
We got this statement today from attorney Julie Lafargue on behalf of Mayor Ollie Tyler:
“The administration had no knowledge Mr. Braggs was employed by Manchac. Mr. Braggs has never had any role or participation in Mayor Tyler’s administration, and has had no political association with Mayor Tyler since she took office.
Justin Haydel of Manchac said in sworn testimony that Mr. Braggs’ employment ended because Manchac was not receiving city contracts. Mr. Haydel also testified Mr. Braggs told him Mayor Tyler would not hire an engineering firm without going through the required review and recommendation process of the Architectural & Engineering Committee. Additionally, Mr. Haydel also testified that he was told by representatives of Sand Beach that he could be forced to sue the City against his will.
During the Tyler administration, Manchac never received a prime contract from the city. However, during the Hightower administration, while Mr. Haydel worked at the CDM engineering firm, CDM received two large engineering contracts. Mr. Braggs has testified he was employed by CDM to secure contracts. There are now documents in the court record showing former Mayor Hightower’s early involvement in the Manchac-Sand Beach attempts to obtain money from the City in return for disclosing the water billing error.
Lafargue’s response included part of an email string between former Mayor Hightower and Scott Pernici:
The statement from Lafargue concludes:
We have no knowledge of complaints of “shakedowns,” and this administration has not been contacted by the FBI or any other law enforcement agency concerning complaints of “shakedowns.” This administration does not engage in such activity, and this is not how the City does business. “