Finding shows that previous council had deleted 30-day
The St. Charles Parish legal department has completed its review of two contracts with a Destrehan-based firm with reported ties to the recent bribery case of former St. John Parish President Bill Hubbard, only finding one irregularity.
Hubbard pled guilty in federal court to charges of conspiracy to give and solicit bribes involving three companies. One of the companies is reported to be Destrehan-based Davezac Consulting Engineers, which is owned by Ray Davezac. They were hired by St. Charles Parish in 2007 to perform engineering on the Cousins Pump Station bar screen cleaners at a cost of $360,000. Another Davezac company, Plan Review and Inspection LLC, reviews plans and performs inspections for the parish to ensure compliance with the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code.
The irregularity was found in the Plan Review and Inspection LLC contract. It was determined that Davezac’s contract does not have the 30-day termination clause in it since it was deleted by the previous council, according to parish spokeswoman Renee Simpson. A termination clause is generally included in contracts and allows either party to terminate the contract upon 30-days written notice.
“Unless the governmental authorities decide to take further action regarding Davezac, no further action will be taken by the parish to rescind or revoke the contract,” Simpson said.
Just because there is no termination clause does not mean the contract can never be revoked or rescinded.
“Legal advises that there are always methods to terminate contracts if needed, for example if the contract’s requirements are not being fulfilled,” Simpson added.
After Hurricane Katrina, the legislature mandated that homes built after Dec. 31, 2006 comply with building codes. The move was designed to encourage insurance companies to continue writing policies in the state in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The requirements are a burden on many of the state’s rural and suburban parishes, which did not require inspections.
Plan Review and Inspection’s contract was extended by the Parish Council in 2007 until 2010. The company charged the parish $276,771 for work performed in 2008.