LIVINGSTON, La. (AP) - Livingston Parish’s arbitration attorneys say they remain confident in the parish’s case for $59 million in unpaid Hurricane Gustav cleanup costs, despite accusations of fraud and misconduct in the debris removal effort.
Parish President Layton Ricks told the parish council Thursday that the parish’s legal team at Baker Hostetler in Washington, D.C., is preparing to answer the 192-page pleading the Federal Emergency Management Agency filed in the case.
FEMA has alleged that monitors the parish hired to oversee the removal of leaning trees and hanging limbs from parish rights of way were inexperienced, poorly trained and specifically advised to document ineligible work and submit fraudulent claims for reimbursement.
Ricks tells The Advocate (https://bit.ly/OaW5yT ) Livingston’s attorneys will respond to FEMA’s allegations by Monday.
The arbitration case is before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Civilian Board of Contract Appeals.
The panel wants to hold a hearing on the matter as early as April or May, rather than waiting until August or September as previously projected, Ricks said.
Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com
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