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Tim Doody now target of Louisiana Governor Jindal

The president of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Authority-East's board, Tim Doody, has again become a target of Governor Bobby Jindal and his coastal advisor, Garret Graves. Doody's term was up last year, but the governor choose not to appoint a replacement. Now, it appears that Gov. Jindal wants to replace Doody.

The SLFPA-E filed a lawsuit last year against 97 oil and gas companies. The flood authority wants the companies to pay for the damage and injury to the state's wetlands or pay to have the coastal areas restored. The lawsuit has faced huge opposition from Gov. Jindal's administration, resulting in the replacement of three seats on the board, including author and activist, John Barry. A committee was selected to come up with names for replacing the four board members, and Gov. Jindal choose the replacements from those names.

One of the names submitted to the governor for the board's president was Tim Doody. The other was David Gorbaty, a judge in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. No announcement was made regarding this appointment last year.

According to Graves, Gorbaty is no longer eligible because he is a public employee, and the law governing the SLFPA-E expressly states a public employee cannot hold a position on the board. Last December, the judge became St. Bernard Parish's chief administrative officer.

Doody, according to the governor, will not be appointed. The reason given is that he works for a law firm that asked him to recuse himself from voting on issues dealing with the lawsuit because of a possible conflict with some of the firm's clients. Doody is an accountant for the firm. The firm does not represent any of the oil and gas companies in the lawsuit.

What is ironic, though, is that one of the people appointed by the governor, Joe Hassinger, Jr., is an attorney for a firm that is representing many of the oil and gas companies involved in the lawsuit. An audit by the Louisiana Board of Ethics determined that there was no conflict.

Doody says there is no conflict. He has seldom voted on issues with the lawsuit, because his vote is only needed when there is a tie.

Environmental problems sometimes require litigation in order to get the desired results. Attorneys with experience in such issues may help you understand how best to proceed with such action for these types of problems.

Source: nola.com, "Gov. Jindal again trying to remove east bank levee authority president" Mark Schleifstein, Jan. 31, 2014

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