March 19th, 2022 — By — In OCA Blog

OCA Member Randall Smith Fights to Save Family Property Not Needed for Louisiana Drainage Project

OCA member Randall SmithA state judge recently halted work on a Louisiana drainage project being promoted by the Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG) that it claims is designed to ease flooding and drainage issues. But the property selected for this work has belonged to the same family for almost 100 years, and according to the family’s lawyer, Randall Smith, lacks necessary permits and will in no way address the drainage concerns that the project is intended to rectify. “I applaud LCG for wanting to do something about drainage and flooding, and I know the mayor has made a lot of campaign promises about this. But this is property that is high and dry, land that doesn’t flood, and should not be excavated to a low level to hold water, when there’s no showing that that’s going to accomplish anything other than deprive my clients of land that they, as a family, have owned for almost a century.”

On the necessity issue LCG is relying on the expert testimony of its’ engineer Pam Granger.  But Mr. Smith questions her ability to testify objectively about the project. “She’s been hired to manage the detention pond projects and has a public contract that’s public record. She has a percentage interest in the contracts” and stands to gain financially from their completion. We think that’s highly unusual and inappropriate.”

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