LAFAYETTE, La. (The Advertiser)- District Attorney Keith Stutes told Lafayette Consolidated Government officials he found no evidence of a crime in questioned payments between Lafayette Utilities System and LUS Fiber after he reviewed records they provided.
Stutes’ memos outlining his conclusions, however, show a limited investigation by his staff, which cites only one witness interviewed by his office.
Instead, Stutes based his findings on actions by former LUS Director Terry Huval and other employees on documents and other materials provided by the city-parish, and he criticized Lafayette officials who asked him to investigate how more than $8 million from ratepayers was handled for not providing specific evidence of a crime.
“Strong rhetoric and advocacy do not supply the necessary proof to warrant criminal charges which must be established beyond a reasonable doubt,” Stutes wrote. “While awaiting the results of your continuing investigation for such proof, you continue as well to publicly proclaim your conclusions.”
Stutes said the matter of payments between the sister utilities was better suited for state regulators.