OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY) — St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz has been charged with breaking state law by the Louisiana Board of Ethics, KLFY has learned.
Guidroz and the insurance agency controlled by his son-in-law, Willie Godchaux, have been charged with ethics violations related to Godchaux’s firm being used to broker insurance coverage for the parish in a complaint filed by the ethics board Sept. 7.
The state board alleges that in his capacity as Sheriff of St. Landry Parish, Guidroz personally authorized payments to the Dupre-Carrier-Godchaux Agency of over $1.6 million for insurance coverage or renewal between Jan. 4, 2021 and March 7, 2023.
As the 31.5% indirect owner of the agency, Godchaux has a “controlling interest” as defined in Louisiana law, according to the state board. This violates the Louisiana Code of Governmental Ethics and state law, which says “no public servant shall participate in a transaction involving the governmental entity in which, to his actual knowledge, any member of his immediate family has a substantial economic interest” and that “no public servant, or a member of such a public servant’s immediate family, or a legal entity in which he has a controlling interest shall bid on or enter into any contract, subcontract or other transaction that is under the supervision or jurisdiction of the agency of such public servant.”
According to the state board, Guidroz and Godchaux were served with the complaint via certified mail on Sept. 25.
The board has asked the Ethics Adjudicatory Board to hold a hearing on the matter and to “assess appropriate penalties in accordance with the Louisiana Code of Governmental Ethics.”
According to the docket posted on the Louisiana Division of Administrative Law website, no hearing has yet been scheduled.
Rep. Clay Higgins (R-Lafayette) has come out in support of Guidroz in a post on his Facebook page.
“Let me say that I think this can’t be true,” Higgins posted. “I just don’t believe it. It reeks of persecution to me. I encourage everyone to refrain from judgement here.”
Higgins said the allegation “seems to twist reality into a sensationalized attack.”
“This insurance impropriety accusation does not sit right with me, it does not fit what I recall to be the truth,” he said. “Bobby always did his best for his Deputies, and I’m willing to bet that’s exactly what he did here.”
Read the entire complaint below.
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