I-Team Billing Investigation Update - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

I-Team Billing Investigation Update

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DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) -

The man at the center of an investigation launched by the Livingston Parish District Attorney is standing his ground, telling the 9 News I-Team he did nothing wrong. Corey Delahoussaye says his company, C-Del Inc. is being attacked and he will fight back.

When Corey Delahoussaye sat down with 9 News at his Denham Springs office, he made it very clear that Livingston Parish paid his company almost $2 million in just under two years for work on a Hurricane Gustav debris removal contract.

He was also very clear that he did not see any problems with stopping by the gym and his children's swim meets while on the clock and billing the parish. Those are among the  allegations that are the crux of Livingston Parish District Attorney Scott Perrilloux's investigation.

"I'm not raping the parish," Delahoussaye said.

Delahoussaye signed a contract with Livingston Parish in October of 2009. He was to serve as a liaison between the federal government and Livingston Parish for dealings related to the removal of hurricane debris. Invoices obtained by the I-Team show Delahoussaye billed $145 an hour, listed as a project manager.

"I'm worth more than that. I worked for AT&T after Katrina and made millions, but what does that have to do with the price of tea in China today. My rates are based off the going rates of FEMA," he said.

That's among the claims Perrilloux is investigating.

"A little concern is that I don't believe the parish has anything to show what was provided and we have tried to get some of that information and have been unsuccessful at this point," Perrilloux said.

The I-Team pulled C-Del's daily reports for the duration of the parish contract. On most of the records, Delahoussaye wrote down that he worked from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. from Monday through Friday.

"If I worked from seven in the morning to six that evening, I showed it, but if I worked from nine in the evening after my kids went to bed, and worked until one o'clock in the morning, I took that time and transferred it to the next day," he said.

Delahoussaye says his method of keeping track of his hours should not raise eyebrows.

"It's a problem if only because the public perception of accountability and transparency is critical when you are a contractor for an agency using public funds," said LSU law professor Christopher Tyson.

Sources say part of the district attorney's investigation involves Delahoussaye's attendance at Greystone Country Club for some of his children's swim meets. The  I-Team received a picture of Delahoussaye at a swim meet on June 22nd, this time at the Country Club of Louisiana, reportedly just after 9:30 that morning.  It's a picture that Delahoussaye did not dispute, but his records show he should have been working at the time the photo was reportedly taken. 

The I-Team has no way to verify when the photo was actually taken, but Delahoussaye admits there were times he was at swim meets when he reported he was on the clock.

"It's me as a family man taking time to spend with my children," he said.

Sources also say Perrilloux's office served subpoenas on Anytime Fitness, seeking information on which days and at what time Delahoussaye used his swipe card to get into the gym.  Delahoussaye admitted to the I-Team that he does go to the gym just about every morning, but he stressed that he was only going in to pick up a protein drink.

"It's my goal to maintain my weight. I don't think swiping my card and going to the gym...if I could work out more I definitely would, but I don't have the time," he said.

It turns out one of his staffers, Jennifer Bonnette is Jennifer Delahoussaye, Corey's wife. She signed her maiden name on her daily reports. She made $55 an hour as an assistant.

"The company's profit is the company's profit and she's part-owner and she works on the majority of the things that I work on," he said.

However, on the act of cash sale for her home and in the phonebook, she uses the name Jennifer Delahoussaye. He insists his wife uses her maiden name for tax purposes. Delahoussaye says FEMA is aware that Jennifer Bonnette and Jennifer Delahoussaye are the same person, his wife. He insists that should not raise any questions.

"This wasn't an attempt to deceive anyone for billing practices. It's just not. She is my wife and it is what it is and that's the way it's going to be," he said.

The Livingston Parish Council fired Delahoussaye in August citing concerns over his billing practices. Delayoussaye says this is not an investigation but it's a setup.  He says certain people in Livingston Parish want to see him fail because he's turned in names to the FBI of local people who he says have submitted false or ineligible invoices for their work on debris removal. They are people he says belong in jail.

"This is a witch hunt and this is an attempt to discredit me as a whistle blower," he said.

Delahoussaye showed The I-Team numerous emails he sent to federal officials in the early hours of the morning, on numerous occasions.  He says that's proof he often worked many long hours that he did not put down on his time sheets.

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