Ruling on Gustav clean-up debate for Livingston Parish expected

LIVINGSTON PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Later this month, a three-judge panel with the U.S. Civilian Board of Contract Appeals in Washington, D.C. will make a ruling about the hurricane clean-up debate Livingston Parish.

"This is what we've been waiting on and waiting for in Livingston Parish for a long time," said Layton Ricks, Livingston Parish President.

The case dates back to Hurricane Gustav, in 2008 and $59 million of still unpaid clean-up costs.

The parish's attorney says this case is the largest Gustav-related amount FEMA has sought through arbitration.

FEMA has said contractors who removed hurricane debris in the storms aftermath did not properly document their work, making what was picked up ineligible for reimbursement.

Parish officials have said FEMA okayed the work as it was done, but later denied the claims.

Both parties will meet May 19-23, to argue their cases.

"It is supposedly binding arbitration," said Ricks. Meaning the judges decision would be final.

Ricks said he could be called as a witness to represent the parish, although he could not comment on the specific details of the case.

Former Parish President Mike Grimmer is also on the list of witness names. It was Grimmer who stopped the clean up work in 2009, expressing concern about what contractors were picking up and billing the parish for.

The week long hearing is closed to the public.

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