BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A state court judge ruled that the Louisiana Inspector General's office overstepped its bounds in its investigation of local contractor Corey Delahoussaye and suppressed all the evidence obtained by them.
Delahoussaye recently settled a lawsuit with the Livingston Parish government after a dispute over his cleanup work in the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav. The parish paid him more than $300,000 to settle that suit.
The latest ruling affects the criminal case pending against Delahoussaye accusing him billing the government for work he did not do.
Judge Brenda Ricks ruled the Inspector General did not have jurisdiction and investigative powers over Delahoussaye as a private citizen.
"There was no reason," Delahoussaye said. "My attorneys had been negotiating to discuss any matters and particulars pertaining to this case with them, yet they show up to my house with a SWAT team in a sense, with guns drawn at 6 o'clock in the morning and drag my kids out of bed and raid my house to get 17 terabytes worth of information none of which was used in discovery."
Inspector General Stephen Street defended his office and disagreed with the judge's ruling.
"Our office was created to investigate exactly these sorts of fraud allegations," Street said. "This is money that passed through GOSHEP, hurricane relief dollars. That's why the inspector general is here to investigate exactly these type of allegations. So we strongly disagree with any findings that our office lacked jurisdiction."
The judge's ruling does leave the door open for the criminal case to proceed against Delahoussaye, but suppresses any evidence gathered by the IG's office.
"You know I have options that I need to look at, [they] illegally subpoenaed my medical records and then read those medical records into the record. It's a gross, gross injustice to the system," Delahoussaye said.
The prosecutor in this case has the option to request that the judge's decision be reviewed.