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Aug 19, 2010 12:21 AM by Jim Hummel

"Double Dipping" Accusations Against Fmr. Lafayette Councilman Chris Williams

Accusations have surfaced that former Lafayette Parish councilman Dr. Christopher Williams has ripped off the community by "double dipping" with multiple government-funded jobs.

At issue, alleged time conflicts between his full-time job at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and contracts that his non-profit agency, The Lafayette Training Career Development Center has with the Lafayette Housing Authority (LHA) and the SMILE Community Action Agency.

"You can't do three jobs in the same time frame from 8 to 5, you can't do it, it's virtually impossible," said State Representative Rickey Hardy, D-Lafayette, who contacted the state's legislative auditor about the issue. "[Williams] got paid, and the community got played."

According to UL Lafayette, Williams works by day as a full-time staffer in the Department of Special Services and by night as an adjunct professor in the Department of Political Science. Hardy says that conflicts with contracts that Williams' agency has with the LHA for the federal government's Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP). That contract stipulates that Williams' agency should be working between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

"The time does not add up," said Rep. Hardy.

It's unclear whether Williams alone is doing all the work at the Lafayette Training Career Development Center, but through the contracts with the LHA, SMILE and his job at UL, Williams and his agency are earning more than $194-thousand per year.

KATC made several attempts to reach Williams Wednesday, finally contacting him by phone, but he had no comment about the accusations. KATC was then contacted by Williams' attorney, Harold D. Register Jr., who said in part: "Please cease all attempts to contact my client. All communications regarding my client should be addressed directly to me at my office number..." A message left at Register's office was not returned as of press time.

It should also be noted that this is not the first head-to-head between Williams and Hardy. They ran against one another for the district 44 house seat back in 2007. Hardy denied that history had anything to do with him contacting the state legislative auditor over the issue.

"It has nothing to do with that, the constituents of district 44 have spoken, they all entrusted me to do the job I was elected to do, and that's what I'm here to do," he said.

As for that legislative audit, Hardy says it could be a few weeks before the results are known.

Jim Hummel

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