Former Lafayette/Opelousas Housing Authority Director Sentenced To 28 Months In Prison For Bribery And Bid Corruption Conspiracy
LAFAYETTE, La. –United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that Walter O. Guillory, 51, of Lafayette, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Foote, to 28 months in prison and one year of supervised release for receiving bribes while running two housing authorities in the Acadiana area and also for his part in a conspiracy to award bids to a preferred contractor in Opelousas.
According to evidence presented at the guilty plea on February 14, 2014, Guillory served as the Executive Director of the Lafayette Housing Authority (LHA) from June 1998 to October 2010, and he served as Executive Director of the Opelousas Housing Authority (OHA) from November 2005 to November 2010. During this time period, Guillory sponsored a local baseball team. He solicited donations from various vendors and contractors of both the LHA and the OHA for “his baseball team.” From 2006 to 2010, the vendors were expected to make yearly donations in exchange for doing business with the housing authorities. Some of the contributions were spent on personal expenses and not for the baseball team. He solicited and received more than $100,000 in bribes from the vendors between 2006 and 2010.
Guillory also admitted to conspiring with others to circumvent bid laws in order to award construction contracts to one company who performed construction work for OHA. They used the fake bids to make it appear that several companies were placing bids on construction projects, but in fact, there was only one company being considered. In addition, they used interstate wire communication facilities including email transmissions for a variety of purposes, which involved sending and receiving emails related to contracts and false bids. Guillory approved these contracts with full knowledge that the bid rules, laws and regulations were not being followed from 2007 to 2009.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly P. Uebinger prosecuted the case.