2nd Term Controversy
Joey Durel has come under increasing scrutiny by his constituents since his unopposed reelection. Durel has faced much criticism for the part he played in letting Allied Waste submit an increased no-bid contract for trash pickup in Lafayette a full two years before the old lower-priced contract expired.
Durel continues to be criticized for his role in helping Redflex, the Australian speed camera company, in placing their speed cameras and speed vans into Lafayette.. Many saw a conflict when the commissioned Redflex regional sales manager was Charles Buckles, the former Vice Chairman of the Republican Party of Louisiana . LegiStorm reported that his daughter Nicole and son-in-law Thomas Hebert both work for fellow Republican Louisiana Senator David Vitter .
On September 23, 2009, The Independent Weekly published a story "A Question of Leadership," which reported that some of Durel's "close friends and advisers wondering if he’s up to the vexing challenges facing city-parish government."
In September 2010, Joey Durel removed sitting members of the Lafayette Housing Authority (LHA) before a hearing to decide the members fate on the board was completed. For his actions, Durel was nearly charged with contempt of court by Fifteenth Judicial District Court Judge Edward Rubin. The LHA board members that Durel dismissed were later re-instated by Judge Rubin in a decision critical of Durel's excessive influence over the process.
Joey Durel also champions the creation of more Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts in the Lafayette area, such as the now defunct plan to fund Parc Lafayette with additional site-specific sales taxes. The TEA party of Lafayette has actively opposed additional use of TIF's in the Lafayette area without first heading to a ballot for voter approval. Joey Durel has fought them at every turn.
In August 2011, Joey Durel submitted a budget utilizing Redflex red light camera revenues of $1.3 million in order to overcome a government revenue shortfall . This was in spite of a local law stating that all red light camera revenue be used for improved traffic safety projects. The red light camera revenue will be used to pay for government salaries, health care, and operating expenses in the city's Traffic and Transportation Department.
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