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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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Councilman alleges wrongdoing by parish president

Councilman alleges wrongdoing by parish president

Councilman Jerry Lafont is alleging that Lafourche Parish President Jimmy Cantrelle tried to get an insurance provider to lie to the district attorney in order to allege wrongdoing.

Lafont played a recording of a conversation he says is between himself and insurance agent Kent Bouvier that was recorded on the day the council voted for the parish insurance plans. In it, the person Lafont identified as Bouvier makes the claim that Cantrelle told him to lie to the district attorney and say that Lafont tried to negotiate the parish’s insurance, which would be illegal.

“That sorry (expletive) called me yesterday and said, ‘Look man, I need a favor from you... I need you to call the D.A. and tell them that Jerry called you and negotiated the insurance with you,‘” Bouvier said in the recording. “He said ‘I need you to call Lisa Orgeron and tell her that he tried to negotiate the insurance with you.’ I got off the phone and of course I didn’t call.”

Lafont said the recording was more than 23 minutes long and that the Sheriff’s Department had the tape and has been investigating it for several months and former District Attorney Cam Morvant listened to it and is aware of it.

Lafont said he was prompted to play the recording after a representative of XLK International accused the council of renegotiating after sealed bids had been opened and that was the last straw for him.

“The day we voted on the insurance, Kent Bouvier with Allstate Insurance called me up and told me he needed to talk to me, so I went and recorded cause it didn’t seem right,” Lafont said. “I sat on this cause I gave it to the Sheriff’s Office to do an investigation and waited to see if anything would happen and nothing happened.”

Cantrelle denied any wrongdoing, saying the tape could have been staged or cut to make Bouvier’s statements sound worse. Cantrelle also would not answer when Lafont asked him if Cantrelle spread rumors that he had negotiated the insurance contracts.

“All I asked for is good bids. That’s (Bouvier’s) opinion. I don’t think too highly of him either. Lafont too. It’s easy to say things. This could have been staged. This could have been cut and pasted to make him say something else. And a year ago, who knows what was really said,” Cantrelle said.

A video of the recording being played can be found on the Daily Comet’s online copy of this article.

-- Staff Writer Dan Boudreaux can be reached at 857-2204 or Follow him on Twitter @dan_boudreaux.