Zurik: Ethics Board slaps Plaquemines councilman with charges

Published: Jan. 15, 2015 at 7:36 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 16, 2015 at 3:15 AM CST
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BELLE CHASSE, LA (WVUE) - A local councilman has been charged by the State Ethics Board. The board said he violated the law because his construction company did work on parish property, and he made money for that work.

Edgecombe is a politician we started investigating in the fall of 2014. One Plaquemines Parish resident has had many questions for this politician, who just won re-election to the Plaquemines Parish Council.

Barry Colligan questioned Edgecombe's residency in an interview with us in September. Now Edgecombe will have to answer more serious questions from the State Ethics Board, which has charged him with breaking the law.

Edgecombe owns a construction company, Edgecombe Construction. That company was hired by another firm, Deep Delta Houseboats. Deep Delta Houseboats has a lease with Plaquemines Parish at Venice Marina. Deep Delta hired Edgecombe Construction to build platforms, drive pilings and install hoists and bulkheads at the marina and paid him $197,100.12 for that work.

The Ethics Board says, since Edgecombe served as a councilman and profited from work done on parish property - in this case, Venice Marina - he violated the law.

Barry Colligan says photos from December show Colligan continued to do that work, even after the Ethics Board charged him back in November.

"And he's still working on parish-owned property," Colligan says. "Venice Marina is a parish-owned property."

Edgecombe will have a hearing on the charges and he could face a significant fine.

Colligan says he's thankful that an elected official, whom he's been looking into for years, will finally be penalized for what Colligan calls improper behavior.

"I think people need to be held accountable for their actions," Colligan says "And if he's a politician or anything else, John Q. Public, if he's doing something wrong, I think the citizens should report it. And as a council member working on parish property, I thought there was a big wrongdoing."

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