Louisiana Home Elevation Consultant Sentenced to 10 Years

July 24, 2013

A Louisiana consultant already serving federal and state prison sentences for bribing state officials in the home-elevation grant program, pleaded guilty to six counts of theft, for taking money from people but not doing the work.

The Times-Picayune reports Rickey Davis, 45, of Avondale, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Monday, which he will begin serving after he’s finished the seven-year term he received for bribing state officials to get lists of names of people already approved for grants in the federally financed, state-run Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

He culled clients from the lists and essentially committed contractor fraud by taking payments from some of them but doing nothing in exchange, authorities said. He also attempted to sell the lists to shoring companies that were seeking work in the competitive home-elevation grant program, part of FEMA’s Hurricane Katrina aid package.

The Jefferson Parish district attorney’s office will seek restitution next month in the amount of $32,000. Davis denied owing restitution, according to the loud courtroom discussion he had with his public defender, F. Evans Schmidt. “I’m not about to say people gave me money,” Davis insisted, his voice carrying across the courtroom.

Davis entered what’s known as an “Alford plea,” in which he denied guilt but pleaded guilty because otherwise he risked being convicted at trial in light of the evidence against him. “I’m pleading guilty today, your honor, because it’s in my best interest,” he told Judge Scott Schlegel of the 24th Judicial District Court.

Davis’ co-defendant, Gregory Huskey, 51, of Harvey, is charged with being a principal to five counts of theft. Huskey owned the New Orleans firm Celebrity Contractors Inc., which sought the home-elevation work.

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