Dominic Massa / Eyewitness News
Gov. Bobby Jindal has made his selections for three positions on the regional levee authority, replacing one high-profile member on the board which drew fire from the Jindal administration for filing suit against oil and gas companies.
Jindal had made clear that anyone who supported the suit would not be re-appointed to the nine-member Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East.
The new members selected by Jindal are lawyer Lambert “Joe” Hassinger Jr. of New Orleans; Jeff Angers of Baton Rouge, president of the Center for Coastal Conservation and former executive director/CEO of the Coastal Conservation Association; and Kelly McHugh of Madisonville, president of a civil engineering and land surveying firm.
Hassinger replaces author and historian John Barry on the board. Jindal said he would not reappoint Barry, criticizing him for his role in spearheading the SLFPA-E lawsuit against oil and gas companies, seeking money to repair damaged wetlands. Barry’s term expired earlier this year but the lawsuit emerged over the summer.
Hassinger was one of the choices of an independent nominating committee. He is chairman of the Non-Flood Protection Asset Management Authority, a state agency which controls Lakefront Airport and other non-flood protection assets owned by the regional levee authority.
Angers replaces Ricardo Pineda, whose earlier appointment was never confirmed by the state senate.
McHugh replaces former WWL-TV meteorologist Dave Barnes, who did not ask for reappointment to the board.
The future of SLFPA-E president Tim Doody is still in question, though the nominating committee recommended that he be reappointed. But he has been a supporter of the oil lawsuit as well.
Jindal also made two nominations to the SLFPA-West board: Paul Dauphin, of Harvey, the president of Pierre Principle Communications; and Michael Merritt, of Raleigh, North Carolina, president of Baton Rouge-based GEM Consulting LTD.