Board votes to oppose levee authority's lawsuit


Posted on August 21, 2013 at 10:21 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 21 at 10:41 PM

Dennis Woltering / Eyewitness News
Email: | Twitter: @dwoltering

NEW ORLEANS -- The board of Louisiana's Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority voted unanimously Wednesday to oppose the lawsuit the Eastbank Levee Authority has filed against 97 oil and gas companies.

Susan Maclay said it's pretty much the same message her Westbank Flood Authority sent.

“You know, basically asked them to withdraw the suit,” she said.

The chair of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority said parish presidents, levee district leaders and state agency heads all agreed the lawsuit damages a more unified, comprehensive approach.

But Garrett Graves said they decided not to take legal action to block the suit because there is no need to.

“We’ve come to the conclusion that there have been so many violations of laws and other requirements by the flood authority's attorney in this case that this thing is going to end up going away on its own," Graves said.

John Barry of the Eastbank Levee Authority says they yelled at him for about two hours, but did not weaken his resolve. He believes the protection authority did not make a legal challenge for good reason.

“I believe no one has filed against us because they know we do have authority, and it's going to look bad for them if they go to court and we win that, which we are very confident we would do,” Barry said.

Barry said the lawsuit is the only way he can see to protect lives and property, and he believes the public supports it.