Owner of historic property sued by state agency for return of grant money

By Kyle Barnett | Feb 12, 2013

GRETNA – A state historic property organization is suing a man whose historic property was allegedly never restored even though funds were provided through the organization for the restoration.

The State of Louisiana through the Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism Office of Cultural Development Division of Historic Preservation Grant Agreement filed suit against Wayne Washington in the 24th Judicial District Court on Dec. 16. The plaintiff claims Washington received a grant in the amount of $27,000 to restore his historic home located at 540-42 Valle St. in New Orleans. The plaintiff alleges that in 2007 it agreed to grant $45,000 to the defendant for repairs to his historic home that were necessitated by damage from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and that a first installment of $27,000, or 60 percent of the entire grant, was dispersed for the repairs. The repairs were to be completed by October 2009 according to the grant approval program, the suit claims. The plaintiff asserts the repairs were never completed and that the home was demolished in mid-2009.

The defendant is accused of breach of contract.

Damages in the amount of $27,000 plus 25 percent attorney's fees is sought by the plaintiff.

The plaintiff is represented by Baton Rouge-based Assistant Attorney General J. Andrew Murrell.

The case has been assigned to Division F Judge Michael P. Mentz.

Case no. 722-165.

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