Elevation company president arrested for home improvement fraud sues Sheriff's Office and detective

By Kyle Barnett | Feb 12, 2013

GRETNA – A Kenner-based home elevation company and its president are suing a local law enforcement agency and a detective for allegedly falsely arresting the president for a home improvement fraud.

Foundation Elevation and Repair LLC and Robert Laurent filed suit against Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office and Detective Todd Rivere in the 24th Judicial District Court on Dec. 19. Foundation Elevation and Repair LLC and Laurent claim that Rivere and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office began investigating a claim of contractor fraud made against Foundation Elevation and Repair by a Jefferson Parish homeowner. The plaintiff claims that during the defendants' investigation they ignored stipulations of the Louisiana Hazard Mitigation Program that required contractors to follow certain rules.

Although the homeowner had allegedly disallowed the plaintiff from completing construction on the property the plaintiff claims that it was required to do so under the mitigation program and had already started pre-digging on the site and incurred costs in the process. Laurent claims he was falsely arrested and imprisoned for eight hours under a charge of home improvement fraud. While imprisoned Laurent claims he was incarcerated with a former employee who was previously arrested for stealing from his company, which allegedly made the experience extremely tense.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office is accused of allowing Rivere to represent to a court that the plaintiff had committed a crime by not properly teaching him what the crime of home improvement fraud is, not training him properly to investigate and not properly supervising his investigations.

An unspecified amount of damages is sought for loss of time, emotional pain and suffering, loss of reputation and legal fees.

Foundation Elevation and Repair LLC and Laurent are represented by attorney William R. Penton III of New Orleans.

The case has been assigned to Division C Judge June Berry Darensburg.

Case no. 722-226.

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