Guillory worked for the Alexandria Housing Authority from Dec. 12, 1994, to June 11, 1998, AHA records show. He also served as assistant director of the Boys & Girls Club of Central Louisiana in the late 1990s and was a part-time coach for the Alexandria Aces baseball team in 1997.
Guillory had been indicted on charges related to his tenure as executive director of both the Lafayette Housing Authority and Opelousas Housing Authority. He became Lafayette’s director after leaving the Alexandria Housing Authority.
“With the betrayal of the public trust it is necessary that you serve a prison sentence” to restore the public’s trust in government agencies like the housing authority, U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Foote said Wednesday during the sentencing for Guillory.
Guillory, 51, now living in Lake Charles and washing cars for a living, could have been sentenced to as much as 71 months in prison.
Attorney Frank Dawkins, who represented Guillory in federal court in Lafayette, asked that Guillory be released on probation or allowed to serve his sentence on home confinement.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly Uebinger filed a motion for a reduced sentence for Guillory because he cooperated with authorities and “provided substantial assistance” with investigations, but balked when Dawkins suggested Guillory serve no prison time.
A soft-spoken former professional baseball player who earned around $200,000 a year as LHA executive director, Guillory was forced to resign in October 2010 when a much-delayed audit revealed numerous management and fiscal irregularities.
When the audit was made public by then-LHA board Chairman Buddy Webb and others, it rocked the LHA. Webb resigned, City-Parish President Joey Durel removed most of the board, Guillory and his deputy director were forced to resign, and federal authorities launched an investigation. Since March 2011, officials with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have been overseeing the LHA.“I’m very sad for his family, especially for his children,” Webb said. “I would hope that when Walter finishes his term he becomes the old Walter that I knew.”
Webb added, “In the end it is not for me to judge. It will be for God to judge, and that’s the one that matters most.”
“I’ve already repented to God,” Guillory told Foote before she sentenced him.
Guillory said that through the recent rough times, he has been blessed to be able to assist people in need.
“I pray that the community heals from this and comes together” to meet the needs of children and those in needs, he said, asking for mercy so that he can continue to mentor children and serve those in need.
Foote, a former longtime Alexandria attorney, sentenced Guillory to 28 months on each of two counts to which he pleaded guilty, but ordered that he serve the time concurrently. After his release, Guillory will be on one year of supervised release.
Foote said she considered in sentencing Guillory his clean record, his courage and the nature of assistance he provided to federal investigators, his remorse, his actions to turn his life around and more than 40 letters of support and testimony on his behalf describing Guillory as a kind and gentle man who has been humbled by the revealing of his crimes.
But Foote said she also had to consider the length of time over which the crimes occurred. Other things considered in determining the length of his prison sentence included more than one bribe or extortion, the amount involved and his position in the agency.
At Dawkins’ request, Foote said she will ask the Bureau of Prisons to incarcerate Guillory in a facility close to Lake Charles or New Iberia, and will recommend a prison in Oakdale. Guillory has been living in Lake Charles in recent years, and his mother lives in New Iberia, Dawkins said.
Guillory was ordered to report to prison at 2 p.m. July 14.
Guillory was executive director of the Lafayette Housing Authority from July 1999 until October 2010 when he was forced to resign. From 2005 until 2009 he also was executive director of the Opelousas Housing Authority.In February, Guillory pleaded guilty to bribery in connection with a baseball fundraiser he coordinated annually to raise money for youth programs at the LHA. He allegedly required businesses to contribute to the baseball fundraiser in return for keeping contracts with the LHA and OHA. He then allegedly pocketed $100,000 from the fundraisers. He’s been ordered to pay that back.
Guillory also pleaded guilty to violating state and federal bid laws by falsifying bids to make it look like the Opelousas Housing Authority was following bid laws. The contracts were instead awarded to one company doing work for the OHA. Guillory approved the bids from 2007 to 2009.
In August, Garnett Thomas, grants coordinator for the OHA, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in the bid-rigging scheme.