An official with the state Office of Community Development was placed on administrative leave Wednesday night while his supervisors conduct an investigation into allegations he was involved in a kickback scheme with the elevation of homes in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
Courage Idusuyi, a production team leader with the state office’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, was put on paid administrative leave Wednesday for an undetermined amount of time, said Office of Community Development Director of Communications Christina Stephens.
“This will give us time to conduct a proper investigation,” Stephens said.
Idusuyi was hired by the state agency in July 2009, Stephens said.
The allegations stem from a lawsuit that accuses Baton Rouge-based Shaw Group Inc. for retaliating against two employees who blew the whistle on contractors who allegedly gave kickbacks to state officials for contracts to elevate homes, according to court documents.
Christy Weiser and Greg Pierson filed the lawsuit against Shaw and the State Office of Community Development in state court May 31. The case has since been moved to federal court.
Shaw formally answered the suit earlier this month, saying in a court filing that the company “denies each and every allegation’’ contained in it.