According to the information he provided on qualifying paperwork Willie Robinson, a candidate for Gonzales City Council Division C, resides at 1836 E. Afton Villa, Gonzales LA 70737. It is a lovely spot tucked into a quiet corner in one of the city’s nicest subdivisions. When Robinson, a real estate agent himself, calls it his dream house he really means it…because it only exists in his imagination.
It’s the perfect spot to raise one’s young family (and launch a campaign for the city council) except for one minor detail…1836 E. Afton Villa is a vacant lot. Now that’s carrying Minimalist Architectural Design to its extreme. We’ve heard of fixer-uppers, but…Is the housing shortage in Ascension really that severe?
Alas, Robinson does not even own the lot. As of April 16, 2015 Salomon M. Paniagua owns it, though Vince Diez picked it up at the June 9, 2016 Parish Tax Sale. Which did not stop Willie Robinson and his wife from providing 1836 E. Afton Villa, Gonzales LA 70737 as their domicile for the purpose of voter registration.
To be eligible to run for office in Gonzales, or any Lawrason Act municipality, one must reside within the political district (in Robinson’s case it means within the city limits) for at least one year. When confronted by Pelican Post the Division C candidate insisted he has lived in Gonzales for a decade (admitting he does not reside at 1836 E. Afton Villa though, for some reason, he transferred utilities into his name two weeks ago).
So where does Willie Robinson live?He claimed to reside at 2823 S. Meadowood in Southwood Subdivision, south of Hwy 30 and within Gonzales’ city limits. Robinson invited Pelican Post to visit early Friday morning, too early as it happened. We did take him up on the offer later that day and three more times over the weekend. We are happy to report, there is an actual residential structure at the address, though Robinson does not own it either.
Among the curious aspects of 2823 S. Meadowood is the mailbox pole without accompanying mailbox. And then there’s the fact that no car was ever in the driveway during four separate visits, no one ever answered the doorbell or repeated knocks at the front door.
Political flyers were jammed in the front door for two days before being removed by Sunday afternoon. The property is currently listed “For Sale” by Willie Robinson’s real estate agency.
Robinson’s wife purchased the house from the Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2006 for $108,000. There appears to have been three instances of unpaid taxes but she redeemed the property in 2008.
On September 8, 2014 Marquita R. Thomas (the candidate’s wife) sold the residential structure at 2823 S. Meadowood to Salomon Paniagua, the same guy who is allowing the Robinsons to live at his vacant lot, 1836 E. Afton Villa. Paniagua sold to Dream Residential, LLC, a Denham Springs company owned by Rajesh Patel and Minesh Patel.
Willie Robinson confirmed a close relationship, business and personal, with “Raj” Minesh and Paniagua while explaining how they came to his aid during a financial crisis. Paniagua is the nominal owner of two more properties in Gonzales, both of which the candidate called his own.
As to where Willie Robinson really lives…