NEW ROADS, LA (WAFB) - The New Roads mayor calmly addressed the city council and a packed room of constituents for the first time since a grand jury indicted him on 10 counts of felony charges.
"I categorically deny that I've done anything illegal or wrong," said Mayor Robert Myer about the charges at city council's special meeting Tuesday night.
On Wednesday, August 3, Myers was indicted on nine counts of malfeasance in office and one count of abuse of office.
In his prepared statement, Myer bragged on his administration's successes, including the city's economic growth, and painted the accusations as an attack on the city's progress.
"The allegations seem to be spearheaded by opponents who are not interested in what is good for the city of New Roads," Myer said.
Myer is accused of using a city credit card for personal use. Records dug up in 2014 by the Investigators showed thousands of dollars charged for high end meals, hotel, flights, and other things. The grand jury indictment also revealed that Myer allegedly allowed the city's finance director to rack up charges in exchange for sexual favors.
Myer described the week after the indictment as a trying time for his family, but said he was particularly troubled by any pain the case has caused the city.
"I will trust in the legal system and will continue to work with each of you to move our city forward," Myer said.
The special city council meeting, which Myer spoke during, was called after several members said they had residents demanding more information.
The council unanimously agreed that a new audit of the city's credit card spending over the past five years is needed and asked that the city's auditing service prepare that information.
Specifically, the audit will look at who made purchases, if purchases were considered personal, and if any personal purchases were repaid.
The council also cleared up a question about who would pay if the Myer's case goes to trial. According to the city, the mayor cannot use city funds for his defense if he goes to trial.
However, if he is cleared of any wrongdoing, the mayor can request a reimbursement.
With that settled, the meeting ended, leaving the residents hoping for an explanation still waiting.
"I told somebody, I must have taken a nap and missed the meeting," said resident Ben Farrer.
The mayor ignored requests for additional questions outside his statement.
Outside the mayor's office, many residents remained, expressing disappointment in the situation.
"We thought, the citizens, we were doing stuff right. We had annual audits, we had open meetings, we thought we had a transparency going on here," Farrer said. "Maybe we do. You're innocent until proven guilty last time I checked, but it certainly is troubling."