ST. JAMES PARISH, LA (WAFB) - The St. James Parish President will face formal charges for corruption after a grand jury returned an indictment.
St. James Parish President Timothy Roussel is charged with six counts of malfeasance in office for alleged taxpayer fraud of roughly $70,000.
"The public should be able to trust that their government works for them in an admirable and respectable way," added Attorney General Jeff Landry. "My office will not stand for corrupt officials, elected or appointed."
According to Landry, the fraud occurred after Roussel approved the construction of a 4500 natural gas line, a 10,000 unit gas meter, and additional supplies for a private company. He allegedly then approved parish employees to install the gas line on private property.
"Additionally, Mr. Roussel allegedly authorized a public employee to arrange the hiring of a private company to drive approximately 24 piles on private property and allowed St. James Parish to issue a check from the parish treasurer to the company for their pile driving work," states a press release. "Furthermore, Mr. Roussel is accused of authorizing Mr. Gravois to use public employees and public equipment for the removal of a shed from private property, the demolition of a private mobile home on private property, and the removal of a playhouse and debris on a private lot. Mr. Roussel also allegedly authorized the use of public employees and public equipment to enhance and/or improve private property for the sole benefit of its owners."