The Investigators: Report alleges New Roads taxpayers paid for $2,400 cruise

NEW ROADS, LA (WAFB) - A report by the Inspector General alleges New Roads Mayor Robert Myer and his former finance director, Cherie Rockforte, spent nearly $22,000 of taxpayers' money.

Mayor Myer was indicted in August of 2016 on nine counts of malfeasance in office and one count of abuse of office for allegedly using a city-issued credit card in exchange for sexual favors.

For example, in August of 2011, there was a purchase made at a local Walmart for $246.06 for items such as men's socks, underwear, t-shirts, pants, pencils, pens, notebooks, and an IPhone case. The report said a credit card was used, but was declined. Then, the mayor's city credit was used and accepted.

In November of 2011, there was another Walmart purchase made for $130.41 for a Sony camera and three sets of bed sheets. The report said "the reason for the purchase is unknown and no reimbursement for this purchase was found."

The 9News Investigators found several such instances of "no reimbursement" on numerous charges. The report said Mayor Myer spent $11,000 on the city-issued credit card. So far, he has paid back $9,500 of that, but $2,044 remains unpaid.

"The bottom line is I've run this city with integrity and we continue to grow our city and do the right things for our folks," said Myer. When told the latest findings show Myer hasn't repaid $2,000 to the city, he responded, "That's an accusation that the IG's office has made and we don't think they're accurate."

The report alleges the mayor and Rockforte had a sexual relationship, described as "do this and I'll do this," and that she too had a city-issued credit card. The report also says Rockforte racked up $11,000 on the taxpayers' dime and has paid back only about $2,638 of that money.

One charge on the city-issued card that stood out was for $2,400 to World Travel Service in June 2014. Sources told the 9News Investigators that money was for a cruise for Cherie and her boyfriend.

"Oh my goodness, that's absolutely ridiculous to think that I would authorize anyone to spend any kind of money in any kind of way like that," Myer responded.

Rockforte has not been charged with any crime. Tony Clayton is the lead prosecutor on the case. "This is an ongoing case. We're still following the evidence and there may be further charges brought against other people involved in this case," said Clayton.

"I'm not running away from you. I'm going to a meeting. If you would like to follow me to this meeting, I'll be glad for you to do that," said Myer when the 9News Investigators spoke to him Wednesday. The next court date for the mayor's case is February 8, at which time prosecutors plan to ask the judge for a trial date.

The Investigators did reach out to Rockforte's lawyer Wednesday. He declined to comment for now.

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