Ascension Parish council agrees to pay criminal defense fees of departing president Kenny Matassa

Ascension Parish council agrees to pay criminal defense fees of departing president Kenny Matassa
Ascension Parish President Kenny Matassa (Source: WAFB)

ASCENSION PARISH, La. (WAFB) - The Ascension Parish council motioned to pay the legal defense fees from departing president Kenny Matassa on Thursday, Dec. 6.

The council agreed to pay $231,829 in defense fees against a 2017 bribery indictment involving Matassa.

Matassa was acquited in a 2018 trial over allegations that he tried to bribe a Gonzales City Council candidate to drop out of a 2016 election. He allegedly offered the candidate a parish job and cash, according to a report from The Advocate.

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Ascension Parish spokesperson said essentially, the parish is suing its insurer under the premise that this is a reimbursable expense. However, they have not been reimbursed.

To strengthen the parish’s case, they decided to go ahead and pay any money garnered from the insurer, if they successfully sue. The money will go back towards the parish general fund.

Matassa did not run for a second term this fall amid the fallout over the case.

Matassa denied the charge, saying he was trying to help a friend and fill a parish opening. He was acquitted in July 2018 in a bench trial in Gonzales.

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