Posted: Jul 20, 2010 4:30 PM by Chris Nakamoto
Updated: Jul 20, 2010 5:03 PM
New Roads Mayor Tommy Nelson plead not guilty to federal racketeering charges during his arraignment Tuesday morning.
Nelson is accused of accepting cash, football tickets, meals and luxury hotel rooms in exchange for the promotion of a waste management concept called "Cifer 5000."
According to the indictment, Nelson used the City of New Roads "Robocall System" to promote Cifer, proposed a city ordinance in favor of it and further tried to guarantee a contract with Cifer 5000 and the City of New Roads.
Page Pate is Nelson's attorney. He said he is looking forward to this case going to trial.
"It is certainly a winnable case," Pate said. "Nelson is not a racketeer. He did not violate any laws and we look forward to defending this case at trial."
Nelson qualified to run for re-election for Mayor in the City of New Roads.
"The campaign is going well," Pate said. "He's looking forward to being re-elected at serving another term."
A trial date has been set next month. If convicted, Nelson faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
White Castle Police Chief Mario Brown and his brother, White Castle Mayor Maurice Brown were also indicted on federal charges in connection to the Cifer 5000. This is part of a bust called "Operation Blighted Officials."