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Residents in Ascension Parish upset over Parish President's alleged actions

4 months 5 days 1 hour ago August 04, 2016 Aug 4, 2016 Thursday, August 04 2016 August 04, 2016 4:31 PM in News
Source: WBRZ

GONZALES- Residents in Ascension Parish are reacting to allegations their Parish President offered a bribe to a man who was running for Gonzales City Council.

Samuel Juneau owns the Sorrento Carwash. It's a business off the main drag, a stones throw from Airline Highway.
His phone has been ringing off the hook over what's in front of his business.

"I've been getting a lot of texts, people commenting on my Facebook page, and a lot of people sharing the sign," Juneau said. "People get a kick out of it."

Juneau is behind the sign which is turning heads. Today, it reads, "I need a loan. I think I'll run for office."

When the allegations of the alleged bribe first came to light Monday, this is what Juneau posted.

"Kenny offered us $1,200 to not put this on the sign. We turned it down."

"We typically poke fun at politicians," Juneau said. "This was good fodder for us."

Around town, people are talking about their Parish President. They want to hear from him.

"He's dishonest," Shirley Bureau said. "We dont' need nobody that's dishonest."

"This is what we expect from our politicians," Another resident said. "They're all crooked."

For a fourth day in a row, The Investigative Unit reached out to Kenny Matassa to get him to do an on camera interview to address his supporters. We haven't heard back. We did speak to some of his supporters today.They said they are disappointed about his alleged actions but are willing to give him a second chance. However, they did not want to do an on camera interview.

Thursday, Matassa's parish vehicle was parked in front of his home off Highway 44 in Gonzales. But, no one came to the door, even though we could hear people talking inside. Matassa's issues first began when audio recordings were released by the Pelican Post, an online newspaper Monday.

Wayne Lawson taped the conversations. Lawson claims he was offered a parish job and $1,200 to get out of the Gonzales City Council race. He refused to take what he called "a bribe." Tonight, the district attorney, attorney general and Ascension Parish Sheriff's office are investigating. That's welcomed news to people in the parish like Samuel Juneau who wants to see his elected officials held accountable.

"As a business owner, we own several other businesses," Juneau said. "So we know we have to do things by the letter of the law. I listened to the tape recordings and it looked like a smoking gun to me."

The District Attorney told me this week, he expects this investigation to take a month. Matassa's attorney claims this entire mess is a misunderstanding. Lance Unglesby claims the money that was offered was a loan to his friend, turned whistleblower, Wayne Lawson.

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