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INVESTIGATIVE UNIT: Central Mayor calls in investigators over allegations of forgery

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CENTRAL- The Mayor of Central called on the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office after allegations of forgery surfaced inside City Hall.

Mayor Junior Shelton pointed to two documents that he says Former Mayor Mac Watts did not sign, and another document from his administration that he did not sign.

The document involving Mac Watts involved a debris removal contract that the City of Central entered into. When Shelton said he contacted Watts about it, Watts showed up at City Hall to review the document.

"He said he didn't sign it," Shelton said. "But also said he didn't know who the people were that held the contract."

The documents obtained by the Investigative Unit show the one on file with the city has Watt's signature below the fine print. The one that was on file with the company shows it above the print. There was also a document that involved a neighborhood with Shelton's signature on it.

"That's not my signature," Shelton said. "I did not sign this."

Shelton said in addition to the fraudulently signed documents, it was also discovered that city business was being conducted on a private email server.
CentralRFP@gmail.com is one of the email addresses that was being used. The Investigative Unit was told a computer belonging to the city has been turned over to investigators and they are currently going through at least 90,000 files on the computer.

"It's disturbing to know that someone in this office would have done this," Shelton said. "It's quite disturbing. It's not what Central stands for, and that's why I want the Sheriff's Office to get to the bottom of it."

Shelton stopped short of saying who he believes is responsible, but paperwork obtained by the WBRZ Investigative Unit from the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office names Former Chief Administrative Officer David Barrow as the "suspect."

"It's time for folks to know that something is going on that is not proper, or was going on," Shelton said. "Again, this goes back to 2014."

We reached out to Former Mayor Mac Watts about this investigation. He said he had no comment. We also reached out to Former CAO David Barrow. He did not return our calls.

It's unclear how long the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office investigation will take. Documents indicate EBRSO has been looking into this for two months.

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