Residents react to New Roads Mayor indictment
NEW ROADS – Mayor Robert Myer was indicted and a judge swiftly issued a warrant for his arrest on malfeasance and abuse of power charges Wednesday afternoon. He turned himself in and later bonded out of Pointe Coupee Parish Jail Wednesday afternoon on $50,000 bond.
All day, a line of people showed up at the courthouse to testify before a grand jury related to an investigation into Myer's spending habits. In a target letter last week, Myer was warned he was the focus of a grand jury hearing Wednesday. District Attorney Richard Ward wrote to Myer, he would present evidence of felony theft and malfeasance charges.
> Read the target letter HERE
In 2015, The Louisiana Inspector General began looking into Mayor Myer’s use of a city-issued credit card for personal purchases. The Investigative Unit has learned between 2011-2014 Myers rang up $134,000 in charges. Those included: $1,700 dollars in dinner and movie tickets, $720 for a New Year holiday stay at the Loews Hotel in New Orleans along with charges to a bedding store and laser tag. The report also questioned more than $13,000 in credit transactions made by town officials in 2014 because of a lack of receipts explaining the purchases.
In a 2014 interview with WBRZ's Chief Investigator Chris Nakamoto, Myer acted like the Inspector General's investigation was no big deal. He had a cavalier attitude when we questioned him about it.
"I expect this to be a good report," Myer said.
The Inspector General handed over his findings to the District Attorney
For his part, the Mayor says he has repaid the city any monies that went to personal use. Financial records from 2015 show Myer did pay New Roads $8,680 for personal charges he made on the city credit card.
At court Wednesday, eighteen people were called to testify; including the city council, police chief and treasurer.
Former City Finance Director Cherie Rockforte-Laviolette was also a target of the grand jury. Rockforte-Laviolette's attorney said the grand jury did not hand up an indictment but pretermitted - meaning jurors made no decision.