Clinton's mayor, former police chief plead not guilty in Tahoe scandal; more charges possible
CLINTON - The mayor of Clinton, along with the town's recently-resigned police chief, pleaded not guilty to malfeasance charges, the Advocate reported Tuesday.
Both Mayor Lori Ann Bell and Chief Frederick Dunn were arrested last month over the purchase of four SUV's for the town's police department. The arrest warrant alleges the two orchestrated the purchase without approval from the town council nor correspondence with the town's attorney.
Investigators said the 60-month lease, costing more than $203,000, incurred significant debt on behalf of the town without authorization from the State Bond Commission. In a meeting of the town council in September, Alderman Mark Kemp said the lease purchase was never presented to the board and it wasn't budgeted for.
Dunn had said they were trying to get a grant to fund the vehicles, but the budget wasn't complete to submit the grant in time.
East Feliciana Sheriff's Chief Criminal Deputy Greg Phares told the Advocate that further charges are possible as the investigation continues. A subpoena filed by investigators Friday reportedly involves more allegations that the two mishandled public funds.
Both the mayor and former police chief have bonded out of jail since their arrests.
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