Former Independence mayor indicted on one count of malfeasance
HAMMOND, La -- Former Independence Mayor Michael Ragusa has been indicted for one count of malfeasance in office.
A Tangipahoa Parish grand jury indicted him on Monday. District Attorney Scott M. Perrilloux says the charges stem from allegations related to Ragusa's failure to pay into the state retirement system.
He left the town with a $900,000 debt after refusing to pay the town's retirement share for its employees.
Ragusa served as mayor from 2008 to 2016.
Before he took office, Independence paid retirement for 11 to 13 employees. When Ragusa took office, that number declined in 2014 and 2015 to zero.