Former White Castle mayor pleads no contest to felony charge from his time in office
PLAQUEMINE - The former mayor of White Castle, Jermarr Williams, entered a plea of no contest in court Wednesday to a charge of malfeasance in office.
Williams was given three years probation for his crimes and will not serve jail time. He's already paid restitution to the town.
Two weeks ago, Jermarr Williams was arrested for illegal use of a movable, filing false public records and malfeasance in office. The charges stem from his time while he was mayor of White Castle.
According to an affidavit for Williams' arrest, the LBI began investigating in September of 2020 at the request of the District Attorney for the 18th Judicial District.
Williams didn't utter a word as he walked out of court, but District Attorney Tony Clayton had plenty to say.
"At some point, White Castle had movie theaters, car dealerships, grocery stores and thriving businesses," District Attorney Tony Clayton said. "It's fallen by the way side. Problem is when you have local officials sticking their hands in the cookie jar, that's why the town is not thriving."
LBI agents examined financial records associated with the town's finances. They found a letter that stated, "I, Gerald Jermarr Williams, took it upon myself to meet with auditors concerning my repayment I submitted to the Town in the amount of $2,233.68 on December 28, 2017." Williams claimed he should not have paid it and reimbursed himself in the amount of $2,233.68 on Dec. 6, 2018.
Certified public accountants and auditors hired by the town said they did not advise that Williams reimburse himself. One auditor commented that he was "offended" when informed Williams made such statements in the past.
On April 16, 2021, LBI agents spoke with Williams and his attorney. Agents advised Williams of his Miranda rights. Williams stated he returned the money a second time on November 25, 2019. When asked why he returned the money 11 months later, Williams stated that he heard the "town was talking about it."
"The people of White Castle didn't deserve this," Clayton said. "We will keep a watchful eye over them and make sure money is spent in the right areas and the city gets to go back to its glory days."
Clayton said his office is just as passionate about white collar crimes as they are prosecuting violent crimes.
Jermarr Williams has been the focus of numerous WBRZ Investigative Unit reports in the past. In 2016, Chief Investigator Chris Nakamoto was arrested while asking questions in the lobby of town hall after exposing a large pay raise Williams gave himself.
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