Second councilman calls on Ascension Pres. Matassa to resign
GONZALES - A second Ascension Parish council member is calling for Parish President Kenny Matassa to step down after allegations of bribery surfaced last week.
District 4 Council member Daniel "Doc" Satterlee released a statement Sunday afternoon saying that the people of Ascension Parish deserve better than to have a president under suspicion of bribery.
"I do not mean to deprive Mr. Matassa of his rightful day in court, nor do I prejudge him" Satterlee wrote. "But every day this cloud hangs over Ascension government is harmful to the parish and our citizens."
Audio recordings purportedly captured Matassa paying Wayne Lawson not to run for a seat on the Gonzales City Council. Matassa's attorney said Wednesday, Matassa gave Lawson a loan and free political advice. There was no bribe, attorney Lance Unglesby said.
Satterlee joins Council member Aaron Lawler who is also pushing for Matassa to resign immediately. Lawler called the accusations an "embarrassment."
Read Satterlee's full statement here:
Mr. Parenton, Chairman Clouatre, and Council Members,
"The residents of District 4 and all the people of Ascension Parish deserve better than to have a parish president under suspicion of bribery. A week has passed since a local media outlet published recordings purporting to include Parish President Kenny Matassa engaged in unlawful conduct and we know an active investigation has been opened into this matter.
I do not mean to deprive Mr. Matassa of his rightful day in court, nor do I prejudge him. But every day this cloud hovers over Ascension government is harmful to the parish and our citizens. We’ve all heard over an hour of recordings and suffered through a torturous press conference by Mr. Matassa’s attorney.
The harshest of spotlights has trained its glare on our parish and its government, and questions abound which Mr. Matassa has not answered. This unfortunate situation will only intensify in the coming weeks and the people’s business cannot be conducted under these conditions.
Therefore, I feel it only appropriate that Parish President Kenny Matassa resign and I ask my colleagues on the Parish Council to adopt a resolution demanding his resignation. I further request Legal Counsel, O’Neal Parenton, to draft, and Council Chairman Randy Clouatre, to place on our August 18, 2016 Council Agenda, a resolution to that effect so that the Council might consider such resolution.
Daniel “Doc” Satterlee
Councilman, District 4"