BATON ROUGE – State Attorney General Jeff Landry announced Wednesday St. James Parish President Timothy Roussel would be indicted for six counts of malfeasance in office.
The attorney general said Roussel allegedly defrauded the parish citizens in excess of $70,000.
“The public should be able to trust that their government works for them in an admirable and respectable way,” added Attorney General Jeff Landry in a release. “My office will not stand for corrupt officials, elected or appointed.”
Landry said Roussel allegedly authorized the construction of approximately 4500 feet of a natural gas line, a 10,000-unit gas meter, and additional supplies to a private company. He then allegedly authorized parish employees to install said gas line and meter on private property.
“Additionally, Mr. Roussel allegedly authorized a public employee to arrange the hiring of a private company to drive approximately 24 piles on private property and allowed St. James Parish to issue a check from the parish treasurer to the company for their pile driving work,” a release said.
Roussel is also accused of authorizing Blaise Gravois, the parish director of operations, to use public employees and public equipment for the removal of a shed from private property, the demolition of a private mobile home on private property, and the removal of a playhouse and debris on a private lot.
“Mr. Roussel also allegedly authorized the use of public employees and public equipment to enhance and/or improve private property for the sole benefit of its owners,” the release said.
Gravois and Assistant Finance Director Ashley Poche were also indicted on corruption charges.