Landry Continues Fight against Public Corruption in Louisiana
BATON ROUGE, LA – Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has secured indictments against Ascension Parish President Kenny Matassa and Olin Berthelot on a bribery scheme in which they allegedly attempted to have a candidate drop out of a city council race in exchange for political favors.
"Public officials, elected or appointed, should conduct themselves in a fair, lawful, and honorable way," said Attorney General Jeff Landry. "When that does not happen, it has a negative effect on our citizens and our communities and undermines the public’s trust in our government."
Following an investigation by the Louisiana Bureau of Investigations, a division of Attorney General Jeff Landry’s Louisiana Department of Justice, and the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office and following the recusal of Ascension Parish District Attorney Ricky Babin, Attorney General Jeff Landry’s office presented to the Ascension Parish Grand Jury. This morning, that grand jury returned indictments against Mr. Matassa and Mr. Berthelot for Election Offenses Involving Bribery.
Both men are accused of bribing Wayne Lawson, who ran for Gonzales City Council last year, to drop out of the race. In several discussions, they offered Mr. Lawson money and a government job in exchange for his withdrawal from the city council election.
"During my campaign, I promised to investigate, arrest, and prosecute corrupt public officials; and I will continue to do all I legally can to eliminate this problem in Louisiana," added Attorney General Jeff Landry.
Attorney General Jeff Landry’s office will lead in the prosecution of Mr. Matassa and Mr. Berthelot.