St. James Parish President Roussel accused of defrauding St. James citizens in excess of $70K

Published 5:09 pm Wednesday, September 28, 2016

BATON ROUGE — Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry announced today he has secured an indictment against St. James Parish President Timothy Roussel on six counts of Malfeasance in Office for allegedly defrauding St. James 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,” Landry said. “My office will not stand for corrupt officials, elected or appointed.”

Following a joint investigation between the offices of the Attorney General and District Attorney Ricky Babin, Roussel was indicted by a grand jury in St. James Parish.

Roussel’s Director of Operations Blaise Gravois and Assistant Finance Director Ashley Poche were also indicted on corruption charges.

In his capacity as Parish President, 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, 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.

Roussel is accused of authorizing Gravois 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.

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.

“We are committed to bringing those who abuse the public’s trust to justice,” Landry said. “Our LADOJ will lead in the prosecution of Mr. Roussel, and we will assist in the prosecution of Mr. Gravois.”