NEW ROADS, La. — A Louisiana mayor facing allegations he misused city-issued credit cards has resigned as part of a plea deal.
The Advocate reports New Roads Mayor Robert Myer officially resigned Friday.
As part of the deal hashed out Thursday, Myer pleaded no contest to one count of malfeasance in office and agreed to repay the city any outstanding balances owed for personal charges made with the credit cards. Myer will avoid a year in jail and be placed on probation as a result.
Sentencing was set for Jan. 9.
Myer, who had served as mayor since 2010, faced a Jan. 16 trial on nine counts of malfeasance and one count of abuse of office.
“Robert wanted it to end this way,” said Myer’s attorney Steven Moore. “The plea agreement was made in order for Robert and the city of New Roads to move on. He’s only had the best interest at heart for New Roads.”
This marks the second time the city’s top official is leaving office under a cloud of scandal.
Myer’s predecessor, Tommy Nelson, was convicted in 2011 of racketeering, wire fraud, lying to investigators and the use of telephones in aid of racketeering. He was sentenced in 2012 to 10 years in federal prison.
Myer was accused of using a city-issued credit card for personal transactions and conspiring with Cherie Rockforte-Laviolette, the city’s former chief financial officer, whom he allegedly allowed to make more than $9,000 in personal charges on city cards between Jan. 1, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2014, in exchange for sexual favors.
State investigators alleged the mayor also charged $165,777 on the city’s various credit card accounts between Jan. 1, 2011, through Oct. 1, 2014 — of which, more than $11,000 they believe was for personal items. He wrote personal checks totaling $9,527 to the city in what investigators think were reimbursements for personal expenses.
Assistant District Attorney Tony Clayton said Thursday that Myer will have to repay the city approximately $1,800 in remaining personal charges, as part of the plea deal.
As for Rockforte-Laviolette, Clayton said prosecutors have no intention of pursuing a case against her.
“I think that lady went through some humiliating stuff and I believe he exercised the means and control over her as the mayor,” Clayton said outside the courthouse Thursday.
“This is closure. Now the city can put this behind them,” Clayton said about Myer’s plea.
When asked about his client’s next step, Moore had a very optimistic outlook for Myer.
“Robert is a very smart and caring man who’s going to be very successful in whatever he endeavors,” Moore said. “Robert is going to be great.”
Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com