- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 26, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - State prosecutors said 73-year-old Odell Key has resigned as mayor of Gibsland and pleaded guilty Wednesday to malfeasance in office.

State District Judge Glenn Fallin scheduled sentencing May 9 for Key, according to a news release from the Attorney General’s Office.

Key had been booked with five counts of malfeasance in office. Attorney General’s Office spokesman Steven Hartmann said Key was formally charged with a single count accusing him of refusing and failing to perform duties required by his office.

“Rather than addressing a specific act, the count pertained to Key intentionally performing his duties as mayor in an unlawful manner,” Hartmann wrote in an email.

Some of the earlier charges accused Key of failing to pass a town budget, paying people to attend town meetings, signing a contract without asking the board of alderman to appropriate money for it, then paying the contractor after the board voted to stop all payments.

Prosecutors said Key resigned as mayor on Saturday.

The state legislative auditor reported in May that Gibsland’s financial records were missing, the town owed $80,000 to the Internal Revenue Service, and tax money was taken from workers’ paychecks but not sent on. A fiscal administrator was appointed to help get the town’s finances in order.

Key was arrested in December.

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