- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 10, 2019

CLINTON, La. (AP) - The former mayor of a Louisiana town has pleaded no contest to charges related to inappropriately leasing SUVs, which caused significant debt, and malfeasance.

Former Clinton Mayor Lori Bell entered the plea Monday and gave up rights to a trial, news outlets reported. Prosecutors agreed to reduce Bell’s malfeasance charge to a public finance misdemeanor. The court decided Bell couldn’t seek re-election, must submit to one year of probation, and must pay a compulsory fee of $500.

Bell and former Police Chief Fred Dunn were accused of leasing four SUVs, totaling about $200,000, without the town board’s permission.

The Attorney General’s Office declined to comment on the plea, citing Dunn’s ongoing prosecution.

Bell resigned in November after a tumultuous term that has seen her arrested multiple times on malfeasance charges. She was elected in 2012.



Bell has been arrested and charged with malfeasance three times in relation to town business. She was accused in January of failing to respond to warnings about the town’s deficient water system. She was also accused of using police funds to purchase a tent and banner bearing her name.

Bell’s attorney Niles Haymer said all of Bell’s cases have been resolved.

Darren Matthews has taken over as mayor until a special election can be held.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide