Gibsland Mayor Sentenced to Prison in Malfeasance Case

Gibsland, LA (Attorney General Press Release) — Former Gibsland Mayor Odell Key has today been sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to malfeasance in office, prosecutors from the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office announced.

Second Judicial District Court Judge Glenn Fallin sentenced Key to three years at the Louisiana Department of Corrections—two years suspended, and an additional two years of active supervised probation upon completion of his jail sentence.  Key was also fined $5,000 and ordered to pay court costs.

 Criminal Division Director Kurt Wall, who prosecuted the case for the Louisiana Department of Justice, said, “Eliminating public corruption has been a top priority of the attorney general’s office.  Elected officials must be held to the highest level of accountability.”

Key, 73, pleaded guilty in February to one felony count of malfeasance in office after a May 2013 state legislative audit revealed that Gibsland financial record were missing and that the town owed $80,000 to the Internal Revenue Service.  Key was required to resign from office upon entering his guilty plea.  While a criminal investigation was ongoing, the Attorney General’s Office assisted in the appointment of a fiscal administrator who began working in November towards getting the town’s finances in order.

Wall commended the Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office for their thorough investigation of the case. “We are greatly appreciative for the efforts of Sheriff John Balance and the Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office. They did an excellent job of investigating this case so that justice could be served for the residents of Giblsand,” said Wall. He added, “Hopefully this conviction will give Gibsland the fresh start it needs to move forward.”

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