Claiborne Parish mayor accused of illegally using town money

Claiborne Parish mayor accused of illegally using town money

CLAIBORNE PARISH, LA (KSLA) - A Claiborne Parish mayor facing charges of misusing public funds is now out of jail, and apparently back to work.

She was seen walking in to Homer City Hall around noon Tuesday, but had no comment concerning the charges she faces.

Homer Mayor Alecia Smith turned herself in to Claiborne Parish Deputies Monday night after an investigation by Louisiana State Police, the Louisiana Legislative Auditor's Office and the Claiborne Parish District Attorney's Office led to charges being brought against her.

Trooper Brett Davis said investigators began looking into the town's records at the beginning of March. Davis said the investigation showed that the 41-year-old mayor had illegally used town funds from 2011 to 2013.

At the beginning of 2013 town leaders were embroiled in contentious meetings to find ways to pay Homer's police officers because of a busted budget. Eventually a decision was made and police officer's salaries were budgeted for. 

According to the investigation report, Smith had the town pay in advance for trips that didn't involve town business, used the town's credit card on those trips, and falsified records so she could be reimbursed for her expenses.

The investigation report also states Smith used town money to pay for audio and data downloads to her personal computer, and that she never paid water bills owed to the town, which were in excess of $800.

Smith was arrested on six counts of malfeasance in office. If convicted, she faces up to 30 years in prison and up to $30,000 in fines.

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