Cotton Valley mayor fires back at accusers, claims innocence
COTTON VALLEY, LA (KSLA) - The mayor of Cotton Valley is firing back at his accusers, saying they're only coming after him in retaliation.
"I'm not going to resign. It's going to take the courts to put me out. I haven't done anything wrong," said Cotton Valley Mayor Joseph Alexander.
Mayor Alexander was arrested Tuesday for felony abuse of power.
"I was actually on my way to Baton Rouge for an LMA conference, and I got a call from the attorney saying they had a warrant out. So I came back, got booked in and that's it," said Alexander.
Louisiana State Police say they arrested Mayor Alexander for misusing town funds twice in 2017. The arrest was made after officers say they received information from the Webster Parish Sheriff's Office requesting their assistance.
"The real reason this is all going about is because Sheriff Gary Sexton is mad at me," Mayor Alexander said.
Mayor Alexander says the sheriff is upset that he stopped using parish prison labor to handle projects around the town.
"I stopped that, I hired some citizens here in town. They upset because they don't have a ni*** a house ni*** that is that they can rule. They're not going to come here and control me," said Mayor Alexander.
But Cotton Valley councilwoman Charlene Lewis says this has nothing to do with race.
"I had doubts from the beginning," said Lewis.
Lewis says the Mayor's secrecy from board members and hiring of unqualified town workers raised suspicions with employees. She's hoping that after his arrest, the mayor will gracefully bow out.
"I can't see where we need something like that representing our town," Lewis said.
Residents who say the mayor is behind a positive change in the community, say they're not falling for the accusations.
"Matter fact, I don't think Cotton Valley got no funds that they can misappropriate, really this town is pretty fundless," said Cotton Valley resident Larry Tyson.
We reached out to the Webster Parish Sheriff's Office in response to the Mayor's comment.
They say they make no money from the prison labor used in the town. The only expense incurred is the salary paid to the deputy for monitoring the inmates.
The investigation is ongoing.
Alexander has been mayor of Cotton Valley since Jan. 1, 2017. His term expires Dec. 31, 2020.
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