Nov 23, 2010 11:14 AM by AP & Nichole Larkey

Calcasieu assessor pleads not guilty

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) - Calcasieu Parish Tax Assessor Richard Cole will face jury trial May 16 on two felony counts of malfeasance.
Cole pleaded not guilty Monday in state district court. He was not present for the arraignment proceedings. His plea was entered in writing by Cole's lawyer, Walt Sanchez, as allowed by court rules.
Sanchez refused to answer when asked if Cole has plans to resign.
The assessor was indicted last month
by parish grand jury in the wake of a legislative auditor's report critical of the operations of Cole's office.
Cole is accused of using an office credit card for over $48,000 in personal purchases.
He's also accused of misappropriating $4,100 in taxpayer money.


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