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Opelousas Mayor Reggie Tatum surrenders Friday morning, bond set - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Opelousas Mayor Reggie Tatum surrenders Friday morning, bond set

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Opelousas Mayor Reggie Tatum surrendered for booking Friday morning following this week's 15-count indictment on charges that stem from the nearly $13,000 he paid himself after last year's historic flood.

After Tatum's predawn surrender to the St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office, he appeared before a judge and announced he'll hire his own attorney. Judge Alonzo Harris, of the 27th Judicial District Court, set a $10,000 bond.

Tatum has not commented on the charges and avoided reporters before and after his Friday surrender.

A St. Landry Parish grand jury indicted Tatum on Tuesday week on one count malfeasance in office, four counts of injuring public records, four counts of filing false public records, five counts of forgery and one count of theft over $10,000.

Tatum paid himself nearly $13,000 in overtime after last year's flood, claiming FEMA would reimburse the city for that amount.

FEMA policy says mayors are typically exempt from overtime during emergency events. Even though Tatum claimed he was "re-purposed" to work oversee the city's shelter in the flood's aftermath, he never filed for a federal reimbursement.

When KATC requested time sheets related to any flood-related overtime payments, Tatum's office provided handwritten documents for his claim of 234 hours of overtime.

The office also provided time sheets for Aldermen Marvin Richard, Tyrone Glover, Sherell Roberts and Julius Alsandor — unsigned documents the aldermen claim they never authorized or submitted — which were logged in handwriting matching Tatum's claim.

The indictment claims Tatum stole the $13,000, forged the time sheets and illegally entered the documents into the public record.

An arraignment date is pending.

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