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Welsh mayor cleared of ethics violations

Posted: 12:32 PM, Jun 16, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-16 13:32:14-04

WELSH, La. (AP) – The mayor of Welsh and her family have been cleared of any wrongdoing after state ethics officials found no violations against them following a yearlong investigation.
  
The American Press reports the state Ethics Board has cleared Mayor Carolyn Louviere who was accused of violating state law by receiving free water service from the town. She was also accused of having town workers install power poles and waterlines on her son’s property at the town’s expense.
  
Louviere denied the allegations, saying she and her husband paid for the water and that the poles were placed on the property nearly 11 years ago by a couple who initially bought the property to build a home, but later decided otherwise. She said her son later leased the property to raise cattle.
  
In a May 21 letter to Louviere through her attorney, Ronald Richard, Ethics Board staff attorney Jennifer T. Land, said the investigation report didn’t reveal any Ethics Code violations. Land said she had been instructed to close the file.
  
Louviere said Thursday she is thrilled to have been exonerated. She received the letter over a year after Alderman Colby Perry sent a list of what she calls "baseless and outrageous grievances" to the Ethics Board.
  
"These allegations were outright lies without any supporting documentation or corroboration," Louviere said in a statement. "In his cover letter to the board he accused me and my family members of severely impeding the growth and potential of the town of Welsh."
  
Perry, who could not be reached for comment, repeatedly accused Louviere of disregarding state law.
  
"Mr. Perry in effect has said that I have committed criminal acts and have used my position as mayor to benefit myself and my family," she said. "These actions and statements were an affront to all that I believe in and all that I have worked for my entire life."
  
Louviere said she grew up in Welsh and has spent most of her adult life in service to the community. "I worked many, many years as a teacher in the Welsh school system and have had the pleasure of touching the lives of many of those who live in this town today," she said.
  
"I spent time as an alderman and I am now serving my fourth term as mayor of this wonderful community. I work at the pleasure of the people and have done my very best to do what is right for this community."
  
Louviere said she has "gone above and beyond" to ensure that she abides by ethical guidelines. She said she would never consider doing anything that wasn’t in the best interest of the community.