Ascension Parish President exonerated in bribery trial

July 12, 2018 - 8:39 pm

(WWL.com) - Ascension Parish President Kenny Matassa is in the clear of allegations of bribery, accusations that have been lingering over his administration for the better part of two years.

State District Judge Thomas Kliebert Jr. ruled in the favor of Matassa saying prosecutors failed to prove the parish president offered cash and a job to A. Wayne Lawson in exchange for dropping out of a 2016 city council race. Matassa’s attorney, Lewis Unglesby, says the parish president is happy the allegations are now behind him.

"People who are under a cloud wake up every day and they worry about because they’ve been accused. When it is over with, it takes some time to adjust to the fact you don’t have trouble and that you don’t have to worry.”

Unglesby continues to insist that there was no wrongdoing by his client and says he has a theory behind why things escalated the way they did.

“Because the law had never been tested and because the attorney general was trying to make a name for himself, they turned this into a big deal.”

Matassa has maintained his innocence, claiming the $1200 loan and employment opportunity offered to Lawson was twisted. Unglesby explains why he believes the situation got nearly two years of attention.

“As the president of Ascension Parish, he has an important job. So, that drew a lot of attention. Reality is there was never anything to ​

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