St. Gabriel mayor latest indictment in 'blighted officials'

POSTED: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - 3:30pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 - 5:16pm

BATON ROUGE, La (WVLA) -- A Federal Grand Jury returned an indictment on St. Gabriel Mayor George L. Grace Sr. Wednesday afternoon.

The indictment charges the 67 year old with 11 counts of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) act, bribery involving a federally-funded entity, making false statements, obstruction of justice, mail fraud, wire fraud, use of an interstate facility in aid of racketeering, and forfeiture.

The indictment alleges that Grace used his official position as mayor to obtain and attempt to obtain money and other things of value potentially worth millions of dollars from a Baton Rouge businessman, a Houston businessman and businesspeople associated with a conceptual product known as the Cifer 5000 in connection with transactions Grace believed were worth millions of dollars.

All five members of the St. Gabriel city council were in court today.

U.S. Attorney Don Cazayoux won't say why they were there, but he did confirm that none of the members are targets themselves.

If convicted, Grace faces up to 180 years in jail and a $2,750,000 fine.

Grace has been the mayor in St. Gabriel since 1994.

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