New Roads Mayor calls state auditors to look at city's finances
NEW ROADS- Eight days into a new job and there's already there's a call for transparency by the brand new Mayor, Cornell Dukes.
Dukes said his first order of business after taking office was to call in the State Legislative Auditor's Office to take a deep dive at the city's finances. Dukes said the corruption from former Mayor Robert Myer pushed him to run for the city's top spot. Myer was convicted of felony malfeasance in office after he used his city-issued credit card for personal business. He purchased things like a mattress to a bedding store, Laser Tag and meals.
"It was very concerning," Dukes said. "It was one of the reasons that I ran for this office is that I knew and had some appreciation with the fact that the finances were not being taken care of the way that they should be. That's the main reason why I ran for this post."
The State Legislative Auditor's office said when new mayors are elected it routinely gets requests to have them come in and take a look at the municipalities' books. In fact, New Roads was one of five cities that called upon the state to look at their books. Out of the five municipalities, New Roads was the only one that had a history of theft.
"The worst thing that can happen in my administration is something that we didn't see," Dukes said. "Becuase we had not been involved in city government, I was not involved in the day to day operations. I want to give my administration a clean start."
Dukes said as he prepares to focus on turning things around, the community should be hopeful. He has a bright vision for his term that will begin with new opportunities for the city.
"I'm in a review period," Dukes said. "I am reviewing all departments. I know there will be some change in some departments because I am going to be pushing hard for streets and sanitation to live up to a certain standard that I have for this community."
The State Legislative Auditor's Office said they are going to have a meeting tomorrow about sending auditors to the cities that requested assistance. Some of them will be placed on a priority list, and auditors could arrive before the end of the month.