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|Tax officially formally charged|
The 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office has officially charged a city of Monroe tax official with 27 counts of theft.
The official, Patrick Onyemechara, was arrested in May. He is accused of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from the city's sales tax department.
Late last month, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal denied Onyemechara's request to have his $2.7 million bail reduced. The state Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal on the matter.
Onyemechara is being represented by defense attorneys Charles Jones and Charles Kincade.
Onyemechara is being prosecuted by Geary Aycock and Neal G. Johnson of the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office.
"The investigation regarding Onyemechara is still ongoing, and additional charges are expected as evidence is gathered," Johnson said.
Onyemechara was arrested on 11 counts of theft and one malfeasance in office charge in May. He was arrested following an investigation by Monroe Police Department, Louisiana State Police and the Louisiana Legislative Auditor's office.
Additional charges of theft were filed against Onyemechara in early June.
"The malfeasance charge will be included in subsequent filings as a comprehensive picture is developed as to the full extent of the schemes," Johnson said.
The District Attorney's office filed charges Monday since state law required formal charges to be filed within 60 days from the date of a person's arrest, Johnson said.
Onyemechara has worked in a number of city jobs since 1998. He joined the city payroll during the Abe Pierce administration.
He became director of Taxation and Revenue in 2001, when the late Melvin Rambin served as mayor.