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|Former Richwood mayor faces malfeasance in office charge|
The 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office charged former Richwood Mayor Ed Harris with one count of malfeasance in office this week following an investigation into Richwood's finances by Louisiana State Police.
When current Richwood Mayor Steve Hunter took office in July 2008, he asked State Police to investigate Harris' handling of town finances near the end of Harris' term in office, which concluded June 30, 2008.
After Hunter took over as Richwood mayor, he discovered Harris had written checks in the amount of roughly $90,000 to town employees for severance and unused vacation pay. That was done shortly before Harris left office.
About a week after Harris issued those checks, Richwood officials learned the town's operating accounts had been drained and the town was virtually bankrupt.
4th Judicial District Court Judge Carl Sharp issued a warrant for Harris's arrest Tuesday and set his bond at $5,000. Harris surrendered to authorities later Tuesday at the Ouachita Correctional Center.
Malfeasance in office provides for imprisonment with or without hard labor for up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. In the meantime,
Hunter will face recall after enough Richwood voters signed a recall petition. Voters will decide on Hunter's recall during the Oct. 17 election.