Matassa, Berthelot plead not guilty

Greg Fischer Editor-in-chief

An arraignment was held on Monday, May 5 for Parish President Kenny Matassa and Olin Berthelot for the charge of election offenses involving bribery.

The courthouse was standing room only. Both men pleaded not guilty. The trial has been set for August 14. Bethelot's lawyer, Steven Moore, and Matassa's lawyer Lewis Unglesby offered little to the media outside the courthouse after the trial date was set by Judge Jason Verdigets.

Verdigets admitted before the court that he went to school with the children of Matassa and that he is in Rotary Club with Kendal Matassa. He added that he is spearheading a new courthouse building project for "reasons we can all see today."

Unglesby said he has "ace cards" that he is holding for trial.