Opelousas Mayor Reginald Tatum is facing 15 counts of malfeasance, theft and forgery charges, but maintains his innocence. “All of the allegations are untrue,” said Tatum.
He was booked into the St. Landry Parish jail on November 3rd. Tatum made bond and was released that same day. “We’re prepared to face those charges and I’m positive I’ll be vindicated,” said Tatum. The charges flow from overtime Tatum claimed after the August 2016 flood. He is a salaried employee, but received $12,973 in overtime pay. “This was my fifth time running a shelter and ironically it was the only shelter in the state of Louisiana that didn’t have any problems. I think it was because I kept my hand on it and I was right there and because I knew what I was doing.”
Tatum said the support has been overwhelming. “They believe in me and they know that these allegations are not true against me.” A month after the indictment and it’s business as usual.”Nobody is going to get me down. We are still going to move the city forward. We are going to make Opelousas better than it was.” Tatum is living his life by words his mother told him as a kid, “She basically said you know son, the more you try to do good, the more people will try to attack you.”
He said even with all of the negativity surrounding his term, he is still working on a number of projects for the city. “I will continue to do it because I love my community, I love Opelousas and I’m going to keep doing everything I can to help Opelousas and help all of the citizens here,” said Tatum.
Judge Alonzo Harris will preside over the case. An arraignment has not been set.