St. Martinville mayor denies allegations that she deleted surveillance footage from city hall

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ST. MARTINVILLE, La. (KLFY)- St. Martinville Mayor Melinda Mitchell is already fighting allegations that she has been extending her late utility bills while cutting off the electricity and water of citizens with overdue bills.

“I do agree I was a few days late, but no, I have never granted myself extensions as far as the light bill,” Mayor Mitchell said.

Now the mayor is facing new allegations.

“I may have been late on paying my light bill, but I will not steal. I will not cheat, and I will not lie,” Mayor Mitchell added.

An investigation recently began after a suspicious yellow liquid was found in one of the trash cans in St. Martinville City Hall. The St. Martinville Police Department confirmed that the yellow liquid turned out to be cleaning solution.

“We needed some footage on one of the cameras to see who went in one of the employee’s offices and dumped some substance in a trash can. It just so happened that footage was all gone,” City Councilman Craig Prosper said.

The footage was stored in the mayor’s office.

“The particular camera that would have caught whoever put something in that garbage, the footage was gone, and I was furious because now I’m thinking, ‘who came into my office?'” Mayor Mitchell said.

“No employee at city hall has the key to the mayor’s office. Zero,” Councilman Prosper responded.

“If you go back and you look at my cameras in my house, it’s going to show you that I never left my house. So if somebody came and deleted footage, that means somebody came in my office, and I want to know who,” Mayor Mitchell added.

After that, the police department started monitoring city hall security cameras as well.

“The council told her, ‘Mayor, it’s not a good idea for you to have the DVR located in your office because if something goes missing, you’re the only person who can delete it,'” Councilman Prosper said.

Mayor Mitchell’s husband, Lawrence Mitchell, says he believes the controversy surrounding his wife is no accident.

“Mr. Prosper, you want the mayor’s seat. That’s what it’s all about,” Lawrence Mitchell said.

Lawrence says the drama is affecting him too.

“There’s been a lot of heat on me too. I’ve been to jail three times, for nothing. She’s a woman, and I have to protect her. She is by herself, no security, no nothing. Do you think that’s right? No. That’s not right toward her because she’s not safe,” the mayor’s husband said.

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