NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - His words were few but, his support, abundant.
"We're gonna fight this. Thank you," said St. James Parish President Timmy Roussel as he left court flanked by his wife, relatives and supporters.
Roussel pleaded not guilty to each of the six counts of malfeasance against him.
"I think the family and the people in this parish are behind him," said Roussel's attorney, Brian Capitelli, who said Roussel has continued to serve as parish president in spite of the charges against him.
Roussel also filed a motion to replace the judge presiding over the case and have another handle the trial. His defense said they prefer a judge who isn't in this judicial district.
"This case will be interesting. I think it's politically charged. My client...is ready to fight these charges and go ahead and try to continue to work for the people of St. James Parish," Capitelli said.
The charges against him stem from more than $70,000 worth of work on private property that he's accused of authorizing parish employees to complete.
Roussel will appear in court again, if the state Supreme Court approves, before another judge on Dec .19.