BELLE CHASSE, La. (WVUE) - Former Jefferson Parish Councilmember Chris Roberts has been found dead in an apparent suicide, according to the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Roberts’ body was found by deputies in Belle Chasse in the 100 block of Harvey Boulevard around 10 p.m. Wednesday night.
Roberts, who served four terms as a parish councilmember, abruptly resigned from his position in May 2019 shortly before he was federally indicted for multiple counts of wire fraud and tax evasion over a six-year period. He was accused of funneling money from various businesses he was involved in, which included a landscaping company, into his own pocket.
Roberts pleaded not guilty to 22 counts of wire fraud and tax evasion in May. He was later indicted on 10 additional counts in October.
He was set to stand trial on August 10.
Roberts’ family released a statement saying,
“It is with deep sympathy and great sadness that the family of Chris Roberts acknowledges that he passed away this evening after a long battle with depression. The family asks for your prayers and support during this difficult time. Please respect the families' privacy during this difficult time.”
Jefferson Parish also released a statement saying:
“We are absolutely heart broken to hear that former Jefferson Parish Council Chairman Chris Roberts has passed away. He was a truly dedicated public servant, with a career spanning over two decades. He made a lasting impact throughout Jefferson Parish, serving on the Jefferson Parish school board and then the Jefferson Parish council. Our thoughts and condolences are with Mr. Robert’s family, loved ones and former colleagues, as well as the citizens of Jefferson Parish, during this difficult time.”
The Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation.