The Fourth District Attorney’s office is considering criminal charges against Collinston Mayor Mitchell Jeselink related to “possible financial irregularities.”
A spokesman with the DA’s office said they have received a report from the Morehouse Parish Sheriff’s Office, focusing on money Jeselink received from a check drawn from one of the village’s accounts that was written to Jeselink. The spokesman said Jeselink told the village clerk the money was to be used to purchase computer equipment.
Sheriff Mike Tubbs said an area financial institution notified his office when Jeselink presented the check, asking for it to be cashed.
“Anytime there are possible financial irregularities involving a local government or elected officials, we send the report to the District Attorney’s office for review, Tubbs said.
District Attorney Jerry Jones would not comment specifically on the case, saying only it was under review.
Jeselink, who served as an investigator with the Sheriff’s Office, resigned his position with the MPSO in September. That same month, two television stations in Monroe reported Jeselink had also resigned his post as mayor. However, a spokesman for Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schindler said Jeselink is still serving as mayor.
There are reports that Jeselink submitted a signed letter of resignation to the village Board of Alderman, which was sent to the Secretary of State. The reports also indicate the resignation was returned because the letter was not notarized, as would be required when an elected official resigns office.
Press secretary Meg Casper said Friday “nothing has been received” by the Secretary of State’s office.
In the 2009 elections, Jeselink used 4805 Main Street in Collinston to establish his residency as a qualified candidate. However, records at the Morehouse Parish Clerk of Court’s office indicate Jeselink has his homestead exemption at 12812 Bayou Drive in Mar Rouge.
In an email response to questions, Casper state law requires that Jeselink’s continued qualification as mayor could be challenged by “ … submit[ing] information to the registrar of voters to challenge … “ Jeselink’s ability to continue serving as mayor despite not living in the municipality.