Police Chief John Moreau, and former fire chief Merrick Roberts were arrested Wednesday for malfeasance in office and other charges. Four other people, including two who are part time Simmesport Police officers, were also arrested.
Moreau and Roberts were charged at the Avoyelles Parish Jail, along with the four others. They were all released on their own recognizance by 12th Judicial Court Judge Billy Bennett.
Moreau, 26, of 715 Magnolia Street in Simmesport, was charged with malfeasance in office, arson, criminal damage to property and two counts of theft. Roberts, 47, of 326 South Simms Street in Simmesport, was charged with malfeasance in office, and arson.
Also arrested were John Bowman, Jr., 39 of 852 North Main Street in Simmesport on charges of criminal damage to property and theft; Joshua Noel Mayeux, 22 of 249 Gauthier Sub. in Simmesport, on charges of malfeasance in office and simple arson; Richard Kreg Spinner, 23 of 6110 La. Highway 451, Moreauville, on charges of malfeasance in office, theft and criminal damage to property; and Dillard Joseph Bowman, 29, of 232 Riverside Drive, Simmesport, on charges of theft.
Mayeux and Spinner were part-time police officers with the Simmesport Police Department at one time.
When contacted the Louisiana State Police would not release any information on why the six were arrested. They added they would release the information once the investigation was completed and all arrests had been made.
According to sources, Chief Moreau, Roberts and Mayeux are accused of setting a Simmesport Police car on fire so the police department, allegedly, could get another police car. Allegedly, all six men are accused of stealing items from an abandoned building which had been used as a church in Simmesport.
When reached by phone n Wednesday afternoon, Simmesport Mayor Eric Rusk said Moreau was still the chief. Moreau was elected to the position in 2008.
Chief Moreau had replaced former Police Chief Gerald Jackson while Roberts resigned last summer following criticism after the fire at Maddie’s One Stop in Simmesport.