The forgery investigation into the recently elected Central mayor continues to loom over his new role, with a search warrant filed last week in a case that stems from his former role as the city's administrator.
Mayor David Barrow's November victory as Central's third top executive since the city's incorporation came less than two years after he was arrested on allegations of forgery and filing or maintaining false public records from his prior position within city hall. While prosecutors have not filed charges in that case, investigators with the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office on Friday filed a new search warrant in the case, looking for emails that could provide more evidence.
Barrow did not return calls for comment Monday.
The former Central city administrator who turned himself in after an arrest warrant was issued for him on counts of forgery and maintaining fa…
Barrow was arrested in April 2017, accused of possessing a forged one-year contract between the City of Central and a local developer for a maintenance agreement to conduct debris removal in 2015, court records show. Barrow was accused of forging the name of former Central Mayor Jr. Shelton, his former boss, on the contract. Shelton told authorities he found the forged document in Barrow's desk while cleaning it out, after Shelton fired Barrow in 2015 without giving a public explanation.
The search warrant filed Friday requests all emails from May 2014 and June 2014 from a specific Google email account. The email account was initially set up upon the City of Central's inception in 2005, but was later "prohibited" for official use after the city's network was established, the warrant says.
Investigators believe the contract between the city and the local developer was set up through this email address in 2014, according to the search warrant.
The former Central chief administrator turned himself in Wednesday after an arrest warrant was issued for him the day before on counts of forg…
While Barrow is not specifically named in the warrant, it cites the case involving the forged contract, in which Barrow was previously implicated.
Barrow was the chief administrator under Central's first mayor, Shelton "Mac" Watts, and stayed in the position after Jr. Shelton was elected mayor in 2014. Barrow, who was fired in August 2015, defeated Shelton and challenger Marcus Michelli for mayor in the Nov. 6, 2018, primary, picking up 52 percent of the vote.
One of the first governmental leaders of Central has been removed from his position, Central Mayor Jr. Shelton confirmed Tuesday.
The contract in question was signed during Shelton's administration; Shelton has said he never signed the contract or knew about it.
Barrow has also denied any wrongdoing.
Prosecutors have four years from the time of the offense to bring charges in such a criminal case, as outlined in state law, which could make the alleged forged document from early 2014 beyond the statute of limitations. However, East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III said there are many exceptions to those limitations, including public officials mismanaging public funds.
East Baton Rouge Sheriff's spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks said the warrant is part of an ongoing investigation, but declined further comment.
Central's longtime top administrator will now serve as the city's elected leader as David Barrow carried Tuesday's election for mayor.