The former Opelousas director of community development has pled guilty to forgery and felony theft charges, according to the Daily World. Louis Rom was arrested last year, accused of funneling $10,000 in city money through a non-exsistence company and into his own personal account. As community development director, he oversaw a city fund that made small business loans to start-ups in Opelousas.

Before working for the city of Opelousas, Rom was a reporter in Lafayette for The Daily Advertiser and The Times of Acadiana and most recently freelanced for the Acadiana Gazette, which still lists him as a reporter on its Web site.

Rom is scheduled for sentencing Jan. 9. He faces up to 20 years in jail and fines up to $8,000. There's also a hearing before the State Board of Ethics on malfeasance charges.

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