therepublic.com on November 30, 2011 reported that former St. Gabriel Mayor George Grace has pleaded not guilty in federal court to two new charges in the undercover FBI sting known as Operation Blighted Officials. The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/vVHxw1 ) Grace, who was St. Gabriel's mayor for 17 years until he lost his re-election bid in April, was first charged in September 2010 with 11 counts of racketeering, bribery, extortion and fraud in the FBI sting. Grace, who previously pleaded innocent to the first 11 counts, pleaded innocent to the two new counts Tuesday in front of U.S Magistrate Judge Christine Noland. In the original indictment, prosecutors accuse Grace of soliciting bribes from businessmen interested in doing business with the city. Prosecutors allege in 2005 Grace attempted to extort $18,000 from a Houston businessman interested in developing a multimillion-dollar trailer park near St. Gabriel to house Hurricane Katrina evacuees.
The original article can be found at therepublic.com.