George Nattin

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George Leon Nattin, Sr.


In office
1961​ – 1973​
Preceded by Jake W. Cameron
Succeeded by James Cathey

Born September 18, 1918​
Place of birth missing​
Died April 24, 2002 (aged 83)
​Place of death missing
Resting place Hill Crest Memorial Park in Haughton in Bossier Parish
Nationality American
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) Ava Vernon Nattin​
Children George Nattin, Jr.​
Residence (1) Bossier City, Louisiana​

(2) Houston, Texas

Occupation Businessman
Religion Church of Christ

George Leon Nattin, Sr. (September 18, 1918 – April 24, 2002),[1] was a Democratic politician who served three terms from 1961 to 1973 as the ninth mayor of Bossier City, the sister city to Shreveport in northwestern Louisiana.​ ​ Only two other mayors, Hoffman Lee Fuller and George Dement, each with four terms, served longer in the position than Nattin.​ ​

Background

​ Nattin was one of three sons and two daughters, all deceased, of George Washington Sentell Nattin (1888-1924) and the former Eva Leona Strayhan (1885-1958). His father died before George was yet seven years of age.[2] was married to the former Ava Vernon (1920-2002); the couple had one child, George L. Nattin, Jr., born in Houston, Texas, and a champion basketball player at Bossier High School and for the Louisiana State University Tigers in Baton Rouge. He was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in Natchitoches and the LSU Basketball All Century Team. Later a golfer, the junior Nattin worked in casinos in Las Vegas, Nevada, and became the first president of Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City.[3]

Nattin was a charter member and former elder of both the Bennett Street Church of Christ and the Airline Drive Church of Christ in Bossier City.[4]

Political life

Nattin was the first juvenile officer for the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Department, which he joined in 1955.[4] He was the Bossier City police chief from 1958 to 1961 prior to becoming mayor. Under the then city commission government, the mayor of Bossier City was also the public safety commissioner,[5] a format also followed in Alexandria in central Louisiana. In the Democratic primary held on April 8, 1961, Nattin, with 3,204 votes, handily unseated one-term Mayor Jake W. Cameron, who had also been the Bossier City police chief. Cameron finished with 1,571 votes.[6]​ ​ Nattin is particularly remembered for having establishing the municipal-owned Bossier General Hospital, now called Christus Schumpert Bossier. He pushed for the expansion of the city sewerage system, its police and fire departments, and the city jail. The improvements were funded by a one-cent sales tax, the first municipal sales tax ever approved in North Louisiana.[7][8]

In 1967, he was photographed in The Shreveport Times at the post office in Bossier City with the loot recovered from a burglary.[9]​ ​ In 1972, Nattin dismissed Police Chief Bobby Joe Almond (1931-2007), a native of Arcadia in Bienville Parish, a United States Navy veteran of the Korean War, an 18-year member of the police department who graduated from the[FBI Academy in Washington, D.C.[10] Nattin claimed that Almond violated civil service and departmental regulations, engaged in conduct unbecoming an officer of the police department, and improperly used police vehicles. Almond claimed that the real reason Nattin moved against him centered upon a dispute over Almond having closed some after-hours nightclubs in The Bossier Strip adult entertainment district. Almond vowed an appeal of his dismissal,[5] but Nattin was out of office less than a year after the dispute surfaced. Almond's obituary indicates that he retired as police chief and served thereafter as assistant city marshal.[10]

Once out of office, Nattin faced charges of bribery pushed by then District Attorney Charles Allen "Corky" Marvin (1929-2003) of the 26th Judicial District Court regarding incidents stemming from Nattin's time as mayor. Indictments were brought against Nattin, his son, George, Jr., brother Waylan Ross Nattin, Sr. (1923-2011), assistant police chief Sam Carley Atwood "Sammy" Teutsch, Jr. (1929-1997),[11] and police major Robert D. Methvin (1930-1994),[12] the then director of the Bossier City vice squad. Bossier Parish Sheriff Willie Waggonner booked the five defendants without fingerprinting them or taking mug shots. Mayor Nattin was alleged to have accepted $300 from a Shreveport air-conditioning contractor doing business with the Bossier City municipal government. Nattin and his son were charged with one count of public contract fraud. Waylan Nattin, also an agent, subsequently suspended, of the Louisiana Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, was accused of three counts of public bribery. The indictments claimed that the Nattins accepted between $100 and $300 weekly from a night club operator to allow that business to remain open after regular hours and to permit illegal gambling on the premises. The Nattins were also accused of having accepted $1,500 from the same club operator in 1968 and $700 in 1970. Methvin and Teutsch were indicted for failure to enforce gambling and liquor laws and for having "knowingly prohibiting other police officials under their authority to enforce gambling and liquor laws."[13][14]​ ​ Nattin's trial — he was prosecuted by Marvin's successor as DA, Henry Newton Brown, Jr. — was delayed by the Louisiana Supreme Court, which studied his request that there be separate trials for each of the fourteen indictments. He was quickly acquitted of one charge. "I have always believed in the people of Bossier City and Bossier Parish," Nattin said on hearing of the acquittal.[15] Two other charges were combined. This left twelve remaining charges.[16] Ultimately, Nattin was acquitted on two remaining counts against him, and a third charge was dropped.[17]

Later years

​ Nattin later worked in real estate and as vice president for ABM Securities in the office in Houston, Texas. He returned to Bossier City upon his retirement from ABM.[7] Nattin said that the growth of Bossier City, which continued after his administration was no surprise to him: "With the type of citizens that live in Bossier, I cannot see anything but continued growth. They have very fine people there."[8] In the 2010 U.S. census, Bossier City had in excess of 61,000 population and was the ninth largest city in the state, one designation above the No. 10 city, Monroe, a regional city in northeastern Louisiana.[18]​ ​ Nattin died of cancer at the age of eighty-three. His wife died five months later. After services at the Airline Drive Church of Christ, he was interred at Hill Crest Memorial Park in Haughton in Bossier Parish, later joined by his wife and son. Nattin's parents are instead interred at Cottage Grove Cemetery in Benton, the seat of Bossier Parish.[4]

References

  1. George Nattin (1918-2002). mocavo.com. Retrieved on December 21, 2014.
  2. Waylan Ross Nattin, Sr. (brother of George Nattin). The Shreveport Times (August 12, 2011). Retrieved on December 21, 2014.
  3. George Nattin, Jr.. The Shreveport Times (September 30, 2014). Retrieved on December 21, 2014.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 George Leon Nattin, Sr.. findagrave.com. Retrieved on December 21, 2014.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Dismissed Police Chief Plans Fight. Monroe News Star (September 5, 1972). Retrieved on January 20, 2015.
  6. City Voters Across State Name Leaders. Lake Charles American Press (April 10, 1961). Retrieved on January 17, 2015.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Former Bossier City mayor dead at 83. Midland Reporter-Telegram (April 26, 2002). Retrieved on December 21, 2014.
  8. 8.0 8.1 George L. Nattin, Sr.. bossier.pastperfect-online.com. Retrieved on December 21, 2014.
  9. The Shreveport Times, September 18, 1967.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Bobby Joe Almond. The Shreveport Times (April 13, 2007). Retrieved on January 20, 2015.
  11. Sammy Teutsch. findagrave.com. Retrieved on December 21, 2014.
  12. Robert D. Methvin. findagrave.com. Retrieved on December 21, 2014.
  13. Former Mayor Indicted On Bossier City Corruption Charges. The Camden (Arkansas) News (July 3, 1973). Retrieved on December 21, 2014.
  14. Corruption indictments in Bossier City. The El Dorado (Arkansas) Times (July 19, 1973). Retrieved on January 20, 2015.
  15. "Charges still facing Nattin," Minden (Louisiana) Press-Herald, February 4, 1976, p. 3.
  16. "On bribery charges, Nattin to stand trial", Minden Press-Herald, June 15, 1976, p. 1.
  17. State v. Nattin. leagle.com (July 25, 1975). Retrieved on December 21, 2014.
  18. Louisiana - Largest Cities. geonames.org. Retrieved on January 20, 2015.

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