Former WBR Chamber of Commerce employee facing charges


Marie Anais Brand
Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office

ADDIS, La. (The West Side Journal) – The former event coordinator for the West Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce is facing dozens of charges after the organization opened an investigation into her spending as an employee. 

According to the West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, Marie Anais Brand is facing charges for more than 30 counts of forgery and one count of felony theft in excess of $25,000. 

The West Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce sent a notice to members of the chamber on Friday saying that the West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office and district attorney’s office issued new charges against Brand.

The letter said the chamber discovered disparities in its finances during Brand’s tenure and turned that information over to law enforcement back in November. 

Brand was arrested in October in Hidalgo County for illegal possession of controlled substances. Following that arrest, the Chamber of Commerce and Brand separated. 

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The West Side Journal, located in Port Allen, Louisiana serves as the official journal of West Baton Rouge Parish. The newspaper’s roots run deep in the West Baton Rouge community, as the earliest dates of publication reach back to the mid-1800s.

The current editor is Breanna Smith, an alumna of Louisiana State University's Manship School of Mass Communication and native of Baton Rouge. Contributing writers to the Journal are members of the West Side community.

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