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Archive for the ‘Attorney General’ Category

When it comes to sucking up to Donald Trump, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has no peer.

In Jeff Landry’s very limited world view, the Trumpster can do no wrong—just as (in Landry’s opinion) Gov. John Bel Edwards can do nothing right.

Never mind that at least 18 women have come forward to say that Frump molested or attempted to molest them in some fashion over the years.

He’s Jeff’s boy.

Never mind that candidate Grump was heard plainly boasting to Billy Bush about how he loves to grab women.

He’s Jeff’s boy.

Never mind that Thumper openly bragged about bursting into the dressing room of Miss USA candidates, grabbing and pawing the terrified contestants.

He’s Jeff’s boy.

Never mind that Trump approved, before actually reading it, the release of that Nunes memo that was supposed to be a bombshell that would completely discredit the Mueller investigation—but who now refuses to approve the release of the Democrats’ memo rebutting the Nunes memo.

He’s Jeff’s boy.

Never mind that Trump pointed out that Rob Porter, ousted from his White House job after two ex-wives claimed he physically abused them, had never received “due process,” said lament coming just over a year after he chanted on the campaign trail of Hillary Clinton: “Lock her up!”

Not that there’s any lost sympathy for Hillary here, but didn’t she deserve “due process” just as much as Porter?

But never mind, Trump’s Jeff’s boy.

And that’s from the supposed top legal authority in state government.

Now, that’s truly sad for a guy who can’t seem to close out investigations of felony theft in the Desoto Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Alton Sterling shooting, or, after nearly two years, the rape of a 17-year-old girl by an already-convicted rapist in a Union Parish jail cell.

Here are a few examples of Jeff Landry press releases, issued courtesy of Louisiana taxpayer dollars:

 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Majority Whip Congressman Steve Scalise Returns to Congress; Attorney General Jeff Landry Elated

BATON ROUGE, LA – Attorney General Jeff Landry today enthusiastically recognized the return of Majority Whip Steve Scalise to the U.S. House Floor:

“It is truly a miracle to see Majority Whip, and my good friend, Steve Scalise return to the House Floor today. Witnessing his triumphant return took us all back to that emotional and terrifying morning in June when he was shot while practicing for the annual Congressional baseball game, an event Steve cherished. As he said this morning in his address, the Capitol Police officers who rushed to his aid that day were heroes – saving his life and undoubtedly the lives of many others. The Capitol Police work tirelessly to keep all members of Congress safe and as a former Congressman, I am grateful for their service. Steve’s message of faith presented on the House Floor today is important for all Americans regardless of religion, political party, or background. Steve’s will to live, his strong faith in God, the selflessness of the Capitol Police, and the prayers of people across the world carried him through. I look forward to following Steve as he continues to be a ferocious leader for Louisiana and our country.”

 

 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

BATON ROUGE, LA – Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry applauded the White House’s announcement of Louisiana natives Kyle Duncan and Eastern District Chief Judge Kurt Engelhardt to the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

The AG’s full statement may be found below:

“Kyle is an exceptional constitutional lawyer and will make an excellent appellate judge. Kyle has vast experience in complex constitutional cases, both civil and criminal. In every case, he demonstrates that is a consummate professional. He and his wife Martha have deep roots in Louisiana, and we are glad he will be bringing his family and intellect back home.

Chief Judge Kurt Engelhardt is also a great choice. Judge Engelhardt has been serving on the federal bench in Louisiana since 2001 and has time and again demonstrated his commitment to the highest principles of judicial ethics and service. We have been lucky to have him on the district court bench here for the last 16 years and are happy to share his intellect and sound judicial instincts with the rest of the Fifth Circuit.

 

 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Clean Power Plan Repealed, AG Jeff Landry Praises Decision by Trump Administration

BATON ROUGE, LA – Attorney General Jeff Landry is praising EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s decision today to repeal the Clean Power Plan, an Obama overreach that would have devastated Louisiana’s power plants and energy consumers.

“On behalf of Louisiana workers, job creators, and consumers – I commend Administrator Pruitt and the Trump Administration for repealing this unconstitutional, job-killing regulation,” said General Landry. “The so-called Clean Power Plan was always a political attempt to force states into green energy submission.”

“Since taking office – I have challenged the legality of the Clean Power Plan, worked with fellow attorneys general to get a stay in federal court on the mandate, and pushed for today’s repeal,” continued General Landry. “The Trump Administration has acknowledged the Clean Power Plan was an unprecedented Washington power grab not only from the states but also from other federal regulatory agencies. It would have cost tens of billions to implement, jeopardized Louisiana’s six coal-powered plants, and devastated the pocketbooks of our State’s seniors and working families who rely upon low-cost energy.”

 
Wednesday, November 1, 2017

BATON ROUGE, LA – Attorney General Jeff Landry applauded President Trump’s nomination of Louisiana Department of Justice (LADOJ) Criminal Director Brandon Fremin as U.S. Attorney for the Middle District.

“President Trump’s nomination of Brandon Fremin is a grand slam homerun. Brandon has truly lived a life of public service, both as a Marine and a prosecutor,” said General Landry. “Brandon has been a tremendous asset to our office; and I am confident that he will lead the U.S. Attorney’s Office in a fair, ethical, and honest way.”

In January 2016, Fremin was hired to serve the Criminal Director for General Landry’s office where he oversees several sections including: general prosecutions, insurance fraud, and the award-winning Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Under his watch, over 15 public officials have been arrested for public corruption charges – many of whom are currently being prosecuted by the LADOJ.

 
Thursday, January 4, 2018

Federal Marijuana Enforcement Policy Praised by AG Jeff Landry

BATON ROUGE, LA – Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry issued the following statement in support of today’s decision by United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions to rescind the Cole Memo:

“I applaud Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his decision to promote the rule of law and rescind the Cole Memo. This issue affects banking, interstate commerce, public safety, and many other areas that are best addressed by Congress not by Executive fiat. Fortunately, the Trump Administration has worked tirelessly to reverse the ill practices of the previous administration. This issue should be settled by our lawmakers, not our law enforcers. Choosing to not enforce duly enacted laws is a dangerous precedent. Whether the law concerns the legality of marijuana or immigration, non-enforcement by the Department mandated to execute the laws is bad policy.”

 

Wonderful. We now have the Louisiana attorney general and the U.S. attorney general working to keep our prisons overcrowded with non-violent offenders.

 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Louisiana AG Jeff Landry Praises President Donald Trump’s State of the Union

BATON ROUGE, LA – Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry praised President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address, especially the parts about two issues of great concern to General Landry: the opioid crisis and illegal immigration.

The opioid crisis is a critical public safety issue that General Landry has spent much time fighting, as it has affected his ability to keep communities safe.

“As the Attorney General of a state most impacted by the opioid crisis, I applaud President Trump for his efforts to end this epidemic,” said General Landry. “President Trump’s support not only helps families struggling with addiction; but also those of us working to reduce opioid misuse, abuse, and overdose.”

Another American public safety issue that General Landry has railed against is illegal immigration. General Landry has repeatedly called for an end to sanctuary cities, most recently when he led an 11-state coalition in a legal brief supporting President Trump’s executive order that prohibits sanctuary cities from receiving grant dollars from specific federal programs.

“As a state chief legal officer tasked with enforcing the law and protecting citizens, I salute President Trump for his commitment to border security,” added General Landry. “President Trump’s efforts to end sanctuary cities will help law enforcement throughout our Nation make our communities safer.”

General Landry, the President-Elect of the National Association of Attorneys General, looks forward to continue working with the Trump Administration on these issues and others of importance to the people of Louisiana.

 

You probably noticed that Landry manages to make himself the story in virtually every press release coming out of his office. Even when he is voicing support or praise for some program or individual, he somehow manages to begin nearly every release with “Attorney General Jeff Landry…” and oftentimes even manages to sneak his name into a headline for the release.

Well, Jeff, old boy, what we’d really like to see instead of you spending your time trying to score brownie points with Trump and Sessions who, in all likelihood, don’t even know who you are, we’d love to see this headline on one of your press releases:

“Attorney General’s Office releases results of Union Parish jail rape investigation.”

After all, it’s been nearly two years and dozens upon dozens of self-aggrandizing press releases extolling the virtues of one Jeff Landry.

But we won’t hold our breath.

 

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Under the Latin term Respondeat Superior (Let the master answer), an individual would not be held personally liable in a civil proceeding if (a) he (or she) was acting within the scope and duties of his employment or if the action was taken on advice of counsel.

An example of that would be if a state employee withheld records from a reporter on advice of the agency’s attorney but it was subsequently determined in court that the records were actually public and should have been made available upon request. It would be the agency, not the employee, who would be liable in such a case.

A newspaper reporter would be protected from libel damages if he had written something he believed to be factual and it was vetted by editors and published only to be found to be inaccurate and damaging to the subject’s reputation or career. In that case, the newspaper or TV station (or, more accurately, the medium’s liability insurance policy) would pay.

So, it is more than a little curious that Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) paid to defend Attorney Supervisor Weldon Hill—and paid the settlement—in Bethany Gauthreaux’s sexual harassment lawsuit against Hill, a STORY first reported by LouisianaVoice earlier this month.

And why, when the news media requested names of cases involving sexual harassment, was this case omitted. Nowhere in the Baton Rouge Advocate STORY is the Gauthreaux case listed. Was this an honest mistake—or was it by design?

Not only did LDH pay the $40,000 settlement, but the agency also paid more than $76,300 in legal fees to the Baton Rouge law firm of Keogh Cox and Wilson ($69,828), the Louisiana Attorney General’s office ($1,258), Court Reporters of Louisiana ($2,183), Walgreen’s ($27), the East Baton Rouge Clerk of Court ($2,611), North Oaks Medical Center ($250), and for photocopies ($186).

And how did that particular law firm wind up with the contract to defend Hill and LDH? The very fact that the LDH Deputy General Counsel, under whom Gauthreaux worked, was Kim Sullivan should have disqualified the firm.

Attorney Chad Sullivan is Kim Sullivan’s husband and he works for Keogh Cox and Wilson, a fact that the firm should have disclosed. By virtue of supervising plaintiff Gauthreaux, Kim Sullivan was a potential co-defendant—and witness—in a case defended by her husband’s law firm. (Click HERE and move your cursor to the first photo on the third row—the first one with a beard. That’s Chad Sullivan.)

Including the $40,000 settlement, the TOTAL COST to LDH was just north of $116,300 to defend an employee who, it would seem certain, was not acting within the scope and duties of his employment. And it would appear he was certainly not acting on advice of legal counsel (though he is himself an attorney) when he was said to have asked highly personal questions about breast feeding her newborn infant, pressed his body against hers as she monitored her computer screen, and placed his hand on hers atop the computer mouse.

And moving her and two other women from their eighth-floor offices to the fifth floor—Gauthreaux to a converted supply room with no phone—would seem something of a gray area insofar as the Respondeat Superior doctrine would apply as would the statement attributed to Hill that he felt women “have nothing to say,” and his timing women employees’ bathroom breaks.

So, now the state is out more than $116,000 because of the actions of Hill, his supervisor, LDH Executive Counsel Stephen Russo, General Counsel Kimberly Humble, and others up the food chain—and because of the inaction of LDH’s Human Resources Office, which should have taken appropriate steps as soon as it was aware of the harassment, but curiously did not.

And just where was LDH Secretary Dr. Rebekah Gee while all this was going on? After all, someone anonymously (for obvious reasons, given the climate at LDH) placed a copy of Gauthreaux’s lawsuit on the windshield of Dr. Gee’s vehicle.

To get those answers, LouisianaVoice emailed Dr. Gee on Jan. 19, posing three simple questions:

  • What action do you plan to take regarding the sexual harassment lawsuit settlement against your legal department, specifically, Mr. Weldon Hill?
  • Why did Mr. Hill’s supervisor(s) and/or DHH HR not initiate some kind of remedial or disciplinary action?
  • Why did you not take some type of remedial or disciplinary action when you first found a copy of the Ms. Gauthreaux’s lawsuit on your vehicle windshield?

Dr. Gee never responded even though LouisianaVoice received a return receipt indicating that she did open that email.

So, a follow-up email was sent to Dr. Gee on Jan. 23:

Dr. Gee, I don’t mean to pester you, but I would remind you that to ignore my questions below would not serve your or LDH’s best interests. It almost seems as if you are trying to conceal information. Many a public servant has learned the hard way that eluding questions and refusing to face issues head-on usually backfires in the end. This litigation was a serious matter that deserves your serious attention. I will not bother to ask you again but should you choose to continue to ignore this issue, I will have no choice but to so state in my follow-up articles.

The same three questions were attached to the bottom of that email and a return receipt indicated she opened that email as well.

But she still has yet to respond.

Meanwhile, Hill and Russo continue at their jobs which pay them $100,000 and $138,500, respectively, while Gauthreaux was forced to quit her $42,500-per-year attorney position. And the word is that Hill is planning to quietly retire.

Not only should Dr. Gee answer the three questions LouisianaVoice put to her, but these as well:

  • Why did the state pay Hill’s attorney fees and the settlement without demanding some payment from him?
  • Why was he not summarily fired once the details of his actions were known?
  • Why was Russo and LDH’s HR Department not held accountable?
  • And finally, just what is the purpose of the mandated sexual harassment classes for state employees if those in supervisory positions are going to simply look the other way and not themselves be held accountable?

We’re waiting.

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Jeff Landry is a man who knows the value of positive public relations.

Negative PR? Not so much.

LouisianaVoice has for months now been attempting to extract some type of information regarding the AG’s progress in investigating that April 2016 RAPE of a 17-year-old female inmate by a convicted rapist—in the Union Parish Jail in Farmerville.

And after months of not-so-artful dodging with the oft-repeated, “This matter in under investigation, therefore I cannot comment on the specifics or answer questions at this time” response of Press Secretary Ruth Wisher, there apparently has been no progress in the investigation.

Recently, though, the AG’s office has altered its method of responding to public records requests—and the method for submitting same.

Once it was sufficient to initiate an official public records request (PRR) to the AG’s Public Information Office with a simple email that began: Pursuant to the Public Records Act of Louisiana (R.S. 44:1 et seq.), I respectfully request the opportunity to review the following document(s):

Now, though, the AG has abruptly switched gears to require that inquiries be routed through a different office—which would seem to make the name of the Public Information Office something of a misnomer.

Previously, following that referencing of the state’s public records act, one would simply list the documents desired (It’s crucial that you request actual documents and not just general information: public agencies as a rule—there are exceptions—won’t respond to general requests). Here is a recent (Dec. 13, 2017) request submitted by LouisianaVoice for which no response has yet been received:

  • Please provide me a current list (and status) of all criminal investigations undertaken by the Louisiana Attorney General’s office since Jeff Landry’s inauguration.
  • Said status should include all dispositions of cases, including convictions and/or dropped charges, where applicable.

But now, Landry’s office appears to be circling the wagons. No more are we to submit request to the Public Information Officer, which makes public information something of an oxymoron. Here is our latest inquiry about the status of the investigation of that rape case which is now entering its 21st month despite the fact that authorities know the following:

  • Where the rapes (she was raped twice) occurred (in the confines of a small cell);
  • When they occurred;
  • The identity of the victim;
  • The identity of the alleged rapist (who was awaiting sentencing for a prior conviction of aggravated rape)

Here is LouisianaVoice’s request:

“Please provide me an update on the current status of the Union Parish jail cell rape case that occurred in April of 2016.

Should you respond with the usual “ongoing investigation” response, then please try to give me some indication as when this unusually lengthy investigation of a relative uncomplicated matter will be completed.”

Here is the AG’s response:

As you have anticipated, Louisiana’s Public Records Act, specifically La. R.S. 44:3(A)(1), exempts records held by the office of the attorney general that pertain to “pending criminal litigation or any criminal litigation which can be reasonably anticipated, until such litigation has been finally adjudicated or otherwise settled. . . .” Therefore, records related to open investigations are not subject to disclosure until the case is finally adjudicated or otherwise settled. 

Additionally, your request does not identify any currently existing record. The creation of periodic “status updates” is not an obligation imposed upon public bodies by Louisiana Public Records Law, La. R.S. 44:1, et seq. Please direct future requests for press releases to our Communications Division at AGLandryNews@ag.louisiana.gov. If you have any further requests to make pursuant to La. R.S. 44:1, et seq., please let me know. 

With Best Regards,

Luke Donovan
Assistant Attorney General

Well, I can certainly understand that records of pending matters are exempted but how long is Landry going to let this languish? The victim has filed suit against the state and Union Parish but that is a civil matter. The rape is a criminal investigation. And while the AG is charged with defending the civil suit, the two are separate matters handled by separate divisions.

And what, exactly, does Donovan mean by “pending criminal litigation”? We have pending civil litigation and we have pending criminal prosecution. Again, they are separate, handled by separate divisions.

But then, Landry is nothing if not a publicity hound. He loves to see his name in print. He just doesn’t have the same enthusiasm for actual work. Take the theft from the DeSOTO PARISH Sheriff’s Office that was turned over first to Landry’s predecessor Buddy Caldwell and then to him to investigate because the victim of that theft was the local district attorney, creating for him a conflict of interests.

Landry never did complete that investigation which pre-dated the Union Parish rape case by two years. It was a federal grand jury that ended up indicting the employee involved.

And finally, there is the ALTON STERLING case which, following the U.S. Justice Department’s punting on the matter, was taken up by Landry last May. Nearly 10 months later, Landry has yet to give any indication as to when he will issue a report on that shooting by Baton Rouge police.

So, Ruth Wisher is stuck with the unenviable task of trying to make her boss look good. It’s not quite as daunting a task as that of Sarah Huckabee Sanders in trying to make a silk purse of the sow’s ear that is Donald Trump, but daunting nevertheless.

The glowing press releases will continue in Landry’s unabashed quest for the governor’s office while the real work of completing the investigation of the rape of a 17-year-old will continue to get short shrift because, realistically speaking, there are no votes to be gained in protecting the rights of a meth addict.

And that, readers, is the very definition of hypocrisy.

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It’s now been 20 months since that 17-year-old girl was RAPED twice in a jail cell in the Union Parish Detention Center in April 2016 and there still has been no resolution to the ongoing investigation by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry.

Because the detention center is administered by a committee that includes the local district attorney, he properly recused himself and the case was turned over to the attorney general for investigation.

To refresh, the girl was brought to the detention center after being found high on meth. Demarcus Shavez Peyton, 28, of Homer, was being held in the center awaiting a scheduled sentencing for his conviction of aggravated rape.

Sometime on the night of April 19, he was released from his cell and he entered the girl’s cell and raped her twice.

So, what’s to investigate? The victim is known. The perpetrator is known. The date is known. The location, a tiny, restricted jail cell, is known. It just doesn’t make sense that the “investigation” is taking so long when Landry is so quick to jump on every decision or action of Gov. John Bel Edwards.

It seems from my perspective that Landry is spending more time and energy on watching every move of Edwards and preparing his own run for governor rather than concentrating on his own job duties.

For that reason, I started making monthly checks into the progress of the investigation. Here’s one response to my first inquiry from his press secretary:

From: Wisher, Ruth [mailto:WisherR@ag.louisiana.gov]
Sent: Wednesday, August 30, 2017 11:25 AM
To: ‘Tom Aswell’ <azspeak@cox.net>
Subject: RE: PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST

Mr. Tom,

 This matter is under investigation, therefore I cannot comment on the specifics or answer questions at this time.  

That has been the consistent response to my monthly update request, including the latest:

From: AG Landry News
Sent: Wednesday, December 06, 2017 10:02 AM
To: Tom Aswell
Subject: RE: FOLLOW UP: STATUS

Good morning,

This is an ongoing investigation therefore I cannot comment on any specifics.

And that’s not the only case of Landry’s foot-dragging on cases other than the low-hanging fruit he seizes upon for his regular press releases to display his tough on crime stance.

When an employee of the DeSoto Parish district attorney’s office cashed more 580 money orders at the DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office—money orders that amounted to something on the order of $130,000—the district attorney recused himself from the investigation on the basis of his being the victim of the theft. Accordingly, he called upon the attorney general’s office to conduct the investigation.

That was in February 2014, during the administration of Landry’s predecessor, Buddy Caldwell, the singing attorney general. Caldwell’s record was no better than Landry’s but when Landry came into office, the case continued to languish with neither attorney general ever filing any documents with the court.

The employee worked in the district attorney’s worthless checks and diversion programs, responsible for overseeing the case files, accepting payments from defendants, and recording receipts of payments.

A federal grand jury finally indicted her, charging than when she would direct defendants to pay with money orders with the recipient’s and remitter’s names left blank. She would then accept money orders for payments. Instead of recording the payment, she would notate the cases nolle pros, or charges rejected and then enter her name as the payee and cash the money orders at the sheriff’s office.

But Caldwell apparently was too busy with his Elvis impersonations and Landry was too involved in grinding out his daily press releases to burnish his reputation as a modern-day Marshall Dillon to waste time on remote parishes like DeSoto and Union.

Let’s face it: A felon in DeSoto Parish and a teenage meth addict rape victim in Union Parish aren’t likely to generate much sympathy or many votes in his run for governor.

A man trying to establish a reputation as a straight-shootin’, straight-talkin’ tough-on-crime politician still has to be pragmatic, after all.

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LouisianaVoice keeps trying to prod the Attorney General’s office into getting off its backside in the investigation of that RAPE of a 17-year-old girl by a convicted rapist in a Union Parish Detention Center cell in April 2016, but it seems Jeff Landry is far too occupied with some grand scheme that he thinks will ultimately land him in the governor’s office.

In our monthly tabulation, it has now been 19 months and counting since the girl, who was being held in a cell after being picked up on a drug charge, was raped not once, but twice, by an inmate who had already been convicted of aggravated rape in Claiborne Parish and was awaiting sentencing while being held in adjacent Union Parish.

To refresh your memory, because the district attorney is a member of the Union Parish Detention Center Commission which operates the center, DA John Belton recused himself and requested that the AG conduct an investigation of the incident. The victim has since filed a LAWSUIT over the incident and now Landry’s office is attempting to lean on that as a legitimate reason for not providing a status of its so-called criminal investigation.

Back on Oct. 17, we submitted our monthly request as to the status of the assault investigation to both the AG’s Public Information Office and to its Criminal Investigation Section. The next day, Oct. 18, we received following response:

—–Original Message—–
From: AG Landry News [mailto:aglandrynews@ag.louisiana.gov]
Sent: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 1:49 PM
To: Tom Aswell <azspeak@cox.net>
Subject: Re: QUESTION

This matter is under investigation.

Thanks!

Ruth

So, we did our obligatory monthly report of inactivity on Landry’s part. But then on Wednesday (Nov. 15), we received the following response from Assistant Attorney General Luke Donovan, Executive Division:

From: Donovan, Luke [mailto:DonovanL@ag.louisiana.gov]
Sent: Wednesday, November 15, 2017 4:30 PM
To: azspeak@cox.net
Cc: Dirmann, Shannon <DirmannS@ag.louisiana.gov>
Subject: PRR 17-0159 Tom Aswell, Louisiana Voice

Good afternoon Mr. Aswell,

In response to your public records request pursuant to La. R.S. 44:1 et seq, the information you requested has been processed. You sought records related to the following:​

… any documents or reports pertaining to the status of the attorney general’s investigation of the rape of the 17-year-old girl in the Union Parish jail cell last April. That’s the investigation 3rd JDC District Attorney John Belton asked the attorney general’s office to investigate because of a conflict of interests.

Louisiana’s Public Records Act, specifically La. R.S. 44:3(A)(1), exempts records held by the office of the attorney general which pertain “to pending criminal litigation or any criminal litigation which can be reasonably anticipated, until such litigation has been finally adjudicated or otherwise settled….”  

Therefore, the records which you seek are exempt from production at this time.

If our office can be of any further assistance, please let us know.

Sincerely,

Luke Donovan

Assistant Attorney General, Executive Division
Office of Attorney General Jeff Landry
Phone: (225) 326-6712  Fax: (225) 326-6098
www.AGJeffLandry.com

Well, that prompted my immediate response:

Your response is pure, unadulterated B.S.

That’s only because your boss is more interested in promoting his campaign for governor than doing anything on this case for the past 19 months. I’m not at all sure what you mean by “criminal litigation,” but I do know what “criminal investigation” and “civil litigation” are. The first is an investigation and, if warranted, an indictment and trial on criminal charges—and I suggest 19 months to investigate an assault in a confined area when the date, the victim and the assailant are all known to prosecutors is more than enough time to conclude an investigation and to indict. Any litigation would be a civil matter and completely unrelated to criminal charges as that would be a separate matter altogether. The information I am seeking is the status of the criminal investigation, i.e. has the alleged perpetrator been formally charged? If so, what was the charge and is there an arraignment/trial date?

To try and hide behind “pending criminal litigation” is a bit disingenuous. But then I would expect nothing better from Jeff Landry.

The only thing I neglected to say (and I wish I had, so I’ll say it here) is this:

Judging from the manner in which he can drag a matter out, perhaps Landry should consider offering his services as defense counsel for Roy Moore.

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