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La. Department of Justice to eliminate outside contracts with district attorneys

1 year 7 months 4 weeks ago Thursday, February 18 2016 Feb 18, 2016 February 18, 2016 1:19 PM February 18, 2016 in News
Source: Associated Press

BATON ROUGE - Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry says his office is terminating state contracts that his predecessor approved for the private law practices of three local district attorneys.

"For too long, Louisiana's reputation of backroom deals has eroded the public's trust in government," said Landry. "It is my intent to help restore public trust and to build credibility in our justice system."

Landry also announced Thursday that his office recently terminated former Attorney General James "Buddy" Caldwell's contracts with private lawyers who received roughly $40 million for representing the state in litigation over BP's 2010 Gulf oil spill.

"The potential for conflicts of interest and the appearance of impropriety, whether actual or not, erode the public's trust in our judicial system," said General Landry.

Landry said he believes the state contracts with district attorneys' private law practices are improper and create potential conflicts of interest.

A Landry spokesman said the law practices of three district attorneys - Paul Connick in Jefferson Parish, Earl Taylor in St. Landry Parish and James Paxton in East Carroll, Madison and Tensas parishes - have received a total of approximately $2 million since 2013 under state contracts.

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