AG Jeff Landry publicly addresses scandal involving former top aide for first time
BATON ROUGE- Attorney General Jeff Landry is, for the first time, publicly addressing a scandal that ultimately led to the resignation of one of his top aides.
In a letter to employees, he said sexual harassment is not tolerated. At a news conference Tuesday, we asked why Magee was allowed to resign if that's the case.
"We are here to move the state forward," Landry said. "But here's what I would tell you. Number one, we went through an independent investigation. We used one of the top lawyers in the state which addresses these issues."
The Attorney General's office hired an outside law firm to conduct an investigation into the matter. That firm found Magee's comments were more joking in nature. Magee was given a $22,000 pay cut but resigned last week following another complaint that surfaced.
Landry's office hired Taylor Porter and Vicki Crochet. Last week, the WBRZ Investigative Unit showed you Crochet billed about $6,500 for that investigation, but we exposed some of the alleged victims who were not even interviewed. Invoices show Crochet only interviewed two of them. The WBRZ Investigative Unit learned through sources there are at least six.
We asked Crochet last week why she didn't interview all of the complainants. She referred all questions to the AG's office, so that's exactly what we did. We asked Jeff Landry why the investigation didn't talk to all the alleged victims.
"I don't know who those people are," Landry said. "We don't have any other complaints. It's hard for us to act on things we don't know. I'd appreciate it if you tell us who those people are. If they want to come forward and give us a written complaint, we'd be more than happy to look into that."
At least one woman who agreed to talk to the WBRZ Investigative Unit said she spoke up after she wasn't interviewed.
"I'm just stunned that she was engaged to do what would be purported a thorough investigation and it's a sham," the woman said. "It's incredibly disheartening as a female and as an employee not to be taken seriously."
Landry maintains his office took all complaints seriously. In a letter to his staff, he called the media attention to this matter hyperbole.
"When we received a written complaint, we took action immediately... not six months later.... not 30 days later," Landry said. "We suspended the person, put them on administrative leave, got findings and after the findings, we penalized him. We fined him $20,000. That's not small change. This office took that issue very seriously."
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