Chief of staff change coming in governor's office
BATON ROUGE - Gov. John Bel Edwards' leadership team will experience a shakeup later this month.
The Democratic governor's chief of staff, Ben Nevers, is exiting after a year in the job. A former Jindal-era cabinet official, Mark Cooper, will fill the position.
Edwards announced Thursday that Nevers, a close friend of the governor and former state senator, is retiring as his top adviser and administrator at the end of February. He'll leave shortly after a deficit-closing special legislative session.
Taking over as Edwards' chief of staff will be Cooper, the one-time homeland security secretary for former Gov. Bobby Jindal and currently emergency management director for Wal-Mart. Cooper will start the position in the spring.
Until Cooper assumes the role, Edwards' top lawyer Matthew Block will also work as the governor's chief of staff.
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