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Jeff Landry tells Department of Justice employees they need to reapply for jobs

By Vimbai Chikomo | Dec 4, 2015

Louisiana Attorney General-Elect Jeff Landry

BATON ROUGE — Attorney General-Elect Jeff Landry recently sent a letter to current state Department of Justice at-will employees, informing them that they need to apply for positions under his new administration.

In his letter dated Nov. 30, Landry reassured all at-will employees, who serve at the pleasure of the attorney general, that the process was to ensure that the transition was efficient and gave all employees a fair opportunity to continue their employment.

“It is important to keep in mind that the purpose of the process is not to make wholesome changes, but to ensure that everyone has a fair and equal opportunity to be considered,” the letter read.

The expectations for the attorney general’s office are very high. Amid reports that there had been questions raised by the public regarding the integrity of the attorney general’s office in previous years, Landry assured the people of Louisiana throughout his campaign that his office would run at the highest ethical standard.

Melissa Landry (no relation), executive director of Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch, recently told the Louisiana Record that the letter was not surprising, and that it was common practice for newly elected government officials to ask people to reapply for positions.

“(The) attorney general-elect campaigned on a theme of anti-corruption, and bringing integrity and the highest ethical standards to the attorney general office,” she said. “So we applaud his efforts to lead the Louisiana Department of Justice office with integrity.”

In the letter, Landry thanked employees for their service and told employees that they would be receiving a second letter in the coming days that would provide steps to complete the application.

Landry, who will take office on Jan. 11, swept his way into the Louisiana Attorney General’s office when he won the election on Nov. 21, beating out two-term incumbent, Buddy Caldwell.

Leading up to the election, Caldwell’s campaign claimed that Landry’s legal experience wasn’t sufficient enough to successfully run the highest legal office in the state. But Louisiana voters believed otherwise, leading Landry to victory by a large margin.

Landry, a former U.S. Representative, shot down the notion that he lacked experience and the people of Louisiana seem to agree with him.

“As the state’s chief law enforcement officer, the attorney general has a sworn duty to protect the public interest, and to do so with integrity and transparency," Melissa Landry told the Louisiana Record. "... The manner in which (Jeff Landry) campaigned and is moving forward with his transition shows that he’s doing just that."

Now the attorney general-elect is in the process of transitioning into his role in Louisiana’s top legal office and has launched a transition website to provide information on his upcoming inauguration. The website also provides an online portal for employees and members of the public to apply for positions in his administration. Visitors to the website also can get in touch with Landry by filling out a contact form and read up on news regarding the attorney general’s office.

The attorney general-elect’s letter also encouraged employees to submit their personal ideas on how to make the Department of Justice “work even better for the people of Louisiana,” and signed off the letter by thanking employees once more for their cooperation and dedication to the state of Louisiana.

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