Jeff Landry ready to start new chapter in AG office

By Vimbai Chikomo | Jan 8, 2016

BATON ROUGE – Attorney General-Elect Jeff Landry will begin his tenure as Louisiana’s attorney general on Monday morning.

BATON ROUGE – Attorney General-Elect Jeff Landry will begin his tenure as Louisiana’s attorney general on Monday morning.

The Oath of Office, which will be part of the Gubernatorial Inauguration Ceremony, will take place on the capitol steps, where Landry will be sworn in by Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette Johnson.

"Jeff is very excited to get to work," Landry spokesman Millard Mulé told the Louisiana Record.

"We anticipate a good crowd of people eager to begin a new chapter at the Louisiana Department of Justice." 

In a press release from his transition office, Landry expressed his gratitude to voters for placing such confidence in him and reiterated his vision of running an ethical office.

"My goal is to make the Attorney General's office an honest, ethical, and hardworking agency that gets justice for our people and defends the Constitution," Landry stated. "My team will fight overreach from the federal government so our families and businesses have the opportunity to achieve."

The ceremony will be emceed by Jim Hawthorne, the “voice” of the Louisiana State University Tigers; and the posting of the colors and line will be done by the Louisiana National Guard's 1st Battalion, 141st Field Artillery Regiment, 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, which has been deployed to Iraq twice since 2003.

The national anthem will be sung by Nancy Armstrong Holmes, who is the minister of music at Greater King David Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, and the Pledge of Allegiance will be led by Purple Heart recipient and U.S. Navy Captain Richard O'Brien.

The Rev. Rodney Wood of the Mission Foundation in Baton Rouge will give the invocation; and the president of the National Baptist Convention of America, the Rev. Samuel Tolbert, will give the inaugural prayer.

The benediction will be given by Father Mark Beard.

The list of performers include: State Rep. Jack Montoucet, who will perform Amazing Grace in French along with his family; Tulane Roots of Music, a New Orleans youth marching band; the Centenary College Choir from Shreveport; the Victory Belles, a World War II Museum singing trio; the Livingston Parish Children's Choir; the Louisiana National Guard Band; and an inaugural gospel choir comprised of singers from five groups around Baton Rouge will sing, with Holmes leading the choir.

A reception will follow.

Landry beat out two-term incumbent Buddy Caldwell when he won the election on Nov. 21. When Landry received the Republican endorsement over Caldwell by Republican Party leaders in July, many were surprised since it is more likely for a party to support an incumbent running for re-election. Landry believes winning the election against the two-term incumbent, and former Democrat, was a clear indication that voters were ready for change.

"The voters of Louisiana wanted to end the old school politics of Louisiana’s past," Landry told the Louisiana Record in December. "They recognized the need for change to clean up our legal environment and get Louisiana back to work."

Caldwell’s actions as attorney general have raised concerns with Louisiana voters in past years. For instance, the Louisiana Record reported that a public records request by Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch revealed that taxpayers had been billed more than $13.2 million in legal fees by Caldwell’s political contributors, who were representing Louisiana in Deepwater Horizon litigation and charging up to $600 per hour. The records showed that 8 of the 11 private law firms billed for the case had made political donations to Caldwell, which did not sit well with voters.

The Louisiana Record also reported that according to the annual Judicial Hellholes report by American Tort Reform Association’s (ATRA), Louisiana’s judicial system was labeled as one of the most unfair in the country for the sixth year in a row.

After the election, Landry told the Louisiana Record that as attorney general, his focus will be on conducting business in an honorable manner.

"We are going to run an honest, ethical and hardworking office,” Landry said. “We will do the people's business in an open and transparent manner that makes the Department of Justice a great agency for our state."

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