After several days of testimony and back room negotiations, Sixteenth Judicial District Judge Lori Landry and District Attorney Bo Duhe have buried the hatchet and recommitted to working together.
The two made the joint declaration in a courtroom full of Landry's supporters after the announcement was made to dismiss hundreds of recusal motions that Duhe's office has filed against Landry. The motions, alleging that Landry was “biased and prejudiced” against the District Attorney’s office and its representatives, were filed in more than 300 criminal cases from Iberia, St. Martin and St. Mary parishes. More than twelve staff members from the D.A.’s office voiced their complaints against Landry in the public testimony.
In a joint statement made in the courtroom on Dec. 12, Landry and Duhe said they were working together to resolve their differences. In front of about 100 of Landry’s supporters, the two sealed the deal with a hug, the Advocate reported.
“We stand before you and say we’re going to do better,” Landry said.
Bohe told the Advocate that his prosecutors were exercising their rights in filing the motions because they believed that bias was present.
In her testimony, District Attorney Nicole Burke said that the state was intending to file at least one complaint with the Judiciary Commission of Louisiana concerning Landry’s alleged anti-prosecutor bias, the Advocate reported.
Special counsel Paul Hebert, who represented the district attorney’s office, made the annoucement to dismiss “with prejudice,” he said, underlining the fact that going forward, no similar allegations can be made as grounds for recusal against Landry by the district attorney’s office.
Retired Rapides Parish Judge Harry F. Randow presided over the hearings. Randow was appointed in November by Louisiana Supreme Court Justice John Weimer to hear the motions.
Landry is a former prosecutor, who was elected to the court in 2002. She is the first African American woman to serve as a judge in the District.