BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - If viewing this story on a mobile device, click the link to watch the full news conference - http://shout.lt/brRrJ
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry announced several changes at the Louisiana Department of Justice (DOJ) at a news conference at 1 p.m. Thursday.
The changes center on policy changes at the DOJ are in hopes of "ensuring accountability and ensuring the public's trust in public officials."
Landry said he is working to improve the public's trust in government by no longer paying district attorneys and their private law firms to work for the AG's Office. According to the AG's office, the following three private firms belonging to district attorneys have made at least $100,000 work for the state since 2013:
- Connick & Connick, L.L.C. has made an estimated $1.3 million. Paul Connick is the DA for Jefferson Parish
- James E Paxton, APLC has made an estimated $100,000. Jim Paxton is the DA for East Carroll Parish
- Taylor & Trosclair has made an estimated $650,000. Earl Taylor is the DA for St. Landry Parish.
"For too long, Louisiana's reputation of backroom deals has eroded the public's trust in government," said General Landry. "It is my intent to help restore public trust and to build credibility in our justice system."
The Attorney General's Office will have a new policy in effect that prevents any lawyer working or representing the state in a legal matter from practicing law outside the DOJ.
Landry also said the office is trimming outside lawyers who have been paid nearly $40 million to represent Louisiana in the BP oil spill case. He added that there is a possibility of other contracts being canceled in the future as he assess all of the situations involving outside counsel.
"Reform at the Department of Justice does not end today. We will continue to find ways to make the office an honest, ethical, and hardworking agency that the citizens of our State can rely upon and be proud of," said Landry.
Landry said he is committed to running an honest, ethical, and hardworking agency for the people of Louisiana.
Thursday's news conference was held at the Attorney General's Office at the Louisiana State Capitol.