Attorney General Jeff Landry’s office slapped with lawsuit, claims of wrongdoing
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A former prosecutor who worked under Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has filed a lawsuit against his former employer.
Matthew Derbes resigned amid an ongoing probe into wrongdoing in Landry’s office back in April.
RELATED LINK: Another high-ranking member of Jeff Landry’s team resigns
In a lawsuit filed Nov. 5 with the 19th Judicial Court, Derbes’ attorney provides more information about his sudden resignation.
The lawsuit state’s Derbes “became aware” that the defendant in a child porn case was not arrested despite an arrest warrant being issued. Derbes raised concerns that the defendant was receiving “preferential treatment” because he was “politically connected.”
The 9News Investigators learned that defendant was Gregory V. Campo.
Campo was accused of possessing 18 “child sexual exploitation images” that showed young girls “lewdly displaying their vaginal area,” according to his arrest warrant.
In the lawsuit, Derbes claims he shared his concerns with his colleagues.
Their response to Derbes was that Campo’s family, “had a personal connection to Mr. Landry and had a relationship such that Mr. Landry did not want [Campo] prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” the lawsuit states.
Campo was booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on the child pornography charges on January 13, 2021, jail records show.
According to the arrest warrant, an investigator with Landry’s office first received information on Campo’s alleged crimes in April of 2019, nearly two years prior to the arrest.
Landry has denied giving Campo any special treatment, saying the COVID-19 crisis prevented his office from arresting Campo sooner than it did.
READ MORE: AG Jeff Landry denies special treatment given to child porn suspect
Derbes’ attorney makes further claims in the lawsuit, writing that money dedicated to investigating and prosecuting insurance fraud cases was moved around for other uses.
Other claims raised in Derbes’ lawsuit include:
- Derbes facing retaliation after becoming aware of, and reporting sexual harassment claims against Landry’s former top aide, Pat Magee.
READ MORE: Head of Louisiana Attorney General’s criminal division, Pat Magee, resigns
- Officials in Landry’s office intentionally “mischaracterizing” complaints made against Magee to skirt the state’s public records laws and keyword searches
- Officials in Landry’s office taking steps to skew the findings of a third-party firm hired to probe the allegations made against Magee
- Officials in the office released false documents about Derbes and provided his name to the media to discredit his complaints about the alleged wrongdoings happening under Landry’s watch
Derbes was hired as an assistant attorney general in 2006 and had risen to the position of deputy director of the criminal division by the time Landry took office.
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