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THE INVESTIGATORS: State launches ‘peer review’ of EBR Public Defenders Office

The state has launched an investigation into the East Baton Rouge Public Defender’s Office after allegations of some serious problems have surfaced.
Published: Apr. 13, 2022 at 5:02 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The state has launched an investigation into the East Baton Rouge Public Defender’s Office after allegations of some serious problems inside the office have surfaced. The State Public Defender’s Office has now set its sights on the office and chief Public Defender Lisa Parker, looking for a peer review over the complaints that have been made.

A committee of other chief public defenders has been tasked with investigating the office and reporting back to the state. This comes about two weeks after State Representative C. Denise Marcelle called on the office to be investigated.

Marcelle cited the dozens of employees who have left since parker took over less than a year ago. The state representative also brought up the lawsuits that have been filed against the office by former employees and what she describes as intimidation that’s allegedly happening behind closed doors at the office. The committee is set to be in Baton Rouge Wednesday, April 13 and Thursday, April 14 to meet with employees and anyone who had complaints about the office.

There is currently no timeline on how soon that committee’s work could wrap up. WAFB did reach out to the EBR Public Defender’s Office for comment but has not heard back.

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