Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration has lawyered up in anticipation of potential litigation stemming from allegations that a former aide sexually harassed a female co-worker.
The state has hired Baton Rouge attorney Vicki Crochet of the Taylor, Porter, Brooks and Phillips firm at the request of the governor's office, according to an appointment form The Advocate obtained at request. The attorney general's office and the Office of Risk management also signed off on the decision to hire outside counsel.
Edwards' deputy chief of staff Johnny Anderson resigned from his position last week amid an investigation into sexual harassment complaints lodged against him. Anderson has said that he's innocent and told The Advocate last week his resignation is not based "even on the thought of guilt." Repeated attempts this week to reach Anderson, who has faced previous sexual harassment claims, have been unsuccessful. It's unclear whether he has hired an attorney.
According to the contract, Crochet has been "assigned in anticipation of litigation." It identifies the potential case as "(accusers name) v. Office of the Governor and Johnny Anderson." The Advocate has removed the accusers name, though it is on the public record.
The governor's office has previously declined to comment on the person who said Anderson had harassed her, the circumstances of Anderson and the accuser's interactions or specific details of the allegations.
A person sharing the accusers name is identified on the governor's office website as working on a council under the governor's office. Attempts to reach her on Friday were unsuccessful.
Crochet, who has not responded to multiple messages from The Advocate, specializes in employment law and leads Taylor Porter's Employment and Labor Law and Discrimination Litigation practice.
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