After weeks of questions about his office's handling of complaints of sexual harassment against a top deputy, Attorney General Jeff Landry has called a news conference for Tuesday morning to discuss "human resource issues" and the lawsuit he filed against a newspaper reporter.
Landry is holding the event at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Livingston building in downtown Baton Rouge. He will also stream the news conference live on the Louisiana Department of Justice Facebook page.
Landry has been reluctant to answer questions so far about how his office addressed grievances that alleged the office's former criminal division director, Pat Magee, sexually harassed employees in his office. Though state agency heads often testify before the Louisiana House Budget Committee as they seek funding from the Legislature, Landry did not appear before the committee Monday after two legislators specifically requested his testimony about the Magee case.
When our reporter Andrea Gallo asked Jeff Landry for a copy of a sexual harassment complaint against a key Landry deputy, the attorney general…
State Reps. Aimee Freeman and Mandie Landry, both Democrats from New Orleans, wrote that they "would like to inquire about the legal challenges your office has recently lost as well as the lack of transparency surrounding the sexual harassment committed by your former top aide Pat Magee."
After receiving a written complaint about Magee, Landry, a Republican, hired Taylor Porter attorney Vicki Crochet to investigate the allegations against Magee. The complainant alleged, among other things, that that Magee did not promote one woman in the office because she was so attractive he was worried about controlling himself, and that he suggested another female attorney work on a criminal because "male jurors would want to have sex with her."
But while the complaint filed late last year against Magee raised questions about his interactions with five women, Crochet only interviewed two employees in the office, in addition to Magee, according to records that Landry's office has provided to this newspaper. And Landry's office has not answered questions about how officials handled a second complaint filed last month from another former employee, who alleged that Magee sexually harassed the women who worked for him and relegated them to less-serious cases that he considered "good for women."
Two months after Attorney General Jeff Landry filed a lawsuit to prevent records about sexual harassment accusations against one of his top em…
Magee resigned shortly after the second complaint was filed. But earlier this month, Landry's office released a memo targeting the whistleblower who wrote the initial complaint against Magee. The memo more or less identified the whistleblower by specifying his job title and length of service at the Attorney General's office. It also said that officials in Landry's office had reviewed questionable text messages that Magee provided from the whistleblower, and raised other questions about the whistleblower's credibility.
Sandra Schober, the deputy director for Landry's administrative services division, wrote that the office was "in the process of investigating this matter further to determine if [the whistleblower whose name was redacted] lacks the requisite judgment, honesty, and integrity required of all LADOJ personnel.”
Landry also filed a lawsuit in February against a reporter for The Advocate | The Times-Picayune who sought copies of the complaints filed against Magee and records of how Landry's office handled those complaints. A Baton Rouge judge ruled against Landry last month, ordering that the complaint against Magee be released to the public.
When an employee in Attorney General Jeff Landry’s office filed a complaint last year alleging that a top deputy sexually harassed women in th…
The case has another hearing set for April 22 over the issue of whether Crochet's investigation should also be released.
Staff Writer Sam Karlin contributed to this report.