Months after the post became vacant, 22nd Judicial District Attorney Warren Montgomery has named Cary Menard as head of the office's Civil Division, a job that includes representing St. Tammany Parish government in legal matters.
Menard joined Montgomery's office as an assistant district attorney in the Civil Division in 2016. In that capacity, he advised boards and commissions in St. Tammany and Washington parishes and handled the office’s civil litigation.
He was promoted in 2018 to director of the office's diversion program.
Menard also has worked for the state Attorney General's Office as director of its Complex Litigation Unit.
The appointment is the first change Montgomery has announced since his office took control of the parish's legal affairs following his long legal battle with parish government over rival interpretations of the parish's home rule charter.
The Louisiana Supreme Court ruled late last month that the charter requires the DA to serve as the legal adviser to parish government.
“Now that the issue has been settled, it is time to move forward,” Montgomery said in a statement. “I have complete confidence in Cary’s abilities, based upon his background, vast experience, and his time here in this office."
Tony LeMon served as head of the Civil Division and as Montgomery's first assistant when the DA first took office in January 2015. LeMon resigned in January, and the post has been vacant since then.
Menard's résumé includes a 14-year stint with the National Hot Rod Association in California, where he was vice president of business and legal affairs. In that role, he oversaw the association's legal affairs and also exercised management oversight of seven company-owned racetrack facilities.
A former NHRA race team owner and licensed dragster driver, he was inducted into the NHRA Drag Racing Hall of Fame for the South Central Region in 2003.
After retiring from the National Hot Rod Association, Menard opened a mortgage company in Los Angeles and later founded a moving company in Maui, Hawaii, where he lived for four years before returning to the mainland.
Menard lives in Mandeville. He joins Chief of Administration Tony Sander and Criminal Division Chief Collin Sims as part of Montgomery's executive team.