Warren Montgomery, who is entering his second month as district attorney of St. Tammany and Washington parishes, is putting four new lawyers on his staff, three of whom he hired away from the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office.
Francesca Bridges, who starts work Monday, will head the office’s Screening Division. Under longtime former DA Walter Reed, Montgomery said, the office had only one screener, and he is beefing up that part of his operations.
Her hiring will expand the diversity of the DA’s Office, Montgomery said, pointing out that there are no other African-American lawyers on the staff.
Caroline Barkerding, who Montgomery said grew up in Covington, and William Macke also were hired away from Orleans DA Leon Cannizzaro’s office and will be assistant district attorneys.
The fourth hire, Angelle Delacroix, has a private practice in St. Tammany Parish. She will work in the Misdemeanor Division, Montgomery said.
Montgomery also fired two investigators, Steve Bordelon and Mark Bamford, on Friday.
Bamford was arrested Friday and booked on one count of simple battery and one count of simple criminal damage to property, according to St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman George Bonnett.
Bonnett said there was an incident Thursday night that involved Bamford and his girlfriend at her home. A neighbor called the Sheriff’s Office and deputies responded, but the girlfriend declined to press criminal charges, Bonnett said.
An investigation continued Friday, and a warrant was sought for Bamford’s arrest. The battery charge is a misdemeanor; the property damage charge is a felony because the amount of damage to the house was more than $500, Bonnett said.
Montgomery said Bamford was fired because of the arrest.
So far, Montgomery has not fired any lawyers on his staff. But shortly after he took office last month, he fired three holdovers from Reed’s administration.
: Sam Gebbia, an investigator; Brent Jones, who supervised the Juvenile and Nonsupport Section; and Edsel Jones, Reed’s executive assistant.
Several lawyers who worked under Reed left before Montgomery took office, including First Assistant Houston “Hammy” Gascon and Mike Montalbano.
When asked if the new hires represent an expansion of the staff, an effort to fill holes or a signal that more terminations are to come, Montgomery said, “All of the above.”
This is the second time Montgomery, a former federal prosecutor, has reached south of the lake for new blood. When he took over, he hired Collins Sims and Tony G. Sanders, both assistant U.S. attorneys, to head the Criminal Division and the Administrative Division, respectively.
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This story was altered to reflect that Angelle Delacroix?will work in the Misdemeanor Division rather than head it.