The following was released by email regarding the transition process for Jeff Landry to take over the Louisiana Attorney General's office.
BATON ROUGE, LA – Attorney General-Elect Jeff Landry is making several announcements today as he transitions into the role as Louisiana’s 44th Attorney General. .
“My goal is to have a thoughtful transition process so I can best serve the people of Louisiana,” said Attorney General-Elect Jeff Landry. “I look forward to hearing recommendations from members of the Transition Committee, speaking with citizens, and meeting with other Louisiana leaders as we move forward toward building an Attorney General’s office which will honorably serve all of the people of Louisiana.”
Following a request by the Attorney General–Elect, Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette J. Johnson has graciously agreed to administer the official Oath of Office to Jeff Landry as Louisiana’s next Attorney General. The Chief Justice will administer the Oath on the steps of the State Capitol as part of the Inaugural ceremonies on January 11th. “As Louisiana’s first African–American Chief Justice, it is an honor to have Chief Justice Johnson administer my Oath,” said Landry. “I look forward to having my wife Sharon, my son JT, my parents, other family members, and friends join me on January 11th as I take the Oath. I am humbled and honored to have been selected by the voters to assume this important position. I do not take it lightly, and I will work hard every day to ensure the people of Louisiana know this office is here to work for the best interests of our state,” Landry added.
Landry is announcing today the naming of Wilber L. “Bill” Stiles as his Chief Deputy Attorney General-designate, also known as the first assistant. Stiles will be presented to the State Senate for confirmation when Landry takes office. A veteran prosecutor for more than a decade, Stiles is currently the Assistant District Attorney in the 16th Judicial District of Louisiana. Stiles also served as the District Director for the 3rd Congressional District of Louisiana, serving while Jeff Landry represented the District in Congress. Stiles is a graduate of the Louisiana State University Law Center and the University of Southwestern Louisiana. He is a veteran of the United States Navy and deployed during the first Persian Gulf War with the aircraft carrier U.S.S. America. He and his wife Christy, a teacher, have two children. “I appreciate Bill’s willingness to serve the people of Louisiana. I trust and expect that Bill will work with the existing Department of Justice staff and new leaders to be named in ensuring we have an honest, ethical, and hardworking team,” said Landry. Stiles is working with Landry, the Transition Team staff, and the Transition Committee Members in helping prepare Jeff Landry to assume the office.
Jeff Landry is also announcing the Co-Chairs of his Transition Committee.
The successful Chairman of the Board and CEO of Harvey Gulf International Marine, a preferred provider of OTV, OSV and MPSV services to the deepwater and ultra-deepwater offshore oil and gas industry in the Gulf of Mexico, Shane Guidry is serving as Chairman of the Transition Committee. As Chairman and CEO, Guidry has helped expand Harvey Gulf from an asset base of $60 Million to over $2 Billion today. Guidry brings his experience managing a large organization and his deep understanding of law enforcement to the Committee. Guidry is a graduate of the Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff's Office Academy with Post Certification and is a current Reserve Deputy Chief in the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. Guidry joined the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's office more than two decades ago working with the Street Crimes Unit, later achieving the rank of Captain. In 1997, Guidry was promoted to the rank of Major and served as a Night Watch Supervisor. Guidry maintains a Louisiana Peace Officers Standard Training Certification. When not spending time helping protect the community by assisting law enforcement or running one of Louisiana’s largest and most successful companies, Guidry is helping the community as Chair of the Heart Walk for the American Heart Association, arranging for The Sunshine Kids to ride annually in a New Orleans area Mardi Gras parade, or supporting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Co-Chairing the Transition Committee is Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand. Normand has more than three decades of experience in the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. Normand has served as Sheriff since his election in 2007. Normand previously served as Chief Criminal Deputy, Comptroller, and Chief of the Louis Armstrong Airport Law Enforcement Detachment. He started his law enforcement career in the Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff’s Office serving high risk warrants and court capias. Normand earned a bachelor degree from the University of New Orleans and a law degree from Tulane University Law School. Normand is also a graduate of the prestigious FBI National Academy and FBI National Executive Institute.
“My Co-Chairmen bring legal understanding, tremendous business experience, and a collective law enforcement background to the Transition Committee,” said Landry. “They will help ensure the work of the Transition Committee is completed.”
Transition Committee Members who have agreed to serve are being asked to focus their attention on specific sections and divisions of the Department of Justice. Today, Landry is naming Members who are focusing on the Criminal and Investigative areas of the Department of Justice. Transition Committee Members for additional areas will be named as the Transition progresses.
Criminal Division Transition Committee Members
John Belton is the District Attorney for the 3rd Judicial District, a position he has held since 2015. Belton is a career prosecutor who has dedicated 23 years to serving his community as a courtroom advocate. Belton earned his bachelor degree from McNeese State University and his law degree from the Southern University Law Center, where was inducted to the Hall of Fame.
Leon Cannizaro is the District Attorney for the 41st Judicial District, a position he has held since 2009. Cannizaro spent five years as an assistant district attorney in Orleans Parish, including time as chief of the trials division, then worked in private practice and as a staff attorney for the Orleans Indigent Defenders Program. Cannizaro served 17 years as a judge in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court and five years as a judge on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal. Cannizaro earned a bachelor degree from the University of New Orleans and a law degree from Loyola University College of Law.
Bo Duhe is the District Attorney for the 16th Judicial District, a position he has held since 2015. Duhe previously worked as an assistant district attorney, including as first assistant, for over two decades. Duhe earned a bachelor degree from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and a law degree from Tulane University Law School.
Brian Frazier is the District Attorney for the 37th Judicial District, a position he has held since 2015. Frazier served as an assistant district attorney and a lawyer in private practice. Additionally, Frazier served as the city prosecutor in Columbia and Grayson. Frazier earned a bachelor degree from the University of Louisiana at Monroe and a law degree from the Southern University Law Center.
Douglas Gonzales is the former United States Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana, a position he held from 1972 to 1976. Gonzales later served as judge for 14 years at the Louisiana 19th Judicial District Court and 11 years on the Louisiana Circuit Court of Appeal for the First Circuit. Gonzales earned his bachelor degree from the University of Notre Dame and his law degree from the Louisiana State University Law Center.
George Hesni is a retired Sergeant of the New Orleans Police Department and a former prosecutor in the 21st, 24th, and 41st Judicial Districts – including service as Chief of Criminal Division. Hesni earned a bachelor degree from Loyola University and a law degree from Loyola University College of Law.
Jack Hoffstadt is a former prosecutor with over three decades of experience in the 4th, 22nd, 24th, and 41st Judicial Districts – including the screening and trials of public corruption. Hoffstadt earned a bachelor degree from Northwestern State University and a law degree from Loyola University College of Law.
Cam Morvant is the District Attorney for the 17th Judicial District, a position he has held since 2003. Morvant previously worked at the district attorney’s office for twenty years, responsible for prosecuting major felony trials and child abuse cases. Morvant earned a bachelor degree from Nicholls State University and a law degree from the Louisiana State University Law Center.
Jennifer Settoon is a former assistant district attorney for the 23rd Judicial District, where she was a full-time prosecutor concentrating on felony sex crimes. Settoon earned a bachelor degree from Louisiana State University and a law degree from the Louisiana State University Law Center.
Samuel Tolbert is Pastor of the Greater Saint Mary Missionary Baptist Church in Lake Charles, a position he has held more than 30 years. Tolbert also serves on the board of supervisors for the Southern University System. Tolbert previously was a commissioner for the Lake Charles Housing Authority, a member of the Lake Charles City Council, and a member of the board of the Louisiana Economic Development Corporation. Tolbert earned a bachelor degree from the Historically Black Bishop College and a Master of Divinity degree from Payne Theological Seminary.
Ed Tarpley is the former District Attorney for the 35th Judicial District, a position he held from 1991 to 1997. Tarpley has nearly four decades of legal experience. Tarpley earned a bachelor degree from Louisiana State University and a law degree from the Louisiana State University Law Center.
Investigations Section Transition Committee Members
Rodney Arbuckle is Sheriff of DeSoto Parish, a position he has held for over 16 years. Arbuckle has served 33 years in law enforcement. Arbuckle earned his bachelor degree from Wiley College. Arbckle is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy, FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar, and the National Sheriff's Institute. Arbuckle serves on the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission and Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement.
Greg Champagne is the Sheriff of St. Charles Parish, a position he has held since his election in 1995. Champagne serves as vice president of the National Sheriff's Association's and as a member of the Eastern District/F.B.I. Joint Terrorism Task Force. Champagne has served in law enforcement for 30 years and as an assistant district attorney in St. Charles Parish for nearly 14 years. Champagne earned a bachelor degree from Nicholls State University and a law degree from the Louisiana State University Law Center. Champagne graduated from the FBI’s Law Institute for Prosecutors and the FBI's Law Enforcement Executive Development Program.
Jerry Denton is the City Marshal of Denham Springs, a position he has held since 2008. Denton previously served as a City Councilman for Denham Springs. His nearly thirty years of legal experience include service for three Attorneys General. Denton earned bachelor degrees from Nicholls State University and a law degree from the Southern University Law Center.
Charles Fuselier is the retired Sheriff of St. Martin Parish, a position he held from 1980 until 2003. Fuselier led the St. Martin Parish Sheriff's Office to become the first in Louisiana to receive the imprint of the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. Fuselier received the National Sheriff of the Year award in 1996.
Marlin Gusman is the Sheriff of Orleans Parish, a position he has held since 2004. Gusman previously served as the Chief Administrative Officer of the City of New Orleans and as a Member of the New Orleans City Council. Gusman earned his bachelor degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and his law degree from Loyola University College of Law. Gusman is a graduate of the National Sheriffs' Institute and a member of the National Correctional Industries Association and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Victor Jones is the Sheriff of Natchitoches Parish, a position he has held since 2000. Jones also operates the Juvenile and Adult Drug Court Programs in Natchitoches Parish. Jones has served four decades in law enforcement. Jones is a graduate of more than 20 professional education programs, including the FBI National Academy. Jones also served as president of the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association from 2009 to 2010.
Bry Layrisson is the Chief of Police for the city of Ponchatoula. Layrisson has over 15 years of law enforcement experience including service as a police officer for the city of Ponchatoula, a special agent for the Louisiana Department of Justice, a drug prevention officer for the Tangipahoa Parish School System, a narcotics task force canine detector investigator, and a member of the flotilla search and rescue team. He has also served as a volunteer deputy with the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office and the 7th Ward Marshal's Office.
Jonathan Liberto is the Constable of Jefferson Parish’s First Justice Court, a position he has held since 2009. Liberto has served nearly two decades in law enforcement, beginning his career with the Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff’s Office. Liberto graduated from the OPCSO’s Basic Training Academy and participated in the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard Academy and the New Orleans Police Department’s SWAT School. Liberto is both POST and SWAT certified.
Steve Prator is Sheriff of Caddo Parish, a position he has held since his election in 1999. Prator served nearly three decades at the Shreveport Police Department in patrol, investigations, narcotics, and the canine unit. Prator was Shreveport’s Police Chief for eight years. Prator earned a bachelor degree from LSU-Shreveport. Prator is President in the Northwest District of the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement and an inductee of the Louisiana Criminal Justice Hall of Fame.
Recently, as reported in a release, the Attorney General–Elect contacted existing Department of Justice staff to thank them for their service and to encourage them to re-apply and join the new Administration. Landry has also been receiving resumes and applicants who wish to work for the Department of Justice through the online portal he created on his transition website at www.LandryTransition.com. Landry continues to encourage Louisiana citizens interested to apply through the site.
Jeff Landry recently traveled to Washington, DC where he met with the staff of the National Association of Attorneys General to gain insight into the transition process and the work of other Attorneys General. Jeff also spoke with numerous former and current Attorney Generals from around the nation. Landry and some of his team members have been speaking with other current and former Louisiana Attorney General office employees.
Jeff Landry became Louisiana’s Attorney General-Elect after winning the Louisiana runoff election on November 21st. Landry is a successful attorney and entrepreneur who previously represented South Louisiana in the United States Congress. Prior to working as an attorney, owning a successful business, and graduating from Loyola University College of Law - Landry served as both a police officer and a Sheriff’s Deputy. Landry is a veteran of the Louisiana National Guard.
In addition to Deputy Attorney General-Designate, the Transition Co-Chairs, and Committee Members - Landry’s Transition Team includes Michael Larisey, Millard Mule, Austin Stukins, Leilani Hardee, Paula Fuselier, Dee Champagne, Kate Broussard, and outside consultant Brent Littlefield.