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Attorney General Jeff Landry Prevails in Dual Officeholding Challenge

BATON ROUGE, LA – Attorney General Jeff Landry has prevailed in the dual officeholding challenge related to Robert Berry, who was serving as both the Executive Director and a member of the Board of Commissioners for the Cypress Black Bayou Recreation and Water Conservation District. In siding with Attorney General Landry, the Louisiana Supreme Court granted writs and found that the trial court judge erred in granting summary judgment declaring Berry’s positions did not violate the dual officeholding law.

Mr. Berry should have never been allowed to serve as Executive Director while voting on Board matters like the budget which funded his salary so I am grateful the Supreme Court conducted a thorough review of the matter and delivered this victory for the taxpayers of North Louisiana,” said Attorney General Landry. “I hope the trial court acts swiftly through the penalty phase, Mr. Berry resigns, and he pays back the taxpayers.”

After the Cypress Black Bayou Board of Commissioner’s voted to employ Berry in a full-time position that now pays a six-figure salary and offers other taxpayer-funded benefits, a very lengthy legal battle ensued. In its ruling yesterday, the Supreme Court noted that our law contains no language suggesting that a violation of dual officeholding is rectified by Berry abstaining from the Board’s selection and oversight of the Executive Director. Additionally, the Supreme Court found that Berry’s authority over the Executive Director, which is statutorily granted, cannot be divested by a majority vote of the board.

“I commend my Assistant Attorneys General Joe Donahue, Madeline Carbonette, and Emily Andrews for their exceptional legal work on this case,” concluded Attorney General Landry. “My office will continue to fighting to uphold the rule of law.”