Iberia Parish Courthouse

The sun sets behind the statue representing Justice in front of the Iberia Parish Courthouse.

The ad hoc judge brought in to handle the hearing of hundreds of motions to recuse 16th Judicial District Court Judge Lori Landry did not hear any testimony in court Wednesday, instead continuing the hearing until Thursday afternoon.

Ad Hoc Judge Harry Randow appeared briefly Wednesday morning and told the gallery that the hearing would be continued until 1:30 Wednesday. As court was ready to reconvene, he appeared again and said there were still issues being discussed.

"We have some administrative issues that have still not been resolved," Randow said. "We will adjourn for the day and be back at 1:30 p.m. Thursday. That should give us enough time to finish this up."

Randow, a retired judge from the 9th Judicial District Court in Rapides Parish, was brought in to hear the nearly 500 motions the 16th JDC District Attorney's Office has filed against Landry. The motions ask that she be recused from hearing criminal cases because of a claimed bias against prosecutors from the DA's office.

Randow said on Monday, the first day of the hearings, that the recusal motions filed en masse effectually become a request to remove Landry from the criminal bench entirely, raising constitutional questions. The normal procedure to remove a judge from the bench for cause leads through the state’s Supreme Court by way of the Judiciary Commission of Louisiana. 

At least one witness, Assistant District Attorney Nicole Burke, said she had previously filed a complaint with the Judiciary Commission regarding Landry's conduct.

The hearing is expected to wrap up by Friday.

 

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