Lori Landry

Judge Lori Landry

According to paperwork filed with the Louisiana Secretary of State, 16th Judicial District Court Judge Lori Landry has resigned from the bench.

The Louisiana Secretary of State is currently listing Division H, Landry’s court, as vacant in its database of elected officials in the state. Qualifying for what would have been her fourth term on the court begins this week.

Multiple attempts to reach out to Landry have been unsuccessful.

In a letter to Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin’s office on July 16, Landry wrote that she was retiring from the bench effective July 21. She said July 20 would be her last day in office.

Landry was the subject of hundreds of motions for recusal from September through December of last year. The 16th JDC District Attorney’s Office filed the motions to have Landry recused from sitting on any criminal cases, citing what they said was a personal bias on Landry’s part against the prosecutors in the District Attorney’s Office.

The motions were dropped after a four-day hearing, with Landry and District Attorney Bo Duhé making a joint statement in court on Dec. 12 in which they said they were committed to opening communication and eliminating the issues that had arisen between the DA’s office and Landry.

The Louisiana Supreme Court issued an order on Jan. 10 appointing retired 16th JDC Judge Charles G.Porter as judge pro tempore of Division H of the 16th JDC at Landry’s request. According to the order, she requested Porter’s temporary appointment “to assist with the docket of the Sixteenth Judicial District Court.”

At the time, Louisiana Supreme Court Justice John L. Weimer, who issued the order, said he could not speak to the reasons for Landry’s request. He did say, however, that it was her choice and not in any way a disciplinary or recusal issue.

“In case of a recusal or other action, the judge would not be allowed to select the judge pro tempore,” Weimer said.

Landry served as the first African-American female assistant district attorney in the 16th JDC for eight years. She was elected to the Division H seats in 2002, becoming the first African-American female to serve on the court, and only the second female. 

A1981 graduate of New Iberia Senior High School, holds a bachelor of arts degree in pre-law from the University of Louisiana at  Lafayette and a juris doctorate from Southern University Law Center.

 

Dwayne Fatherree is the community editor for The Daily Iberian. He can be reached at dwayne.fatherree@daily-iberian.com.

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