Two witnesses called in hearing on recusal motions

Judge Lori Landry

The Louisiana Supreme Court has appointed a retired Rapides Parish judge who served in the 9th Judicial District Court to hear the hundreds of recusal motions filed against 16th JDC Judge Lori Landry.

According to the order released today, retired Judge Harry F. Randow is appointed as judge ad hoc to the 16th JDC to here the motions filed against Landry. 

The motion filed against Landry, which has been replicated hundreds of times since the first filing on Sept. 17, claims that she “is biased or prejudiced against (the District Attorney’s) office such that she cannot be fair or impartial.”

The Louisiana Code of Judicial Conduct states that “a judge should disqualify himself or herself in a proceeding in which the judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” The 27-page motion from the District Attorney’s Office describes 36 separate incidents claiming Landry:

• Said prosecutors from the district attorney’s office incarcerated African-Americans more severely and at a higher rate than others, have improper motivations and engaged in “trickery.”

• Engaged in abusive, inappropriate and bullying behavior towards the prosecutors and staff,

• Threatened to stab an assistant district attorney in the ear with an ink pen,

• Physically intimidated an assistant district attorney for a perceived slight,

• Blamed a victim’s family for “allowing” their children to be victimized,

• Repeatedly engaged in in-court behavior calculated to humiliate prosecutors, and

• Refused to fairly and impartially apply the law.

Many of the comments cited in the motion describe Landry claiming the District Attorney’s Office “knew or should have known” of irregularities in the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office prior to the federal convictions of nine officers in 2016.

“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist,” Landry said, according to the motion.

Landry has denied any bias on her part. She has also called the motion “frivolous and without merit."

Randow is a life-long resident of Rapides Parish, having grown up in Pineville. Prior to becoming judge in 1996, he practiced law for 28 years here in Rapides Parish.

During his tenure on the bench in Rapides Parish, Randow presided over all types of cases including civil, criminal and juvenile matters. In addition, he presided over the Adult Drug Court Program for 10 years.

Randow was inducted into the Louisiana Justice Hall of Fame in 2013. Also in 2013, he was awarded the President’s Award by the Louisiana State Bar Association.

He has also served as president of the Louisiana District Judges Association, chair of the Louisiana Supreme Court Self-Represented Litigants Task Force and served on the Board of Governors for the Louisiana Judicial College.

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