Porter to take bench again, temporarily

Judge Charles L. Porter

Retired 16th Judicial District Court Judge Charles G. Porter will be back on the bench, at least for a while.

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

On Tuesday, 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 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.

“Bo and I talked, and decided it is best for us to do a reset and do the right thing for the community,” Landry said in court with Duhé at her side.

“I want to applaud the community and echo that communication is important,” Duhé said. “I look forward to addressing some of the issues that have come up through this.”

Because the motions were dismissed with prejudice, it means the 36 issues and incidents included in the 27-page motion cannot be brought up in future filings against Landry.

Weimer’s order appointing Porter to pro tempore status was effective Friday. It does not say how long the order will be in effect.

Calls to Landry’s office for comment have not been returned.

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