Tensions at Criminal District Court between the judges and District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro are rising by the day. The issue is the subject this week of Clancy’s Commentary, by Eyewitness News Political Analyst and Gambit columnist Clancy DuBos.
Clancy DuBos / Eyewitness News Political Analyst
New Orleans District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro is at war with the judges at Criminal Court.
Cannizzaro basically has said some if not all the judges are breaking the law by using their judicial expense fund to buy supplemental insurance policies for themselves.
The fund gets money from defendants who are convicted — and fined — in the judges’ courtrooms. Critics say the judges in effect tell defendants, Help me buy more insurance, or I’ll put you in jail.
If that’s the case, the district attorney has a point.
What Cannizzaro may not have, however, are clean hands. You see, Cannizzaro himself was a Criminal Court judge for 16 years. And he may have tapped that same fund for insurance or other purposes.
Cannizzaro has recused himself from the case, but in doing so he all but instructed Attorney General Buddy Caldwell to indict the judges. That’s not much of a recusal.
Caldwell’s office, meanwhile, is waiting for a comprehensive audit of the fund by the state legislative auditor. That’s a good move on Caldwell’s part. Because so far, the auditor seems to be the only person to touch this mess with clean hands.
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