NEW ORLEANS -- For the first time that anyone can remember, the grand hallways of Tulane and Broad will be used for a wedding this Friday night.
Judge Lynda Van Davis sent an invitation to announce the occasion, tying the knot with one-time fellow prosecutor Aaron Greenstone.
"She's now marrying a former prosecutor. They met in that building,” said attorney Jason Williams.
Williams will be in attendance, and he thinks the unusual private use of the public building is fitting.
"I think it's beautiful that a wedding is going to happen in this historical building,” he said. “I'm happy for both of them."
While Van Davis' family, friends and co-workers are looking forward to a joyous occasion at this unusual, yet historic venue, not everyone is looking at the event so romantically.
"I think it's an abuse of her position as a jurist to use a public building for a personal wedding and reception and not pay anything for the use of that,” said Rafael Goyeneche of the Metropolitan Crime Commission.
According to the Judicial Administrator's office, the other judges of the court agreed to let Van Davis use the building free of charge.
Van Davis said she is footing the bill for security and clean-up, but Goyeneche said the rent-free use of this public building for a very private event crosses the line.
"I think it undermines the public confidence in public office in general and the judiciary in particular to see this type of perk being afforded to a judge,” he said. “And I think it's sad. It's a setback, a black eye for the criminal justice system and the judges of criminal district court."
After the wedding on the building's second-floor grand hall, the couple will host a reception – an alcohol-free reception, according to the judge.
Goyeneche confirmed late Friday that he has filed a formal complaint to the Louisiana Judiciary Commission about Van Davis' use of the building.
Van Davis announced earlier this summer that she would not seek re-election.