Attorney General Appoints New Board Lawyer In Contract Fight

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Attorney General Jeff Landry is appointing one of his office's lawyers to represent Louisiana's contractor licensing board, rather than allow a former state senator to continue doing the work.

Larry Bankston sued Landry's office in January for refusing to approve his extension as legal counsel for the board, a post he's held since February 2016.

Landry's office released a letter Thursday sent to the licensing board, telling it an assistant attorney general will "handle your legal services" instead of Bankston.

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Bankston is an ally of Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Landry, a Republican who clashes with Edwards, has questioned whether Bankston, a convicted felon who was temporarily disbarred, should be allowed to work for the state. Landry's office also raised conflict-of-interest concerns.

The Edwards administration accuses Landry of playing politics.

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