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Civil Rights group calls for investigation of La. Legis. Auditor, state offices for discrimination

After a succession of African-American officials and directors have been investigated by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor (LLA) a local think tank, Justice & Beyond, is asking the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus and Governor John Bel Edwards’ office to investigate the LLA. The group is also calling for a review of the state’s compliance with federal Equal Employment Opportunity Act rules.

The LLA is a joint committee of the Louisiana Legislature. The Council is composed of five senators and five representatives. The Council is charged with oversight of the legislative auditor and, most importantly, resolving audit findings contained in audits issued by the legislative auditor and private accounting firms performing governmental audits in-lieu of the legislative auditor.

“Our coalition has been presented evidence that suggests racial targeting and disparate legislative outcomes depending on who is being investigated by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor,” Justice & Beyond leaders wrote when requesting the investigation.

Justice & Beyond issued the call when it noticed suspect findings in an LLA Report of the Health Education Authority of Louisiana, headed by Jacob Johnson, another African-American man. In fairness to the LLA, it does investigate a range of state-funded entities, but relative to the above cases, the findings amounted to much ado about nothing.

Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin N. Gusman, Civil District Court Judge Kern A. Reese, and Arthur Morell, Clerk of Criminal District Court, all African-American elected officials, have been investigated by the LLA.

“They spent two years investigating my office. Initially, they came to investigate the claims of guys who went to jail but the investigation turned up nothing,” said Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman.

Read more by C.C. Campbell-Rock, Louisiana Weekly contributing writer

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