LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Gil Dozier, a former Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry whose political career ended with a federal extortion conviction in 1980, has died.

His son's law office in Lafayette confirmed the death Wednesday but did not release the cause. Dozier's exact age was not available. He was believed to be about 79.

Dozier, a Democrat, appeared to have a promising political career ahead of him when he took office as agriculture chief in 1976. But allegations of wrongdoing plagued his only term.

In 1980, a federal court jury convicted Dozier of trying to extort campaign contributions from businesses that dealt with his department. Dozier was eventually sentenced to 18 years. He was released in 1986 after a sentence commutation by then-President Ronald Reagan.