NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A public defender in New Orleans is accused of practicing criminal law without a license.

News outlets report Ashley Crawford was pulled from a courtroom Monday while investigators look into whether she is qualified to practice law in Louisiana.

Crawford has been a staff attorney with the Orleans Public Defenders Office since last fall, and may have worked on more than 100 criminal cases.

But no one by Crawford's name is listed in the state bar directory.

District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro says Crawford hasn't been charged and the investigation is ongoing. Practicing law without a license is punishable by up to two years in prison.

A spokeswoman for the defender's office says Crawford is currently not authorized to represent herself as a staff lawyer.

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