Louisiana AG Jeff Landry Sues Reporter Over Records Request
In December, a reporter for the Advocate filed a request for records pertaining to the sexual harassment claims made against Pat Magee, the head of the criminal division of the state Attorney General's office.
At that time, Attorney General Jeff Landry denied the request for the records because there was an ongoing investigation into the allegations, but he told reporter Andrea Gallo that the information would be available after the investigation.
That didn't happen. As far as Magee, this is what the paper reported:
Magee returned to work January 19 after an investigation found that he had "engaged in inappropriate verbal conversations," used sexual slang and made unprofessional comments over the appearance of employees. Landry's office ordered Magee to take a one-time $20,559 salary reduction and directed him to take courses on workplace professionalism and conflict management.
Magee then resumed his job in the middle of January. The documents that were requested still were not made available. The Advocate says they were told they would get the requested documents by January 22, but the information didn't come. Landry's office said it was about a 'right to privacy' and civil service laws.
The Advocate looked to compromise, and said they would redact the victim's name, but that was not enough as then the AG's office filed suit against the report, Andrea Gallo saying,
You have demanded information which will compromise the rights of our employees and could lead to litigation over the violation of those right," Landry's attorneys wrote in a letter on Friday to Gallo. "Allegations of sexual harassment that turn out to be unsupported, inaccurate and unfounded can destroy marriage, damage employee's children, wreck families and ruin reputations.
The newspaper believes they will win in court with this issue. The AG's office is asking the court to throw out the reporter's request for the documents relating to the complaint against Magee and to seal the documents.