A Senate panel approved legislation Wednesday that would clear the way for the Orleans Parish district attorney to hire his daughter — an arrangement that violates state nepotism laws. Senate President Joel Chaisson II, D-Destrehan, sponsored the legislation that would create an exception to state ethics laws for Orleans District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro Jr. “I have a unique situation that’s arisen in the city of New Orleans I’m trying to address,” Chaisson told the Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Cannizzaro wants to retain his daughter, Laura, as one of his assistant district attorneys. The Louisiana Board of Ethics said the arrangement would violate nepotism laws.
Current law allows the continued employment of public employees where a member of their family becomes their boss if they had been employed for at least a year prior to the relative becoming their boss. Cannizzaro’s daughter had been an employee of the Orleans District Attorney’s Office for 10 months prior to her father taking office.