Louisiana AG faces recall petition

Chris Rizo Jul. 16, 2008, 1:06am

James "Buddy" Caldwell (D)

NEW ORLEANS (Legal Newsline)-A recall petition was filed Tuesday against Louisiana Attorney General James "Buddy" Caldwell, the secretary of state's office said.

Josephine Lovoi of suburban New Orleans filed the petition, complaining that the Democratic attorney general and his predecessors have not done enough to protect victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita from fraud, among other things.

Lovoi says she lost her Metairie, La., home in the 2005 storms.

To force a recall election, Lovoi must collect more than 880,000 valid signatures from Louisiana voters. She has 180 days to collect the signatures, the secretary of state's office said.

In a statement, Caldwell said Lovoi has filed hurricane-related and other complaints with both his office and the former attorney general's office.

"The past administration found them to be unsubstantiated. We have reviewed those files. She has also contacted this office regarding various additional complaints, all of which have been reviewed," Caldwell said. "We have concluded that her complaints are without merit."

Caldwell, the longtime former district attorney from Tallulah, La., was elected last year with more than 67 percent of the vote, unseating fellow Democrat Charles Foti Jr.

In an earlier interview with Legal Newsline, Caldwell said he believed his office would be focused on issues related to the 2005 hurricanes for the foreseeable future.

"Hurricanes Katrina and Rita are huge issues right now in the state, and for the foreseeable future, I would say that coastal restoration is a crucial part of what's going to happen with me and this office over the next 10, 12 years," Caldwell said.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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Louisiana Attorney General
1885 N 3rd St
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

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