BATON ROUGE, La. — Attorney General Jeff Landry is appointing one of his office’s lawyers to represent Louisiana’s contractor licensing board, rather than allow a former state senator to continue doing the work.

Larry Bankston sued Landry’s office in January for refusing to approve his extension as legal counsel for the board, a post he’s held since February 2016.

Landry’s office released a letter Thursday sent to the licensing board, telling it an assistant attorney general will “handle your legal services” instead of Bankston.

Bankston is an ally of Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Landry, a Republican who clashes with Edwards, has questioned whether Bankston, a convicted felon who was temporarily disbarred, should be allowed to work for the state. Landry’s office also raised conflict-of-interest concerns.

The Edwards administration accuses Landry of playing politics.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.