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Caldwell’s TV endorsers are paid millions, state records show

November 20, 2015: BATON ROUGE — On television ads endorsing Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell for re-election, Paul Connick says a lot — but he never acknowledges that Caldwell approved $1.7 million in payments to his private practice.

Connick is Jefferson Parish’s district attorney and his law firm has received 59 contracts from the Louisiana Office of Risk Management. By law, Caldwell’s office selects and appoints outside attorneys with the Office of Risk Management’s agreement. These contracts, and the potential conflict of interest they represent, have not been reported previously.

Another Caldwell ad features an endorsement from the powerful Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association without revealing that the association’s general counsel, T. Allen Usry, or his law firm Usry Weeks & Matthews, received more than $7 million worth of legal work at the direction of Caldwell’s staff and 11 other lucrative contracts. Usry, a prominent New Orleans trial lawyer, also is a former campaign manager for Caldwell. Usry has raised  $85,000 for Caldwell’s campaigns.

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