Landry and Part-Time Investigation Conclude Sexual Harassment is “Joking in Nature”

A recent report in The Advocate sheds new light on Attorney General Jeff Landry’s attempts to minimize—and possibly even cover-up—blatant, horrifying examples of sexual harassment in his office. 

Landry issued his former top aide, Pat Magee, a letter declaring his actions, which were the subject of sexual harassment complaints, to be “joking in nature.” The investigation ordered by the Attorney General apparently made little effort to interview potential witnesses and concluded before the second complaint was filed. All this follows Landry’s outlandish lawsuit against a reporter to withhold documents from the public regarding the matter. 

Louisiana Democratic Party Chair Katie Bernhardt issued the following statement: 

“Under Attorney General Jeff Landry’s reign, women are apparently forced to endure a toxic work environment where sexual harassment is deemed ‘joking in nature.’ There is nothing humorous about a supervisor allegedly denying females opportunities to advance because “he would not be able to control himself sexually” around them. There is nothing funny about male supervisors making disparaging comments to female employees about their age or relegating them to certain tasks believed to be ‘good for women.’ 

“How Attorney General Jeff Landry or the law firm he hired to investigate these complaints concluded that such behavior is ‘joking in nature’ is beyond me. Perhaps, it’s because the investigation took only 20.5 hours. That’s a part-time job! The public deserves more transparency. The women of Louisiana deserve a more thorough investigation.”

Pat Magee, a top aide of Landry’s at the Louisiana Department of Justice, was accused of threatening to replace a female subordinate with “someone who is more attractive” and attempting to “swear her to secrecy” regarding his comments. Even Magee knew that he was not joking; that’s why he attempted to swear her to secrecy. 

The Advocate reports that the law firm Taylor Porter’s investigation into the allegations began conducting interviews in December and finalized their report in January. The entire investigation took only 20.5 hours of work, according to billing records, and was conducted prior to the second complaint against Magee being filed.  

AG Jeff Landry and Pat Magee were both up to date on state-mandated sexual harassment training, which explicitly states that “joking” is not a legitimate excuse for sexually inappropriate behavior. Pat Magee resigned following the second complaint.