Ashley Crawford investigation, prosecution referred to Attorney General’s office
June 26, 2019
For Immediate Release

Contact: Ken Daley, Public Information

District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office announced Wednesday (June 26) that it has asked the Louisiana Attorney General’s office to investigate and manage the prosecution of Ashley Crawford for the unauthorized practice of law and related offenses.

The Louisiana Supreme Court on June 21 forwarded a complaint to Cannizzaro’s office, along with compelling evidence of criminal wrongdoing, alleging that Crawford has for the past nine months been engaged in the unauthorized practice of law while an employee of the Orleans Public Defenders. A preliminary review has identified more than 100 cases spanning all 12 sections of Criminal District Court in which the Orleans Public Defenders permitted Crawford to represent clients without being certified and credentialed to practice law in the state.

“By asking the Attorney General’s office to assume control of this investigation and prosecution, we hope to avoid even the appearance of impropriety or animus toward a public defenders office we oppose each day in court,” Cannizzaro said. “The alleged violations by Ms. Crawford are extremely serious and deserve a full and complete review and prosecution, absent any potential accusations of conflict of interest.

“Stepping aside from this open case also permits us the freedom to pursue all avenues, as needed, to recover on behalf of the public any costs or expenses we may incur as a result of this illegal conduct.”

The letter vesting prosecutorial authority over this complaint was dispatched Tuesday to the Director of the Criminal Division of the Attorney General’s office in Baton Rouge.