Embattled EBR Parish Attorney, Andy Dotson, leaving position for state job

BATON ROUGE — Andy Dotson, the head of the parish attorney’s office in East Baton Rouge, has announced his departure from the current position to take on a new role with the State of Louisiana.

In an email to staff, Dotson wrote, “I write to inform you of a transition in 2024 as I have accepted the position of Chief Disciplinary Counsel for the State of Louisiana. My last day here at the City-Parish has not been finalized but I will inform the Mayor-President and the Council once that date is set. In the interim, I will continue to do what I do each and every day and what I have truly enjoyed over the course of the last almost 15 years, the last 5 as Parish Attorney, in serving the City of Baton Rouge/Parish of East Baton Rouge.”

parish attorney andy dotson

History as Parish Attorney

In August 2019, the East Baton Rouge Council unanimously appointed Andy Dotson as the first African-American parish attorney in EBR history. The parish attorney’s office, responsible for addressing all lawsuits against the city or its employees, faced a substantial backlog of cases upon Dotson’s assumption of office.

Upon taking office, Dotson collaborated with his staff to address and resolve the existing backlog. Recently, the parish attorney’s office has been overwhelmed with lawsuits stemming from scandals within BRPD and other EBR agencies. Managing this increased caseload has been no easy task for Dotson or the other parish attorneys.

Stormwater Fee

However, Dotson’s performance has faced significant scrutiny in recent months, particularly concerning his handling of the mayor’s proposed controversial stormwater fee in 2022.

The fee had the potential to impose substantial costs on EBR residents, ranging from thousands to tens of thousands of dollars. When the public and council members sought clarification on the proposed fee, Dotson asserted limitations in providing information due to a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) between EBR and federal authorities. However, UWK investigation revealed that the federal agencies were unaware of any NDA agreement. Consequently, the fee was eventually withdrawn, sparing taxpayers from the burden of the stormwater fee.

WATCH NOW: Legal Analyst says parish attorney “misinterpreted the law or misled council”

Post-Stormwater fee

Dotson worked diligently in selecting the appropriate contractors for the city-parish and played a key role in leading the parish attorney’s office and contractors through a crucial meeting in 2023 with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). During this meeting, he helped establish deadlines related to a consent decree.

Council calls for resignation

This situation highlighted a growing distrust between council members and Dotson, prompting numerous calls for his resignation.

The first item proposed a “notice of intent to remove” EBR Parish Attorney Anderson “Andy” Dotson, while the second item aimed to scrutinize the assistant parish attorney and his knowledge/involvement with the non-disclosure agreement.

Despite the fallout leading to the departure of at least three individuals from the city-parish, Dotson retained his position.

UWK reached out to Dotson for a response for this report. As of the publishing time of this article, he has not responded.

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