- Associated Press - Thursday, August 4, 2016

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A state judge in New Orleans has ordered the city’s district attorney to take the witness stand to answer claims that he should be removed from numerous cases because of his alleged animosity toward a pair of prominent defense attorneys.

John Fuller and Gregory Carter have filed recusal motions against District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office in multiple cases before different judges.

The best known of those involves Cardell Hayes, charged in the April shooting death of former New Orleans Saints star Will Smith. The judge in that case rejected the motion. But the New Orleans Advocate reported Thursday (http://bit.ly/2axDOXi ) that Judge Laurie White - overseeing 15 of the cases- ordered Cannizzaro to take the stand Aug. 16 as she considers the issue.

An assistant district attorney said he would appeal the subpoena.

In seeking the recusal of Cannizzaro’s office from numerous cases, Carter and Fuller have cited news accounts of a confidential report the district attorney circulated to state and federal authorities alleging that they tampered with or intimidated witnesses in some criminal cases.

They argue that Cannizzaro has demonstrated animosity that leaves his office unable to fairly prosecute their clients.

So far, only District Judge Benedict Willard has granted a recusal request from the two attorneys, although Willard has agreed to revisit his ruling next week.

Criminal District Judges Camille Buras, who presides over the Hayes case, has rejected recusal, as have judges Byron C. Williams and Franz Zibilich. The Louisiana Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal in the decision by Williams.

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Information from: The New Orleans Advocate, http://www.neworleansadvocate.com

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