- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 25, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana Oil and Gas Association President Don Briggs has been given a reprieve from testifying in the lawsuit his group filed against Attorney General Buddy Caldwell after he submitted a doctor’s affidavit saying health problems prevented him from taking the stand.

The New Orleans Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1k7qCee ) state District Judge Janice Clark had ordered Briggs to show up Tuesday to testify in the case, which involves procedures surrounding the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority - East’s hiring of attorneys who are suing oil and gas companies for coastal damage.

Clark had threatened to have Briggs arrested when he didn’t show up for Monday’s trial date. LOGA attorneys said Briggs was suffering from extremely high blood pressure and noted he had dealt with heart issues several months ago, but didn’t provide evidence that convinced Clark to excuse him.

Briggs is now scheduled to testify March 10.

LOGA’s suit contends the flood protection authority is a state agency rather than an independent political subdivision. Caldwell’s office has treated the flood authority as a political subdivision and as such has approved resolutions passed by its board to hire outside lawyers on a variety of issues, including the erosion suit.

LOGA’s case, which is aimed at hampering the lawsuit against energy companies, argues that the approval of those resolutions was improper because the board is a state agency. Lawyers for Caldwell’s office and the flood protection authority have both argued that state law designates the authority as an independent political subdivision and the approval of the resolution was done properly.

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Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com


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