- Associated Press - Friday, January 29, 2016

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana’s new governor filled most of his remaining Cabinet spots Friday.

Gov. John Bel Edwards named Marketa Garner Walters to lead the Department of Children and Family Services, the social services agency, and Thomas Harris to head the Department of Natural Resources.

Walters was an assistant secretary in the social services department under former Gov. Kathleen Blanco and most recently ran a consulting firm dealing with children and family issues and disaster planning.

Harris worked for the natural resources department as administrator of its technology assessment division. Before that, he spent nearly a decade at the state environmental quality department.

Both secretaries will be paid $129,000 a year, similar to the salaries their predecessors received.

Also announced Friday: Former Attorney General Richard Ieyoub will become the governor’s commissioner of conservation, a position of key importance to the regulation of oil and gas in Louisiana; and former state Sen. Noble Ellington will work as Edwards’ chief legislative lobbyist.

Michael Ellis, who worked for an engineering firm on coastal and municipal water projects, was tapped to be executive director of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.

The governor also hired as his press secretary Shauna Sanford, a former radio and TV reporter who most recently worked for Louisiana Public Broadcasting.


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