Washington & St. Tammany D.A. elect to raise morale in office - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Washington & St. Tammany D.A. elect to raise morale in office

ST. TAMMANY PARISH, LA (WVUE) -

A surprise win on the north shore as Warren Montgomery secures his spot as the District Attorney-elect for Washington and St. Tammany Parishes. Political analysts weren't predicting Montgomery would beat out Brian Trainor, but he did, with 52-percent of the vote.

Warren Montgomery's campaign started small. He explains, “The more I became known to the public, the more people started showing up saying 'Hey Warren, I want to help you, how can I get involved'.”

The support of strangers helped push Montgomery first into a runoff with Brian Trainor, a Chief Deputy at the St. Tammany Sheriff's Office. Then, to a close win Saturday night.

Tulane political analyst Mike Sherman says, “It's not uncommon to see an outsider in a campaign. It's very uncommon for the outsider to come out on top particularly when he's running against a well-financed candidate with lots of endorsements.”

Montgomery thinks his outsider status helped secure his win. He will replace Walter Reed, who has held the office for 30 years. Reed is currently under federal investigation involving campaign spending and legal representation of St. Tammany Parish Hospital, due in part to our "Louisiana Purchased" investigative series with NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune.

Members of Reed's staff were even called in to testify before the grand jury and had to hand over documents to the feds. It's something which Montgomery thinks, affected the morale of the office. “I think there are some people there that have been there a long time and are prepared to move on, and want to move on and I need people who want to buy in to my particular standard of ethics and professionalism,” Montgomery explained.

The D.A. elect says he's trying to figure out the best way to make sure he has the right team in place. He'll spend time talking to his staff of 150 to determine who should stay and who should go. “I know it's going to take a lot of time and I want to be fair with everyone,” Montgomery said.

Montgomery says he doesn't feel added pressure taking over an office that's been highly scrutinized this past year. “You have to have a high standard and maintain that high standard regardless of what's taking place on the outside,” Montgomery commented.

Montgomery's goal now is to right the ship and do his best to keep the people of Washington and St. Tammany Parishes, safe.

Montgomery will be sworn in to his new position, in January.

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