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VIDEO: Jason Williams elected Orleans Parish District Attorney

Updated: Dec. 7, 2020 at 1:49 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Jason Williams will serve as the District Attorney of Orleans Parish after a win on Saturday night.

Former Judge Keva Landrum and City Council President Jason Williams were in a tight race to replace Leon Cannizzaro.

In the primary election, Landrum came in first place with 35 percent of the vote, Williams took 29 percent, which triggered the runoff. Former Judge Arthur Hunter narrowly took third place with 28 percent.

Saturday’s election results ended in Jason Williams leading with 58 percent of the vote and Landrum took 42 percent.

In a Fox 8 report, Rafael Goyeneche with the Metropolitan Crime Commission says the backlog in cases at Orleans Parish Criminal District Court right now due to the ongoing pandemic is similar to what New Orleans experienced following Hurricane Katrina, with one big difference.

FOX 8 spoke with Williams who said, if elected, he will prioritize violent crime cases when addressing the backlog.

“I am going to focus on the most serious cases, murder, rape and armed robbery that are occurring in our community which means diverting some of the addiction issues, mental health issues, some of the crimes of poverty, we’re going to try to divert those things immediately into a more robust diversion program,” Williams said.

SEE FULL ELECTION COVERAGE HERE

Williams was federally indicted in June by a grand jury on 11 counts including fraud and tax charges.

The grand jury accused Williams Friday of lying about his expenses over several years.

Nicole Burdett, an attorney who worked with Williams, was also named in the indictment.

The indictment accused the two of trying to reduce Williams’ tax liability to under $200,000 for at least five years. Williams is also accused of failing to report cash payments from clients.

Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon A. Cannizzaro Jr. spoke with DA-elect Jason Williams by telephone Monday (Dec. 7), pledging an orderly transition for the incoming administration following the results of the Dec. 5 runoff election.

Cannizzaro told Williams he has an appointed transition team in place, waiting to meet with the DA-elect’s First Assistant as soon as that individual is named. Current OPDA First Assistant Graymond Martin is heading the transition team for the outgoing administration.

“The voters of New Orleans have made their choices this election cycle,” said Cannizzaro, who decided in July not to seek a third term in office. “I offer congratulations to the winners of Saturday’s races, along with sincere hope that their terms will enhance the quality of life and public safety in New Orleans.”

Williams is to be sworn in as district attorney on Jan. 11, 2021.

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