Gov. John Bel Edwards and his wife, Donna, have been forced to find alternative living accommodations after his fiercest political rival moved into the Governor’s Mansion while they were away.
Louisiana’s first family returned to Baton Rouge on Sunday evening after visiting family in Amite to discover Attorney General Jeff Landry occupying the mansion and claiming to be the state’s new chief executive.
State Police report Landry, a former law enforcement officer, somehow managed to elude security sometime over the weekend, enter the residence, and change the locks to all the building’s entrances.
In a statement released through the mansion’s mail slot, Landry not only cited an obscure state statute as his right to squat in the official residence of the governor but also insisted he is the rightful governor by virtue of domiciling in the mansion.
“I know the law. The law says I can move in and live here because John Bel abandoned it for more than a day. It’s call acquisitive prescription. And because I live in the Governor’s Mansion, that makes me the governor. How you like them apples, cher?”
“As the chief legal counsel for the Great State of Louisiana, per Louisiana Civil Code 3476, I hereby claim the Louisiana Governor’s Mansion to be my official residence, and therefore declare myself as the governor of Louisiana,” Landry scribbled in crayon on official state letterhead he apparently found in the mansion.
Later, when reached by phone, Landry told The Advocate, “I went to law school. I’m the state’s top lawyer. I know the law. The law says I can move in and live here because John Bel abandoned it for more than a day. It’s call acquisitive prescription. And because I live in the Governor’s Mansion, that makes me the governor. How you like them apples, cher?”
A spokesperson with State Police said they are negotiating with Landry in hopes of peacefully extricating him from the building but haven’t ruled out using tear gas and canine units to force him out.
“Once we manage to get him out of there, the first thing we’ll do is search the basement for a kilo of cocaine,” the spokesperson added. “Just in case past is prologue.”