Louisiana governor appoints nephew to nine-university board

Local News

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks to reporters at a briefing on the state’s efforts against the coronavirus pandemic in Baton Rouge, La., Monday, May 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana’s governor has named a nephew of his to the state board that oversees nine state universities.

Attorney Bradley A. Stevens of Hammond was named to represent the 1st congressional district on the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors, The Advocate reported.

He’s among 14 people whom Edwards appointed or reappointed Monday to that and two other higher education boards — the Southern University Board of Supervisors and the Board of Regents, which coordinates all higher education in the state, including the Louisiana State University system and the Louisiana Community and Technical College System.

Stevens did not immediately return a call for comment, the newspaper said.

It said the appointment would not violate Louisiana’s nepotism law because that generally applies only to immediate family members: an official’s spouse and children, plus the official’s parents and siblings and their spouses.

Schools in the University of Louisiana System include Louisiana Tech, Southeastern Louisiana University, the University of New Orleans and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Members starting six-year terms will be sworn in during a virtual meeting on Thursday.

Stevens, son of Edwards’ sister Alice, is a partner at Edwards & Stevens Law Firm and a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University. His law degree is from Louisiana State University’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center. The LSU system has its own board.

He previously worked with his uncle at the Edwards & Associates Law Firm, which changed to its current name when Stevens became a partner in 2014. John Bel Edwards left the firm after he was first elected governor in 2015.

The firm handles personal injury cases, business law, elder law and notary services. It does not handle criminal cases because the governor’s brother Daniel is sheriff of Tangipahoa Parish.

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