Did a public defender practice without a license?

DA's Office is investigating in the case of Ashley Crawford

Jim Hanzo
June 24, 2019 - 6:30 pm

The Orleans Parish DA's office is investigating allegations that a New Orleans Public Defender has been practicing law without a license while presenting herself as a licensed attorney. 

The employee, identified as Ashley Crawford, was in front of Orleans Parish Criminal Court Judge Robin Pittman when she was removed from the courthouse, according to The New Orleans Advocate. 

In a prepared statement, District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said: 

“Practicing law without a license, as Ms. Crawford appears to have done on more than 100 cases across all 12 sections of Criminal District Court, is both a criminal offense and a grave violation of the public trust in the criminal justice system.” 

“These reports are just coming in to us and we’re working hard to gain answers as fast as possible for our clients and our community,” said Lindsey Hortenstine, a spokeswoman for the Public Defender’s office.  “Until we know more, Ms. Crawford is not authorized to speak on the record on behalf of OPD or any of our clients, nor represent herself as an attorney with the Orleans Public Defenders office.”

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