Foti finished last in the three-way jungle primary on October 20, 2007, having trailed both Republican lawyer, Royal Alexander of Shreveport, and Democratic District Attorney, James D. "Buddy" Caldwell, Jr., of Tallulah, the seat of Madison Parish in northeastern Louisiana. Caldwell won the general election and was sworn in to replace Foti on January 14, 2008. Foti fell 6,082 votes shy of displacing Alexander from the second round of balloting.
Prior to becoming attorney general, Foti served for thirty years as Orleans Parish criminal sheriff. Foti won the post when the incumbent, Richard Ieyoub of Lake Charles, ran unsuccessfully for governor in the 2003 primary. Foti defeated the Republican candidate, Suzanne Haik Terrell, also of New Orleans, 689,179 votes (54 percent) to 597,917 (46 percent).
- J.D., Loyola University Law School, 1965
- Bachelor's degree, University of New Orleans
Foti served in the armed forces from 1955-1958.
He was a long-time advocate for the elderly. During his time as Criminal Sheriff, he organized Thanksgiving meals for New Orleans senior citizens who were alone or couldn’t afford a holiday feast. He also started a back to work program for seniors over the age of 55. As attorney general, Foti sought to increase his staff, to investigate and prosecute elderly abuse incidents in Louisiana's health care facilities.
As sheriff, Foti came under criticism for various questionable activities, including the use of inmates as a state labor force and operating a sailboat marina from which his office derives rental income. Foti also used his influence to promote Tulane University and its football program. In this instance, the issue for Orleans Parish residents to consider is whether it is proper for the Criminal Sheriff to use public funds to promote a private institution that pays no taxes. Additionally, when Foti was elected as attorney general, whose responsibility includes writing legal opinions for the state, he again used his office to Tulane's advantage by reaffirming its questionable tax-exempt status.
Foti was also critizized for inmate abuse, such as denying routine medical care to inmates. In some cases, inmates died as a result--such as a diabetic who was denied insulin and an inmate who was refused medical care even though he was vomiting blood.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, his office's main priority was prosecuting private citizens on behalf of the elderly that died in the storm. In one such case, Foti charged Dr. Anna Pou, who worked at Memorial Hospital in New Orleans during the storm, with second degree murder. The grand jury failed to indict.
In a related story, the owners of a nursing home near Poydras, Louisiana filed a civil suit against Foti and other state officials for failing to evacuate nursing home residents during the storm.
After having vacated the attorney general's office, Foti joined the New Orleans law firm Kahn Gauthier Swick, LLC. He handles KGS's securities and consumer fraud practice.
- Louisiana Secretary of State
- Wanted: New Sheriff Gambit Weekly, Oct. 14, 2003
- Friends In High Places TulaneLink.com, July 2006
- Doctor accused in Katrina deaths asserts innocence Associated Press, Sep. 22, 2006
- Coroner can't say whether Katrina hospital deaths were homicide Associated Press, Feb. 01, 2007
- Katrina blame: FEMA, Bush, state government The Advocate, Aug. 28, 2006
- Judge refused to remove AG from case Associated Press, 2006
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