January 28, 2009

Lorusso Provides List of Potential Temporary Replacements

PHOTO: State Rep. Nick Lorusso (right) greets Shreveport native, General Charles Campbell after his address to the House of Reps. during the 2007 Regular Session. Lorusso, a Lieutenant Colonel in the JAG Corps Reserves has been ordered to active duty beginning February 9.

by Sheila McCant, Public Information Officer
Louisiana State Representative Nick Lorusso (R-New Orleans), who has been ordered to active duty by the U.S. Army, has submitted a list of nominees to temporarily replace him during his year of military duty.

State Constitutional Amendment No. 3 (Act 931 of the 2008 Regular Session)which was approved by voters last November, calls for a legislator ordered to active duty in the armed forces for a period of 180 days or more to submit the names of at least three nominees to be his temporary successor to the presiding officer of the house of the legislature of which he is a member. The nominees must meet the qualifications and eligibility required of legislators, i.e., be at least 18 years of age, a registered voter, a Louisiana resident for at least two years, and a resident of the legislative district he will represent for at least one year prior to running for office. Immediate family members of legislators cannot be nominated or chosen to serve in this capacity.

Rep. Lorusso has provided the following nominees to Speaker of the House Jim Tucker:

 Gregory L. Ernst, 44 – graduated from Jesuit High School, summa cum laude; Harvard College, cum laude, with a degree in Russian Studies; and Tulane University Law School; currently a partner in the law firm of Peuler & Ernst, specializing in Admiralty and Maritime Law; previously served as a staff attorney with the National Law Center on Homelessness and the Louisiana Mental Health Advocacy Service; served as a Summer Fellow for the Louisiana Department of Justice in the Environmental Enforcement Section; member of the Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel; Languages: Spanish and Russian.

 Thomas G. Fierke, 60 – graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Metallurgical Engineering and Minnesota Law School; earned an LL.M. in Taxation from Boston University Law School and graduated from the U.S. Army War College; currently serves as General Counsel for Lockheed Martin, Michoud Operations; Retired Colonel, U.S. Army Reserves, Special Forces and JAG Corps, including service in Tehran, Iran and Kuwait; board member of Greater New Orleans, Inc., City Park Board of Commissioners, Mayor’s Military Advisory Committee, and New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation.

 Steven L. Pettus, 49 - graduated from Millsaps College with a degree in Business and Loyola University Law School, with honors; currently serves as Managing Partner of Dickie Brennan & Company (comprising Palace CafĂ©, Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse, and The Bourbon House); Chairman of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau; board member of the New Orleans Chapter of the Louisiana Restaurant Association, French Quarter–Marigny Historic Area Management District, French Quarter Festivals, Inc., and Christian Brother’s Foundation; named one of 2008’s Role Models by the Young Leadership Council.

“I believe I have provided the Speaker with three outstanding individuals with solid academic credentials and proven community service,” Lorusso said. “I am certain District 94 will be well represented in Baton Rouge no matter which one of the three nominees the Speaker selects.”

The list of nominees has also been provided to the Chairman of the House & Governmental Affairs Committee, Rep. Rick Gallot. The committee will meet on February 4, 2009, to interview the nominees and make a recommendation to the Speaker. The Speaker of the House will then have the authority to select one of the three nominees to serve in Rep. Lorusso’s place while he is on active military duty.

Lorusso, a Lieutenant Colonel in the JAG Corps Reserves, will serve as the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate for the Army’s I Corps at Fort Lewis in Washington State in support of the Global War on Terrorism. He will report on February 9, 2009.

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