Charles Foti

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Charles Foti
Louisiana Attorney General
In office
Preceded by Richard Ieyoub
Succeeded by Buddy Caldwell
Sheriff of Orleans Parish, Louisiana
In office
Succeeded by Marlin N. Gusman (elected 2004)[1]
Personal details
Born Charles Carmen Foti, Jr.
(1937-11-30) November 30, 1937 (age 79)
Place of birth missing
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Residence New Orleans, Louisiana
Alma mater

Warren Easton High School
University of New Orleans

Loyola University New Orleans School of Law
Profession Attorney
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1955-1958
Battles/wars Vietnam War

Charles Carmen Foti, Jr. (born November 30, 1937), is lawyer in New Orleans who served a single term from 2004 to 2008 as the Democratic Attorney General of the U.S. state of Louisiana, United States. Prior to becoming attorney general, Foti served for thirty years as Orleans Parish criminal sheriff.

Foti secured the attorney general's office when the incumbent Democrat 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).

Foti failed in his bid to win reelection as attorney general, having finished last in the three-way nonpartisan blanket primary held on October 20, 2007. The leading candidates were the Republican lawyer, Royal Alexander of Shreveport, and the Democratic District Attorney, James D. "Buddy" Caldwell, Jr., of Tallulah. Caldwell won the general election[2] and was sworn in to replace Foti on January 14, 2008. Caldwell later switched to the Republican Party to secure his second term in 2011.

On February 1, 2014, in an attempt to reclaim the Orleans Parish sheriff's position, Foti finished second in a four-candidate field. He polled 23,676 votes (28.6 percent). Foti's fellow Democrat and successor as sheriff, Marlin N. Gusman, with 40,557 votes (48.9 percent), nearly won the position outright in the nonpartisan blanket primary.[3] Foti and Gusman entered a runoff election on March 15,[4]in which Gusman handily prevailed, 40,068 (66.7 percent) to 19,996 (33.3 percent).[5]



From 1955 to 1958, Foti served in the United States Army.[6]

A long-time advocate for the elderly, during his time as criminal sheriff, Foti organized Thanksgiving meals for New Orleans senior citizens who were alone or could not afford a holiday meal. He also started a back-to-work program for seniors over the age of fifty-five. As attorney general, Foti investigated and prosecuted abuse of the elderly in Louisiana's health-care facilities.

After vacating the attorney general's office, Foti joined the New Orleans law firm Kahn Swick & Foti, LLC, where he engages in the practice of securities and consumer fraud law.[7]


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.[8] 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.

Foti was also criticized 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, the main priority of Foti's office was prosecuting private citizens on behalf of the elderly who died in the storm. Foti publicly claimed that medical staff, who worked at Memorial Hospital in New Orleans during the storm, had murdered several patients.[9] In July 2007, Dr. Pou sued Foti, accusing him of playing politics with her life and the dead from Katrina.[10] After a lengthy investigation, a grand jury declined to indict Pou. [11] The charges have since been expunged, and the state of Louisiana will pay Dr. Pou's legal fees.[12] Several lawmakers have apologized for the accusations against Pou.[12] The failed prosecution of Dr. Pou was an issue during Foti's unsuccessful reelection campaign in 2007.[13]

In a related story, the owners of a nursing home near Poydras filed a civil suit against Foti and other state officials for failing to evacuate nursing home residents during the storm.[14]

Electoral history[edit]

Criminal Sheriff, Parish of Orleans, 1990

Threshold > 50%

First Ballot, February 3, 1990

Candidate Affiliation Support Outcome
Charles Foti Democratic needs more research Elected
Henry Julien, Jr. Democratic needs more research Defeated

Criminal Sheriff, Parish of Orleans, 1994

Threshold > 50%

First Ballot, February 5, 1994

Candidate Affiliation Support Outcome
Charles Foti Democratic Unopposed Elected

Criminal Sheriff, Parish of Orleans, 1998

Threshold > 50%

First Ballot, February 7, 1998

Candidate Affiliation Support Outcome
Charles Foti Democratic Unopposed Elected

Criminal Sheriff, Parish of Orleans, 2002

Threshold > 50%

First Ballot, February 2, 2002

Candidate Affiliation Support Outcome
Charles Foti Democratic 90,897 (71%) Elected
Morris Reed Democratic 27,378 (22%) Defeated
Orlando Matthews Democratic 9,014 (7%) Defeated

Attorney General of Louisiana, 2003

Threshold > 50%

First Ballot, October 4, 2003

Candidate Affiliation Support Outcome
Charles Foti Democratic 689,179 (54%) Elected
Suzanne Haik Terrell Republican 597,917 (46%) Defeated

Attorney General of Louisiana, 2007

Threshold > 50%

First Ballot, October 20, 2007

Candidate Affiliation Support Outcome
James "Buddy" Caldwell Democratic 434,111 (36%) Runoff
Royal Alexander Republican 395,649 (32%) Runoff
Charles Foti Democratic 389,568 (32%) Defeated


  1. ^ "Louisiana general election returns, November 2, 2004". Retrieved October 26, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Results for Election Date: 11/17/2007". Retrieved February 5, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Louisiana election returns, February 1, 2014". Retrieved February 5, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Jarvis DeBerry, Sheriff Marlin Gusman's re-election bid thwarted by Quentin Brown, lawn-care guy, February 3, 2014". New Orleans Times-Picayune. Retrieved February 5, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Results for Election Date: 3/15/2014: Orleans Parish". Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Charles Foti", Campaigns and Elections
  7. ^ dBusinessNews :: Daily Business News Delivered to Your Desktop Archived August 23, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ "Wanted: New Sheriff". Gambit Weekly. October 14, 2003. 
  9. ^ "Doctor accused in Katrina deaths asserts innocence". Associated Press. 2006-09-22. 
  10. ^ Gwen Filosa (2007-07-16). "Foti sued by doctor accused in Memorial Hospital deaths". The Times-Picayune. 
  11. ^ "'Dark Cloud' Lifted From Pou, Attorney Says: Grand Jury Declines To Indict Doctor In Hospital Deaths". WDSU. 2007-07-24. 
  12. ^ a b "Gov. Jindal Signs Bill To Reimburse Anna Pou". Associated Press. 2009-07-01. Archived from the original on 2012-08-25. 
  13. ^ Bill Barrow (2007-10-21). "Foti out as attorney general". The Times-Picayune. 
  14. ^ "Judge refused to remove AG from case". Associated Press. 2006. 

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Richard Ieyoub
Attorney General of Louisiana
Succeeded by
James "Buddy" Caldwell