Louisiana ethics board charges Jeff Landry with failure to report Hawaii trip on donor’s plane

Landry, the frontrunner for governor, alleged the charges are politically motivated

By: - September 7, 2023 5:12 pm
Jeff Landry standing at podium speaking to reporters

Attorney General Jeff Landry has hired a former political consultant for Donald Trump to work on his campaign, despite the consultant facing allegations of sexual misconduct. (Wes Muller/Louisiana Illuminator)

The Louisiana Board of Ethics wants Attorney General Jeff Landry to pay a penalty for failing to disclose flights he took to and from Hawaii on a political donor’s private plane in 2021.

Documents released this week show the board voted in August to charge Landry and one of the donor’s companies for violating the state ethics code. 

Landry used a plane owned by retired oil and gas businessman Greg Mosing to attend the Attorney General Alliance conference held in June of that year at the Grand Wailea Maui, a luxury beachfront resort. 

The conference took place from June 14 to 18. The plane carrying Landry arrived in Hawaii June 10 and returned to Lafayette June 19, according to the board’s documents. The attorney general was a featured speaker at the conference on a panel entitled “Attorney General Authority and Cities, Counties and Municipalities”. 

The board said Landry and Stanton Aviation, a company owned by Mosing, violated state laws prohibiting state officials from receiving anything of value for performing their public jobs. Three judges from the state’s Ethics Adjudication Board are expected to oversee the case, and have scheduled a status conference for Sept. 26. 

The Advocate | The Times-Picayune reported the Mosing flight is one of a few Landry has accepted from private donors, but  did not disclose on government forms. It’s not clear why the ethics board has charged Landry over this flight and not others. 

The board keeps confidential complaints that would lead to investigation such as the one resulting in Landry’s charges, and the board did not indicate if it investigated complaints over more than one flight.


The Republican attorney general, who the frontrunner to become Louisiana’s next governor, said the charges are politically motivated. He accused Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards of trying to gin up controversy before the fall election. Edwards, who is not eligible to run again, endorsed Democrat Shawn Wilson in the race.

”It appears some government power players don’t want those things to change. That’s why they have dug up a flight from two years ago, when I was a featured speaker at an attorneys general conference,” Landry wrote in a post on Substack. “Instead of charging the taxpayers for travel, I flew on the plane of a retired private citizen who has no business with the State or the Louisiana Department of Justice.”

The governor said he knew nothing of the ethics charges against Landry until this weekend, when Landry’s own campaign pushed out information about the allegations and The Advocate | The Times-Picayune ran an initial story about Landry’s use of donors’ private planes

“I had never heard about it, and it’s kind of silly for him to blame me. I don’t sit on the board,” Edwards said in an interview earlier this week, according to his office.”If he’s got problems it has nothing to do with me, and he ought to just try to clear them up rather than trying to make excuses.”

The governor appoints seven of the 11 members of the ethics board, though he can only pick members off a list of people the Louisiana Association of Independent Colleges and Universities recommends. 

Those appointees also have to be confirmed by the Louisiana Senate, which currently has a Republican supermajority. The Legislative leadership, which is made up of GOP members, also chooses the three remaining board members.

“They are not really people that I seek out, and really they’re not even people that I know, with I think the single exception of being Butch Speer, who is the former clerk of the [Louisiana] House,” Edwards said. 

Mosing could not be reached for comment Thursday. In a social media post, he echoed Landry’s outrage over the charges. The banner photo atop Mosing’s personal Facebook page Thursday was a photo of a private plane.

John Bel’s ‘unethical’ ethics board — made up of majority democrat appointees to smear his political opponents — is attempting to sully my name because I have been friends with Jeff Landry for over 20 years, and Jeff is the leading candidate to replace him,” Mosing wrote.

“After two years of investigating, the ‘unethics’ board has made up charges against me because they claim Mr. Landry did not file an unnecessary piece of paper,” he wrote.

Mosing is a retired resident with businesses in Broussard, where Landry resides. He has given at least $167,780 to Landry’s campaigns, political action committees and the Louisiana Republican Party’s efforts to elect Landry since 2014, according to a review of campaign finance records. 

Mosing is also one of eight Landry donors who reported political contributions of “in-kind” airfare and travel for Landry to the Louisiana Republican Party, which is supporting Landry’s bid for governor.

The travel donations from Mosing and other donors only started showing on the GOP’s campaign finance reports dated Aug. 16, about two weeks after the ethics board voted that Landry’s Hawaii trip on Mosing’s plane violated the law. Prior to that report, the GOP reported no travel donations for Landry. 

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Julie O'Donoghue
Julie O'Donoghue

Julie O’Donoghue is a senior reporter for the Louisiana Illuminator. She’s received awards from the Virginia Press Association and Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press.