Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards issued the following statement on two of his appointees, both experienced and highly qualified, whose confirmations were blocked.

“I am deeply disappointed that Ronnie Jones was not confirmed after his decades of service and experience in gaming regulation,” said Gov. Edwards. “He had served as the chair of the Gaming Control Board since 2013. Ronnie has been involved in regulating gaming since the 1990s, when riverboat and video poker gaming were first approved. Because of his time with Louisiana State Police, as a consultant and as a long-time member and chair of the board, he was uniquely qualified to fairly and ethically lead the group that regulates the gaming industry.

“I am equally disappointed that Walt Leger was not confirmed as the chair of the Ernest N. Morial-New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority, especially as Walt has been a key partner in the Fair Share negotiations with the City of New Orleans and as the state has operated a medical monitoring unit at the Convention Center. Walt has a passion for New Orleans and years of experience in the Legislature. He is an asset to the City and to the board and it is troubling that he was not confirmed. 

It’s especially disturbing and unfortunate that during this time of great uncertainty, when we need experienced leadership to help our gaming industry continue to reopen safely and for New Orleans’ tourism and convention industry to recover, two highly qualified and experienced appointees were unexpectedly blocked.”