BATON ROUGE, La. (WGNO) — On Friday (Nov.18) Governor John Bell Edwards announced the resignation of Deputy Secretary for Youth Services William Sommers.

Sommers has led the agency since 2020 but before then, spent more than 30 years at the Calcasieu Parish Office of Juvenile Justice as law enforcement.

This resignation comes after the Office of Juvenile Justice reported facilities across the state have met maximum capacity and that the overcrowding is caused by a number of issues.

“I am grateful to Bill for his service to our state. He joined us during one of the most difficult periods in Louisiana’s history, leading OJJ through the COVID-19 pandemic and devastating natural disasters. Bill has also worked diligently to address the recent challenges within OJJ,” said Gov. Edwards.

Governor Edwards has appointed OJJ Assistant Secretary Otha “Curtis” Nelson as interim deputy secretary. Nelson, who has more than 30 years of experience, was originally deputy judicial administrator for the Louisiana Supreme Court Division of Children and Families.

“He understands the issues and challenges facing our juvenile system, and I’m confident in his leadership and ability to help us address the problems within OJJ and make improvements,” said said Nelson.

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