Painter resigns, ATF probe underway

Staff reports

The sudden resignation Friday of Ascension Parish resident and long-time commissioner of the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control Murphey Painter has grown into an investigation involving the Office of the Inspector General and State Police.

Painter’s resignation was announced without explanation in a press release from the Office of State Revenue.  Painter has not commented on the reason for his departure from the job he has held since 1996.

Brant Thompson was named Interim Commissioner of the Alcohol and Tobacco control office in the same one sentence release Aug. 13 from State Revenue Secretary Cynthia Bridges.

While commissioner, Painter was responsible for overseeing regulation of the alcoholic and tobacco industries in the state, licensing alcoholic beverage manufacturers, native wineries, retailers, and wholesalers, as well as retail and wholesale tobacco product dealers, and enforcing state alcoholic beverage and tobacco laws.

Painter served in law enforcement prior to his appointment, and was an unsuccessful as a sheriff’s candidate in an Ascension Parish election won by Sheriff Jeff Wiley.

He is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy and is presently a member of the Governor's DWI Task Force, chairman of the Responsible Vendor Administrators Board, and a 2nd Vice-President of the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators.

  The office Painter headed issues alcohol and tobacco permits, and periodically checks establishments for compliance with state alcohol and tobacco laws.