DOJ blast city's attempt to throw out NOPD consent decree - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

DOJ blast city's attempt to throw out NOPD consent decree


New Orleans, La.- The U.S. Department of Justice blasts the city for trying to get the NOPD Consent Decree thrown out.

It also says the city's not being truthful in some of its argument, and even questions whether the city and the mayor will cooperate moving forward.

The DOJ  had until Friday to tell a federal judge why she should not toss out the agreement.

In a 44-page filing, the feds say the NOPD's troubles continue, and that "none of the city's efforts to reform the NOPD on its own have been successful."

The Consent Decree calls for sweeping reforms to the department. 

But the city wants out, citing money issues, a scandal in the U.S. Attorney's office and concerns about the police detail reform process.

"It's broken and it's pervasive, and the status quo will not be tolerated - not on my watch." said Mayor Mitch Landrieu in 2011. He was upset with the way police details were being handled.

Now the city is concerned the new system run by city hall, would require overtime pay for detail hours worked.

The DOJ shot down that concern and produced a letter from the Labor Department saying officers working special details would not be entitled to overtime pay.

In January, Mayor Landrieu also accused the Justice Department of withholding information about the cost of the Orleans Parish Prison Consent Decree agreement, saying the city can't afford both.

"Because the Justice Department is negotiating with the sheriff, they have a gun to our head on the sheriff's Consent Decree and that's going to threaten the financial viability of the police Consent Decree and that Consent Decree" said Landrieu.

The feds say not true and write, quote, "The city nowhere explains why it believes the United States had any duty to conduct the city's cost analysis for it."

The government wraps up its filing questioning the city's commitment saying  quote, "It remains to be seen whether the city will participate in the reform process constructively and productively" or will "fight about every little thing as Mayor Landrieu recently indicated."

The city issued a statement Friday night, saying "the DOJ's filing today mischaracterizes our interactions over the last several years, especially as it relates to the OPP consent decree."

The city says,"We negotiated the NOPD decree in good faith, expecting the same from the DOJ."

A spokesperson says the city will continue to move full speed ahead with reforms and that Mayor Landrieu remains completely committed to completely transforming the NOPD.

The city also picked people to serve on committees that will choose an independent monitor to oversee a police Consent Decree.  

Those chosen include Deputy Mayor Andy Kopplin, Deputy Mayor Judy Reese Morse, Chief Financial Officer Norman Foster, Daniel Cazenave with the NOPD, and Deputy City Attorney Erica Beck.

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