Sheriff, mayor spar over costs of OPP consent decree - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Sheriff, mayor spar over costs of OPP consent decree

Sheriff Marlin Gusman at Thursday's news conference Sheriff Marlin Gusman at Thursday's news conference

Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman fired back at Mayor Mitch Landrieu Thursday as the two battle over millions of dollars needed to pay for the jail consent decree.

The mayor says hundreds of city workers could be laid off as the city copes with the costs.  But one council member says it may be too early to push the panic button.

When it comes to problems facing Orleans Parish Prison, the mayor is pulling few punches.

"I cannot in good conscience ask the taxpayers of New Orleans for more of their hard-earned money without assurances that the money will be well spent,"  Mayor Landrieu told council members in a special meeting Thursday.

But in a blistering rebuttal, the sheriff blamed the mayor for much of the problem.

"I'm insulted by the mayor's lack of leadership, his distortion of the facts, scare tactics instead of attempting to resolve this issue that he's ignored all this time," said Gusman.

In an unprecedented speech, Landrieu laid out four scenarios in order to fund a $22 million federal consent decree to bring the Orleans Parish prison up to constitutional standards. The scenarios include the laying off over 700 people, or furloughing them, or combinations thereof, in order to fund improvements for Marlin Gusman's jail.

"He has unfettered discretion to oversee the operations of the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office from soup to nuts and he could choose to call an election tomorrow to get approval to raise nearly $20 million in revenue through his law enforcement taxing district, of which he is the only member.  And if that's not enough to get the job done he could ask the state legislature for more," said Landrieu.

But Gusman says much of the problem lies at the mayor's feet. He said the city was responsible for two jails that he had to close. And he says a working group on prison size delayed construction of new facilities that could have eased jail problems.

Gusman said, "The mayor should take credit for a working group that delayed this facility for a year."

If new taxes are needed to fund jail improvements in line with the consent decree, it would first have to go through the City Council.  The head of the council's Criminal Justice Committee says she hopes there will be a lot more discussion before then.

Councilwoman Susan Guidry said, "We would prefer to have the litigation put on hold so we can negotiate, just like we did with the [NOPD] consent decree."

Some wonder how the mayor came up with the $22 million figure. "I have no idea how he got that figure, the 22," said Gusman.

Chairwoman Guidry says an audit due on April 30 should clear up some of the confusion.

But the stalemate continues at least until Monday, when federal Judge Lance Africk begins five days of hearings on the jail consent decree.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

    Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

        One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction.  She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    more>>

    One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction. She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    more>>
  • 'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    Thursday, April 27 2017 12:17 AM EDT2017-04-27 04:17:43 GMT
    Friday, April 28 2017 9:21 AM EDT2017-04-28 13:21:13 GMT
    Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children.

    more>>

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children.

    more>>
  • GRAPHIC: Buncombe Co. man admits to killing, dismembering pregnant TV chef, husband

    GRAPHIC: Buncombe Co. man admits to killing, dismembering pregnant TV chef, husband

    Thursday, April 27 2017 5:18 AM EDT2017-04-27 09:18:54 GMT
    Thursday, April 27 2017 7:27 PM EDT2017-04-27 23:27:02 GMT
    Robert Jason Owens' 2015 mug shot (Source: BCSO)Robert Jason Owens' 2015 mug shot (Source: BCSO)

    The Buncombe County man charged with murder in the deaths of a TV chef, her husband, and unborn child pleaded guilty to killing the victims and dismembering their bodies during a hearing Thursday and was sentenced to prison.

    more>>

    The Buncombe County man charged with murder in the deaths of a TV chef, her husband, and unborn child pleaded guilty to killing the victims and dismembering their bodies during a hearing Thursday and was sentenced to prison.

    more>>
Powered by Frankly