Mayor Landrieu says city will seek receiver for jails - FOX 8, WVUE,, weather, app, news, saints

Mayor Landrieu says city will seek receiver for jails

File/AP File/AP

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu says he can understand why the sheriff is a bit perturbed.  He also says he's less inclined than before to fund a city bailout of Orleans Parish Prison, a facility he thinks is poorly managed.

As he broke ground on a new playground in the Bywater Friday, the mayor made it clear that what's going on at Orleans Parish jails is clearly not child's play.

"I think the facts demonstrate this is about management and not money," said Landrieu.

After four days of consent decree hearings, and videos showing drugs, booze and guns in the old House of Detention, the mayor says it's time for a receiver to come in and take over.

"We will file a motion for receivership.  We have three or four more hearings," said Landrieu.

Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman spent three and a half hours on the stand this week, and came out swinging against a mayor who he says has not supported his jail, saying, "The mayor chooses to waste time with Washington-style politics and Archie Bunker rhetoric."

Landrieu responded, "Sheriff Gusman can be forgiven for being perturbed, and I've been called worse, so it's not a big deal."

As for the video itself, Chris Bowman with the Orleans District Attorney's office says it does show probably cause for a crime, and our analyst agrees.

"I think it's a strong indictment of what's going on there," said FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti.

On the stand Thursday during a federal judge's hearing on the OPP consent decree, the sheriff said he took action after seeing fuzzy images of the video, but no one was ever prosecuted.

"We didn't find any contraband, and without contraband or knowing if they were drugs, we didn't know if we could sustain a case in court," Gusman said after the hearing.

But Raspanti said, "The tape speaks for itself.  If I'm a prosecutor, you give me that tape, I can get something on those guys who were in jail with guns and drugs."

The DA's office won't confirm whether they are in fact investigating the videos, as the Sheriff's Office tries to move forward with little help from the city.

"I've been knowing Gusman a long time, I like him and always have, but it's not about a friend.  It's about getting the people's business right," said Landrieu.

And the mayor says, if Gusman does in fact need more money, he's got the authority to go to the people for more money under two existing millages.  But again, the mayor says no money should be handed over to the jail until the management is straightened out, and he says a court-appointed receiver is the best way to go about that.

Powered by Frankly