Hearings resume over jail consent decree

New Orleans, La. - Hearings to determine who should foot the cost of reforms at Orleans Parish Prison resumed in federal court Wednesday.

Two accountants were called to testify about the sheriff's office budget.

Last month Judge Lance Africk ruled that a consent decree is needed to oversee much needed reforms at the jail.

The Southern Poverty Law Center filed suit against OPP saying prisoners were subjected to unconstitutional conditions.

The consent decree could cost $22 million dollars a year and Sheriff Marlin Gusman says city government is responsible for paying for the prison improvements. but the Mayor Landrieu has insisted that Gusman has mismanaged the jail.

Wednesday morning, one accountant for the prison testified that legal expenses for the prison amounted to over two million dollars in 2012 and could top four million for this year.

A final hearing on this issue is expected to be held on August 5th.