Zurik: Sheriff finally cuts costly fees for law firm - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Lee Zurik Investigation: Sheriff finally cuts costly fees for law firm

A FOX 8 investigation helps save New Orleans taxpayers as much as $1 million.

We've been following a questionable legal arrangement between the Orleans Parish sheriff and a local law firm. Beginning Friday, that arrangement will change.

Sheriff Marlin Gusman paid the law firm of Usry, Weeks and Matthews $1.7 million a year. The law firm billed the sheriff a flat fee, $65,000, every two weeks. The invoices they submitted were vague, containing no detailed explanation of any charges.

Usry and Weeks didn't have a contract with the sheriff, just an unwritten agreement. Gusman would never comment publicly on the arrangement.

But Thursday the Sheriff's Office sent us a new legal agreement, effective Friday. The sheriff will now pay the law firm at an hourly rate, $175 an hour. And the new contract says the firm must submit itemized statements and a detailed account of the work being done.

Further, the total fees in a month cannot exceed $65,000. This means, at the very least, the value of this arrangement basically will be cut in half. Instead of paying $1.7 million a year, the most the firm can earn a year is $780,000.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Couple drives with passed out man on car trunk for over 10 miles

    Couple drives with passed out man on car trunk for over 10 miles

    Tuesday, May 23 2017 7:44 AM EDT2017-05-23 11:44:40 GMT
    (SOURCE: Facebook)(SOURCE: Facebook)

    A Facebook post lit up social media after a man reportedly passed out on a couple's trunk and was carried down the interstate. 

    more>>

    A Facebook post lit up social media after a man reportedly passed out on a couple's trunk and was carried down the interstate. 

    more>>
  • Deadly virus threatens local crawfish industry

    Deadly virus threatens local crawfish industry

    Tuesday, May 23 2017 7:26 PM EDT2017-05-23 23:26:19 GMT

    A deadly virus is threatening the crawfish industry in Southwest Louisiana. It's called white spot syndrome virus and it was first discovered in Thailand, but somehow it made its way to ponds in South Louisiana and specialists are struggling to find the funds to research a solution.  “The catch was increasing and increasing and then it dropped 70% and that's when you saw the dead crawfish floating in the water,” said a crawfish farmer of 34 years, Ian Garbarino. He...

    more>>

    A deadly virus is threatening the crawfish industry in Southwest Louisiana. It's called white spot syndrome virus and it was first discovered in Thailand, but somehow it made its way to ponds in South Louisiana and specialists are struggling to find the funds to research a solution.  “The catch was increasing and increasing and then it dropped 70% and that's when you saw the dead crawfish floating in the water,” said a crawfish farmer of 34 years, Ian Garbarino. He...

    more>>
  • Pregnant teen blocked from walking at graduation

    Pregnant teen blocked from walking at graduation

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 2:45 AM EDT2017-05-24 06:45:22 GMT
    Wednesday, May 24 2017 2:45 AM EDT2017-05-24 06:45:22 GMT

    The school principal says the student and her parents signed a covenant, vowing the teen wouldn’t have sex.

    more>>

    The school principal says the student and her parents signed a covenant, vowing the teen wouldn’t have sex.

    more>>
Powered by Frankly