Hearing on control of New Orleans jail resumes today

Hearing on control of New Orleans jail resumes today

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A federal hearing to determine whether Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman will retain control of the city's troubled jail resumes today.

Gusman has yet to take the stand to refute allegations he is not running the jail properly.

He is accused of not complying with a 2013 federal consent decree to implement reforms to the jail.

Inmate advocates and the U.S. Department of Justice say it's time for Gusman to step aside and let a federal judge to appoint a third party to run the jail.

During the hearings, monitors have testified about violence and shoddy administration of the jail, saying Gusman isn't fit for the job.

Gusman maintains he has made improvements, even though he says he hasn't received enough money to run the brand new $145 million facility.

"If you look at all of the things that we've done, all of the changes that have occurred since this major disaster of Katrina, the buildings we've moved out of, the buildings we demolished, the buildings closed, we are in a much better place," Gusman said.

Gusman's lawyers add that a lot of the problems Gusman is taking the blamed happened before he became sheriff.

Sources close to the case say private settlement talks regarding a possible takeover are ongoing.

Norris Henderson, a jail reform advocate, said: "it seems like they're trying to kill the messenger as opposed to hearing what these folks are actually saying about what's wrong with the jail."

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