Judge denies attempt to block Monday’s next installment of Zurik investigation into NOPD details
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - An Orleans Parish Civil Court judge on Friday (Nov. 19) denied an attempt to block airing of the next installment of Lee Zurik’s investigation into the city’s paid details system for New Orleans police.
The investigation series, entitled “Attention to the Details,” continues Monday during WVUE-Fox 8′s 10 p.m. newscast.
The next installment features surveillance video shot from a public street outside a police officer’s home that calls into question the validity of the officer’s claimed work hours. Fox 8 placed a car equipped with a camera on the street for four days in October.
The wife of NOPD officer Todd Morrell filed a petition with the court Friday, seeking a temporary restraining order against the upcoming broadcast, alleging that the surveillance video constituted harassment and stalking of her and her minor child. Neither is shown or mentioned in the upcoming investigative report into her husband’s activities.
Judge D. Nicole Sheppard’s ruling permits Fox 8 to show its report, including the surveillance footage of Todd Morrell outside his house.
An earlier installment of the investigation showed Todd Morrell apparently indulging in his hobby of racing cars at a West Bank motorsports track during hours he claimed to be working for NOPD or on off-duty security details. The surveillance footage included in Monday’s upcoming report will reveal more discrepancies.
In response to the Zurik investigation, the NOPD on Thursday suspended 26 officers -- including Todd Morrell and his brother Nicholas -- from working paid off-duty details, pending the results of an internal NOPD investigation into potential abuses of that system.
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