Clerk of Criminal Court shuts down Section "A", blames mayor's office

Published: Jul. 10, 2013 at 2:32 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 17, 2013 at 2:32 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

New Orleans, La. - The Orleans Clerk of Court says one of the sections at the courthouse may be shut down again Wednesday, because he doesn't have anyone to run the courtroom.

Tuesday night Section A Judge Laurie White told FOX 8 that Arthur Morrell can't shut down her court and he's obligated to provide her with the resources she needs.

Morrell says it's all the fault of the Landrieu administration, specifically CAO Andy Kopplin.

"If the CAO just leave meLalone and follow the law, everything would be fine. This has never happened before." said Morrell.

Morrell added the administration is violating a state law, which requires the city to pay the salaries of the clerk's employees.

But he says as a result of his budget being cut this year, Kopplin has refused to pay for new hires, even though there are 13 open positions right now.

He says the deputy clerk of Section A is out on medical leave for 6 weeks and it's not easy to move deputy clerks from different areas of the courthouse.

"There's so much work a deputy clerk does. Prepares docket, refiles cases at the end of the day, gets the records straight for the next day. It takes a lot of work" added Morrell.

City CAO Andy Kopplin says "while it's implemented aggressive cost cutting measures since 2010, In contrast, the clerk has overspent his budget each of the last three years. We cannot and will not allow that to continue."

Ironically, Morrell reports to the city council budget committee Wednesday afternoon to update them on his 2013 budget.

But again, Judge Laurie White says she will be ready to hold court Wednesday morning, as long as Morrell provides her with the required resources.