15 sheriff's deputies worked election details while they were on clock

Orleans jail receivership hearing extended
Published: May. 27, 2016 at 3:58 PM CDT|Updated: May. 27, 2016 at 7:20 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Orleans Parish Sheriff's deputies were working election details while they were on the clock, according to an expert witness.

A federal court hearing into the future of Orleans Parish Prison focused on staffing issues Friday.

Special court monitors have criticized the prison for not having an adequate plan and for not taking proper care of inmates with mental illnesses.

Testimony has focused on staffing issues pointing out that 15 deputies were paid for working election details, while on the clock with the sheriff's office.

The United States Justice Department is asking the court to bring in a federal receiver to turn the jail around.

That decision will be up to U.S. District Judge Lance Africk, who has presided over a consent decree for two years, which was designed to rectify some of the problems at the jail.

Gusman said he needs more time and that's something that some watchdogs say is appropriate.

Rafael Goyeneche of the Metropolitan Crime Commission part of the reason for the non-compliance is staffing and that is a direct result of a lack of pay for deputies.

"You're beginning to hear the story, that deputies supervising serious offenders are being paid $10 to $12 dollars an hour," Goyeneche said.

Gusman supporters have turned out in support for all three days of the hearings.

Africk has not indicated when he will decide on whether he will bring in a federal monitor or not.

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