Criminal Justice
 

Deputies working private, off-duty details pay into fund used by sheriff for questionable discretionary spending

The Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office runs a lucrative program hiring out deputies for private security work frequently at far higher pay than their commissioned duties – but it’s not just the deputies who are bringing in a tidy sum. The program provides Sheriff Marlin Gusman with a regular supply of discretionary money.

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For every hour  Gusman’s deputies work on a moonlighting shift, they pay $1 into what’s called the Sheriff’s Detail Fund. In addition to writing thousands of dollars in checks to “cash” out of this account, Gusman has used this fund to buy alcohol for parties and gifts for his employees, according to records obtained under the state’s Public Records Act. The state Attorney General has said such spending is an illegal use of public money.

Aside from that discretionary fund, the overall sheriff’s program of outside paid details is remarkably similar in structure to the one run by the New Orleans Police Department, which the U.S. Department of Justice excoriated as an “aorta of corruption” in the department.

The Lens investigation found that:

  • deputies frequently earn a higher hourly rate at their moonlighting jobs than their regular work as prison guards, raising questions about which duty commands their loyalty.
  • three deputies out of 14 sampled in one month were paid for working details at the same time they were on the clock and being paid with taxpayer money, according to Sheriff’s Office records.
  • it’s difficult to fully track all deputies’ details through public records because the Sheriff’s Office destroys electronic databases used to record assignments, keeping only paper copies, an attorney for the sheriff said. That’s in spite of a state law that requires public agencies to keep all records it creates for at least three years.
  • low-ranking deputies sometimes are in charge of making assignments for the moonlighting work, an arrangement that lets them dole out lucrative assignments to their regular-duty superiors, putting the Sheriff’s Office chain of command in jeopardy.
  • a City Council member overseeing criminal-justice issues was not aware of the detail fund, even though the city provides Gusman with money to cover his expenses associated with running the jail.
  • Gusman’s paid detail program exhibits many of the other flaws that were singled out by the Department of Justice as contributing to corruption within the city’s police department.

Perhaps because Gusman controls the city’s jail, and his deputies are responsible for controlling inmates, rather than interacting with the public, there is less interest in the effects of Gusman’s paid detail policies than in those at the police department.  But deputies have responsibilities to ensure the safety of inmates at the jail, including: assessing inmates for signs of mental health problems, preventing physical abuse, coordinating medical care with medical staff including doling out medications, properly reporting use of force incidents, investigating problems, and maintaining suicide watch.

Gusman’s publicist Marc Ehrhardt wrote in an email response to questions for this story that the detail system is undergoing a “comprehensive policy review” as part of an annual policy review at the Sheriff’s Office. Gusman “will implement policy revisions as part of this annual process around the first of the year,” Ehrhardt wrote.

Gusman began this review in September, Ehrhardt wrote. That’s not long after The Lens began asking questions and requesting records about paid details at his office.

Deputies may earn more working paid details than they do for the sheriff, but Ehrhardt wrote that detail payments do not include health insurance, pension contributions, life insurance and deferred compensation. Ehrhardt also wrote that deputies have to punch in when arriving for their shift and leaving for the day, verifying their identity with a fingerprint machine. Still, when it comes to employees working paid details at the same time they were on the clock, Gusman is investigating each instance, Ehrhardt wrote.

“However, in each case mentioned below, it does not appear that these deputies participated in these activities with criminal intent,” Ehrhardt wrote. “If the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office determines that these deputies violated OPSO policy or the law, then the OPSO will take appropriate disciplinary action immediately.”

Gusman’s office is also allowed to toss out electronic versions of detail records as long as a paper copy is kept, under his attorney’s interpretation of state public records law, Ehrhardt wrote.

The sheriff also reimbursed the detail fund for the alcohol purchase out of his own pocket “in an abundance of caution,” Ehrhardt wrote, though he did not say when that happened.

The Lens’ findings concern some public watchdogs.

“You’ve identified some deputies that were working on the clock for the Sheriff’s Office at the same time as working a private detail,” said Rafael Goyeneche, president of the nonprofit Metropolitan Crime Commission. “That is a problem, and the Sheriff’s Office needs to conduct an internal investigation to determine if the information is in fact correct, and if so then it needs to be referred to the District Attorney’s Office because it could be payroll fraud.

“There are lessons to be learned from what has been exposed with respect to the NOPD and I think the same concerns and principles that apply to the NOPD apply to any law-enforcement agency that allows their employees to work extra-curricular details,” Goyeneche said.

The paid details may be causing other issues, said Marjorie Esman, executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana.

“We know that paid details are a problem at the NOPD, and it appears that they are the same problem at the Sheriff’s Office,” she said. “We have the chain of command being disrupted, we have people being paid off the clock while they’re on the clock, which is not only a misuse of public funds but also may partially explain why the jail is so understaffed and dangerous.

“There is a real problem, generally, with the Sheriff’s Office not being particularly transparent, and if they are destroying public records in violation of state law around this issue, it undermines the credibility of the office with respect to other records,” Esman said.

Fewer sheriff’s deputies work paid details than New Orleans police officers, placing more power in the hands of detail coordinators at Gusman’s office — 165 of Gusman’s 700 employees, or about 25 percent, work details, according to budget documents. That compares with  about 70 percent of the city’s 1350-strong police force working details between 2009 and 2010, according to the Department of Justice.

On average, records show deputies worked 7,939 hours of details a month in March, April and May of this year. At that rate, deputies work nearly 100,000 hours a year – providing nearly $100,000 to Gusman’s detail fund.

Many of the same deputies worked several details, but between 40 and 60 deputies worked paid details on any given day during that period.

Using conservative estimates of the lowest rate of outside pay,  moonlighting jobs paid at least $2 million a year in extra income to Gusman’s deputies.

LITTLE OVERSIGHT OF DISCRETIONARY SPENDING

Deputies pay a dollar an hour for every hour they work on paid details to the detail fund, wrote Craig Frosch, an attorney for Gusman at the firm Usry, Weeks & Matthews, in a letter to The Lens. Records show that the fund contained monthly balances of between $62,000 and $120,000 between June 2010 and June 2011.

 

 

The detail fund is not directly referenced in an annual audit submitted by law each year to the State Legislative Auditor, although a “Detail Account” does show up in Gusman’s 7,000-page check register, as part of Gusman’s general fund. Gusman’s auditors at the firm of Postlethwaite and Netterville wrote that the detail fund is audited as part of the sheriff’s general fund.

Deputies said Gusman has told them that the detail fund pays for bulletproof vests and radios. And in fact, $12,000 was spent on bulletproof vests over the 12 months The Lens examined.

Gusman initially used public money to buy liquor for a band at one of his events, though he repaid it later.

But records show Gusman also signed almost $10,000 in checks to cash from the fund, spent nearly $60,000 at an apparel firm, spent $1,200 on a table for 10 of his staff at a Crimestoppers party at Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World, spent $300 for the Hornets cheerleading team, The Honeybees, to appear at a function, and spent $100 on alcohol for a band at his annual Thanksgiving dinner, including Jack Daniel’s whisky, Hennessy cognac, and Bacardi rum.

Attorney General Buddy Caldwell has said previously in unrelated opinions that the use of public funds for parties and celebratory functions is illegal.

Gusman reimbursed the money spent on alcohol from his own funds in “an abundance of caution,” Ehrhardt wrote, though he didn’t say when the repayment occurred.

Records show the checks to cash were used to buy Starbucks gift cards for “spiritual guest speakers as a token of appreciation,” multiple $100 Ruth’s Chris Steak House gift cards to congratulate employees of the month, coloring books and Walmart gift cards for Gusman’s Easter egg hunt, and hats and decorations for a St. Patrick’s Day party at a rehabilitation center.

Caldwell has also written that using public dollars to purchase restaurant gift certificates for employee of the month awards is illegal.

Gusman provided a letter from his auditing firm, Postelthwaite and Netterville, which said “employee award programs are allowed and based on our understanding of your program, it would be allowable.”

But Goyeneche is concerned.

“I clearly believe that the detail funds are public funds, and as such, if they are public funds, then they cannot be used to purchase alcohol or award gift cards to employees,” Goyeneche said. “And I understand that you’re trying to create a good work environment for your employees, but the law is the law, and you can’t do that with public funds.

“As far as purchasing alcohol, I’m told the alcohol is for some musicians that donate their time to the sheriff’s Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, which are worthwhile and noble causes, but you can’t use public funds to purchase alcohol,” Goyeneche said.

Gusman paid $58,193 to apparel firm Kelley and Abide on March 28, 2011, for things such as customized T-shirts with Christmas logos on them, Santa hats, knitted beanie hats, aprons with a “Sheriff Thanksgiving Logo,” tote bags with the sheriff’s logo on them, embroidered golf shirts, and magnifying glasses.

The Sheriff's Office used the detail fund to buy 6,000 sets of Carnival-style beads, which deputies sometimes give out while working details.

Gusman also spent nearly $10,000 from the detail fund to buy 6,000 sets of Carnival-style beads with sheriff’s cars medallions on them. His deputies sometimes hand out the beads to members of the public when they are working details.

DOUBLE-DIPPING DEPUTIES

The Lens requested timesheets for March 2011 for a random selection of 14 deputies working details. Of those, three took taxpayer dollars working an official Sheriff’s Office shift at the same time they claimed money for paid details.

•On Thursday, March 10, records show Deputy John Sens worked a paid detail between noon and 8 p.m. for Woodward Construction, patrolling the perimeter of Gusman’s new kitchen and warehouse facility for his planned new jail. But Sens’ timesheet at Gusman’s office also showed him clocking in for a 10-hour shift working in Gusman’s contracting department between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. on that day.

Gusman’s office is investigating, Ehrhardt wrote, expecting to conclude its investigation this week.

•On Friday, March 25, records show Deputy Harlon Martinez worked two paid details — one at the Walgreens at 4400 South Claiborne Ave. between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. and another at the Walgreens at 5501 Crowder Blvd. from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. But Martinez’s timesheet at Gusman’s office also showed him clocking in for a 12-hour shift at the Conchetta facility on Tulane Avenue between 6:26 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Gusman’s office responded, saying Martinez punched in for his assigned shift, and that he also made handwritten notes into internal jail logs. Ehrhardt also wrote that no deputies are working a detail at the Walgreens on South Claiborne, although Gusman’s own records list Martinez as having worked that detail twice more that month, and another deputy is listed as having worked the detail too. Ehrhardt did not respond to a follow-up question on this point.

•On Thursday, March 3, records show Deputy Bucky Phillips worked a paid detail between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. for Hotard on Convention Center Blvd. But Phillips’ timesheet at Gusman’s office also showed him working a 12-hour shift between 5:57 a.m. and 6:25 p.m.

Gusman’s office is investigating, Ehrhardt wrote, expecting to conclude its investigation this week.

It’s difficult to easily track all the shifts through computer analysis because Frosch said Gusman doesn’t keep computerized records. Instead, Frosch said the office prints out the spreadsheets and then trashes the electronic database. State law requires public agencies to keep public records for at least three years, and the definition of a record includes any data kept in a computer.

Ehrhardt and Frosch interpret the public records law differently, saying the law only requires agencies to keep a paper copy of the public record, not every copy.

“At the very least,” Ehrhardt wrote, “the point is arguable.”

In responding to The Lens’ public-records request, three days of paid detail records were simply missing, with Gusman unable to offer an explanation. Ehrhardt wrote that the office was “not aware of any missing records,” even though The Lens had already asked Frosch for the missing records and clarified the dates of the missing records with Ehrhardt.

In examining the New Orleans Police Department, the Department of Justice criticized a lack of centralized, organized recordkeeping for paid details, saying it creates an environment in which officers are able to bend the rules without getting caught.

A CASH BUSINESS

Gusman does not track how much money his deputies earn for working paid details, or for coordinating details, Frosch wrote. Deputies are also allowed to accept cash for working paid details, Frosch wrote. Deputies also are allowed to perform paid details without handing out receipts or any particular paperwork, Frosch wrote.

Ehrhardt wrote that it’s up to the deputies to handle their own financial matters.

“Because deputies working details are engaged in a transaction with a private individual or company, the deputy is responsible for accounting for the funds that deputy receives, as part of their own annual tax returns and required financial documents,” Ehrhardt wrote.

Jefferson Parish resident Sandy Milliken wanted to arrange a motorcycle escort from St. Agnes church in Jefferson Parish to City Park for her son’s wedding reception this summer. She was told to call a sergeant with Gusman’s office, who told her to bring $100 in cash in two separate envelopes to give to two motorcycle deputies at the wedding.

“It made me feel kind of creepy,” Milliken said. “I watch the news quite a bit, and it just made me feel like maybe they were taking advantage of the public. I think there should be better accounting.”

Milliken was given no receipt or paperwork in exchange for the payments, although she did not ask for one, she said. And she said she was satisfied with the service performed by the deputies, apart from her discomfort over the method of payment.

DO GIVE UP YOUR DAY JOB

Of the 14 deputies whose timecards we scrutinized for the month of March, four appear to have earned more money working paid details than they earned working on the clock for Gusman.

•Phillips earned over $3,500 working paid details for Walgreens and Hotard, more than his $2,650 gross salary.

•Deputy Gerard Golden earned $3,000 working paid details for Walmart, more than his $2,775 gross salary.

•Special Operations Field Training Officer Ernest Newman earned at least $4,000 working paid details at branches of Walmart, barber shops, and daiquiri shops, more than his $2,900 gross salary.

•Court Security Lt. Craig Lawson earned at least $3,600 working paid details at branches of Walmart, and at Harrah’s Casino, more than his $2,900 gross salary.

Gusman’s deputies start on salaries of $9.50 an hour, Frosch wrote, compared to paid details, which vary from $30 an hour at Harrah’s Casino, $35 an hour at Walmart, and $40 an hour at Woodward Construction.

Ehrhardt wrote that the standard hourly rate for details is based on the overtime rate scale for Gusman’s office.

When the Department of Justice took aim at the details policy in the New Orleans Police Department, it said the quality of policing is undermined when officers can earn more money on their details than they do as officers, because they may feel greater allegiance to their detail employer than they do to the public.

SUPERVISORS WORKING FOR THEIR EMPLOYEES

The Lens requested the ranks of 16 random detail coordinators out of over 100 listed at Gusman’s office for the period we examined. We found that five coordinators were ranked as mere deputies, the lowest rank, meaning they’re deciding outside assignments of either their peers or people who outrank them.

“This is something that has been banned in the NOPD and many other law enforcement agencies because it turns the chain of command upside down,” Goyeneche said. “This is an issue that needs to be looked at by the Sheriff’s Office to make sure that there aren’t any instances of that happening.”

One example of such a disruption in the chain of command is Maj. Bonita Pittman, whose day job is to run the Templeman Five jail, where Gusman houses immigration inmates, women, and some federal prisoners.

Records show Pittman worked 22 hours of paid details for Woodward Construction in March, patrolling the perimeter of Gusman’s new kitchen and warehouse facility for his new jail. Records show the security detail for the Woodward site is run by Deputy Robert Gates, who works in “security,” according to Gusman’s official records. While Gates is not a direct report to Pittman, she was still beholden to a ranked inferior for the lucrative $40-an-hour detail, which earned her an extra $880 in March.

Ehrhardt wrote that “multiple detail coordinators” work the Woodward detail, but records for the period only list Gates as the coordinator, and Ehrhardt did not respond to follow-up questions on this point.

The Department of Justice report about the police department spelled out why such a disruption in the chain of command could be bad for a public safety agency.

“Having lower ranked officers acting as coordinators puts supervisory officers who want to make extra income in a situation where they answer to a lower ranked officer,” the report said. “This naturally affects the ability or willingness of the supervisor to question the performance of, or to discipline, an officer who is responsible for the supervisor’s additional income. This also leads to the appearance of, if not the reality of, favoritism.”

SPENDING WITH ONE HAND WHILE ASKING WITH THE OTHER

Councilwoman Susan Guidry questions Sheriff Marlin Gusman during budget hearings this fall. Photo by Matt Davis

Though it’s a small amount of money in the scale of Gusman’s $175 million budget, the detail fund is nonetheless a source of loose cash for the sheriff, who regularly pleads for more money from the City Council.

Councilwoman Susan Guidry, who is co-chairwoman of the Criminal Justice Committee, had not heard of the detail fund when asked about it by a reporter. She declined to comment further.

Guidry and her colleagues frequently seek more information on the sheriff’s budget.

OTHER PRACTICES THAT COULD SPAWN CORRUPTION

Other aspects of Gusman’s paid detail program are reminiscent of criticisms raised by the Department of Justice in its report on paid details at the police department:

•Gusman’s deputies work long hours on details, which could lead to potentially dangerous fatigue and endanger inmates in Gusman’s jails.

•Gusman’s deputies appear to work at outlets selling alcoholic beverages, despite a rule saying they should not, without the sheriff’s approval.

•Gusman’s paid detail practices raise the appearance of favoritism and conflict of interest.

Gusman’s paid detail policy is actually more prone to cause his deputies to become fatigued than the NOPD policy slammed by the Department of Justice.

The police department policy in place at the time of the federal review allowed officers to work an additional 28 hours per week, with little oversight to ensure that the cap is observed. Meanwhile, Gusman’s policy allows deputies to work up to 32 hours a week on top of their regular jobs.

“If you’re working 48 hours a week for the sheriff’s office and then another 32 hours, that’s 80 hours, and no one can maintain that indefinitely,” Goyeneche said. “Is that good public policy? Obviously the police department believes that optimally, 64 is a better number. I would be surprised if 80 hours was the national standard.”

In 2009, the Department of Justice criticized conditions at Gusman’s jail facilities in a damning letter, and Department of Justice attorneys have continued to insist that a court-enforced order over jail conditions is imminent.

There have been 13 deaths in Gusman’s jail since the report was written, including a man who died recently after eating half a roll of toilet paper and suffocating on it, while he was on suicide watch.

“Being sleep-deprived, especially chronically so, can contribute to an officer making dangerous tactical errors; missing potential evidence; taking investigatory short cuts; writing incomplete reports; providing inaccurate testimony; and acting unprofessionally towards residents,” the Department of Justice report about details at the NOPD said.

Two sheriff’s deputies who have worked at the Templeman Five facility told The Lens that supervisors would frequently take naps while on duty, to make up for the hours they had been working on details. The Lens is not identifying the deputies because they are concerned about potential employment repercussions for speaking out.

Ehrhardt wrote that deputies are required to have a minimum of six hours of downtime between the end of a detail assignment and the beginning of a scheduled shift. There are also surveillance cameras at sheriff’s facilities, and deputies who fall asleep are disciplined, Ehrhardt wrote.

Gusman’s paid detail policy forbids working at alcoholic beverage outlets unless Gusman gives permission. But in the handful of detail records obtained by The Lens, there are several instances of deputies working at daiquiri shops.

Ehrhardt wrote that Gusman has not approved a new request for deputy details at alcohol beverage outlets since taking office in 2004, but that a few alcoholic beverage outlet details were grandfathered in.

Gusman’s choice of Deputy Gates to coordinate the Woodward Construction security detail for his new jail kitchen and warehouse facility raises the appearance of a conflict of interest, since marriage records show that Gates is the son-in-law of Gusman’s former top aide, the late Chief Deputy Bill Short.

Short, who died in October, donated over $10,000 to Gusman’s political campaigns since 2005, state campaign records show. He also helped choose the selection of a construction manager at the kitchen and warehouse facility in 2008.

Ehrhardt wrote that deputies asked to fulfill detail assignments are asked to do so “because they have the capabilities to do the job requested of them.”

In another instance, Deputy Sens works as Gusman’s director of purchasing, and shepherded the approval of Woodward Construction for the contract on the kitchen and warehouse facility through to completion. His signature and name appears on many letters to and from Woodward at various stages of the bid process.

Now Sens is paid by Woodward for working a security detail at the site. Records show Sens earned $700 in March.

Ehrhardt responded to this by writing that Gusman’s project manager, Ozanne Construction Co., “directs all interactions between the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office and contractors working on various projects. The project manager also develops all bid specifications and packages distributed to the public for bid.”

Woodward is not happy with the amount it’s paying for extra security – at a site within the sheriff’s control.

Click here to read a follow-up on the security lawsuit by our partners at WVUE-TV.

Woodward filed a suit against Gusman in Civil District Court in July for alleged breach of contract after Gusman’s staff told the company that the bill for security at the facility would cost about $33,000. The lawsuit says  the company has been billed more than $300,000 for the work and expect that amount to double by the end of the project. The sheriff’s office rebutted Woodward’s allegation in documents filed with the court and the case remains open.

Woodward Construction did not respond to a request for comment.

The head of the Bureau of Governmental Research, which published a report on best practices for police details earlier this year, said likely reforms at the NOPD need to also be enacted at Gusman’s office.

“After the justice department issued its report, Chief Serpas proposed a plan to reform the NOPD’s detail policies and procedures, and one of the criticisms that is sometimes heard is that it would just shift the detail work to the sheriff’s department,” Janet Howard said. “ And clearly, the reforms should extend to all the law enforcement groups engaged in the practice in the jurisdiction.

“And that’s not an argument for delay with proceeding with the NOPD reforms, but the community needs to stay focused on a comprehensive approach.”

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  • Marc Ehrhardt

    On behalf of the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office, following is the text of a letter from the Sheriff’s Office external auditor verifying that all funds placed in this Detail Fund, as well as expenses coming from the Fund, are included in the Sheriff’s Office annual audit that is presented to the Louisiana Legislative Auditor each year.

    Postlethwaite
    & Netterville
    A Professional Accounting Corporation
    Associated Offices in Principal Cities of tf1e United States
    http://www.pncpa.com

    December 7, 2011

    Sheriff Marlin Gusman
    Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office
    819 South Broad Street
    New Orleans, Louisiana 70119

    Dear Sheriff Gusman:

    At your request, we have reviewed the reporting and accounting for the funds received by the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office (OPSO) from the fees earned for details performed by OPSO officers and reserve officers. We also understand that this is an activity allowed to be performed by the various sheriffs and police agencies throughout the State of Louisiana. The activity provides additional income to the officers,security for private and public organizations, and income to the local law enforcement agencies.

    Our audits since 2004 have not reported any exceptions in the accounting or reporting of these fees. We understand that $1 per hour is paid by each officer serving a detail and that those fees are deposited to an account in the name of the Sheriff’s Office. The revenues from these fees are included in the revenues of the OPSO. Therefore, the revenues have been audited each year when your annual audit of the OPSO’s financial statements is performed in accordance with generally accepted governmental audit standards and the requirements of the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office.

    Those reports are submitted to the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office each year. Expenditures are subject to audit as a part of the overall tests of expenses performed each year during the audit. The amounts received have been reported in the general fund in account 100.4913 as public funds in your annual audit report.

    Based on amounts received in 2011 through October 31, 2011, we estimate that the annual amount collected is less than $110,000 for these fees.

    You have also asked whether or not employee award programs are allowed for public agencies. We
    understand that the OPSO has such a program. Employee award programs are allowed and based on our understanding of your program, it would be allowable.

    Based on our audits, we believe the agency is accounting and reporting on these funds properly.
    Please call if you have any questions.

    Yours Truly,

    Albert Richard III, CPA, CGAP
    Managing Director

  • Marc Ehrhardt

    On behalf of the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office, following are the exact responses provided by the Sheriff’s Office to Matt Davis Dec. 9.

    These comments list Davis’ questions followed by the Sheriff’s Office’s response. Specifically, the Sheriff’s Office responses include the legal basis and state law references regarding the maintenance of public records.

    OPSO RESPONSES – DEC. 9, 2011:

    OPSO INTRODUCTION: There are two items that apply to each of the questions you posed:

    • “Deputies on the clock” – When referring to employees working “on the clock” and details, note that 699 employees of the OPSO must punch in ON a time-clock when arriving for their shift and leaving for the day. In addition, these employees must provide fingerprint verification via an on-site verification reader when punching in and out. As a result, that employee must be physically present to punch in and out for their shifts.

    • Sheriff Gusman has been engaged in a comprehensive policy review of the detail system since Sept. 1. This review is part of the OPSO’s annual policy and procedure review process. In addition, Sheriff Gusman has consulted with partner law enforcement agencies and sheriff’s departments statewide. The OPSO will implement policy revisions as part of this annual process around the first of the year.

    QUESTION 1: The sheriff’s Detail Fund is unaudited, unregulated, and largely unknown.

    OPSO RESPONSE: This is factually incorrect. The OPSO Detail Fund is included in the annual audit conducted by the external auditor for the Sheriff’s Office. This report is also provided to the Louisiana Legislative Auditor each year. Attached is a letter from our external auditors verifying the review and inclusion in the audit of these funds.

    QUESTION 2: In addition to writing thousands of dollars in checks to “cash” out of the detail fund, the sheriff has used the fund to buy alcohol for parties and gifts for his employees. The state Attorney General has said such spending is an illegal use of public money.

    OPSO RESPONSE: The alcohol listed in the Detail Fund ledger is related to the purchase of beverages for entertainers who volunteer to appear and donate their time and talent to entertain at the OPSO’s annual Thanksgiving luncheon. In an abundance of caution, Sheriff Gusman reimbursed the Detail Fund for this purchase out of his personal funds.

    Further, OPSO does not make alcohol available at any employee events.

    QUESTION 3: Deputies frequently earn a higher hourly rate at their detail jobs than their regular work as prison guards.

    OPSO RESPONSE: Similar to law enforcement agencies across the country and in Louisiana, the standard hourly rate for details is based on the overtime rate scale.

    The standard hourly pay earned by deputies also accounts for the following benefits and programs – health insurance, pension contributions, life insurance and deferred compensation, etc. Many of these items are deducted from an employee’s regular paycheck, as it is with millions of employed citizens in private and public organizations. The hourly rate for details includes none of these items.

    ?
    QUESTION 4: Several deputies sampled in one three-month period were paid for working details at the same time they were on the clock, being paid with taxpayer money, according to the sheriff’s records.

    OPSO RESPONSE: The OPSO is investigating each of these instances to ensure that each deputy complied with all OPSO rules and regulations. However, in each case mentioned below, it does not appear that these deputies participated in these activities with criminal intent. If the OPSO determines that these deputies violated OPSO policy or the law, then the OPSO will take appropriate disciplinary action immediately.

    It is important to note that 699 employees of the OPSO must punch in a time-clock when arriving for their shift and leaving for the day. In addition, these employees must provide fingerprint verification via an on-site verification reader when punching in and out. These records are reviewed by multiple supervisors and senior staff of the OPSO for accuracy.

    QUESTION 5: The sheriff’s office destroys electronic databases used to record assignments, keeping only paper copies, an attorney for the sheriff said. That’s in spite of a state law that requires public agencies to keep all records it creates for at least three years.

    OPSO RESPONSE: The referenced electronic records are the bi-weekly payroll reports showing the hours worked by employees on paid details. This is a chart or spreadsheet used to facilitate the payroll deductions for the detail fund. It is our understanding that the electronic version is not retained, but a hard copy of this record is kept. This information was relayed to you and you were provided with access to the paper version of these records for a particular time period. The Public Records Act to our knowledge contains no requirement that each copy of a record be retained for three years. The law provides that “where copies of an original record exist, the original alone shall be kept; when only duplicate copies of a record exist, only one copy of the duplicate copies shall be required to be kept.” La.R.S. 44:36(A). The hard copies of all of these records are on file according to state law.

    There is no specific guidance as to which version of a record created through a word processing or other computer application is to be considered an original, the electronic version or the hard copy printout. We are of the opinion that the hard copy printout may be considered by the custodian to be an original and that the retention of this duplicate original by the Sheriff’s Office satisfies the dictates of the Public Records Act, obviating the need to retain the fleeting electronic version. This view is supported by the Act’s treatment of a retention program utilizing digitized unalterable copies of public records as the exception, not the rule. See La.R.S. 44:39 (“when electronic digitizing is utilized, the original source document or microfilm of such source document shall be maintained until such time as electronic digitizing is recognized as an acceptable means of records preservation.”). At the very least, the point is arguable. Alternatively, each version may be considered duplicate copies, only one of which need be retained.
    ?

    QUESTION 6: Low ranking deputies sometimes are in charge of making assignments for the detail work, an arrangement that lets them dole out lucrative assignments to their regular-duty superiors, putting the chain of command at the sheriff’s office in jeopardy.

    OPSO RESPONSE: Sheriff Gusman has been engaged in a comprehensive policy review of the detail system since Sept. 1. This review is part of the OPSO’s annual policy and procedure review process. In addition, Sheriff Gusman has consulted with partner law enforcement agencies and sheriff’s departments statewide. The assignment process for details is under review as part of this process and will be addressed in the upcoming policy revisions.

    The OPSO will implement policy revisions as part of this annual process around the first of the year.

    QUESTION 7: Neither state auditors nor a city council member were aware of the Detail Fund, even though the city provides the sheriff with money to cover his expenses associated with running the jail.

    OPSO RESPONSE: This is factually incorrect. The OPSO Detail Fund is included in the annual audit conducted by the designated auditor for the Sheriff’s Office. This report is also provided to the Louisiana Legislative Auditor each year. Attached is a letter documenting this exchange of information.

    QUESTION 8: The sheriff’s paid detail program exhibits many of the other flaws that were singled out by the Department of Justice as contributing to corruption within the city’s police department.

    OPSO RESPONSE: Sheriff Gusman has been engaged in a comprehensive policy review of the detail system since Sept. 1. This review is part of the OPSO’s annual policy and procedure review process. In addition, Sheriff Gusman has consulted with partner law enforcement agencies and sheriff’s departments statewide. The OPSO will implement policy revisions as part of this annual process around the first of the year.

    ?
    More specifically:

    QUESTION 9: The Detail Fund is not contained in an annual audit submitted by law each year to the State Legislative Auditor. The sheriff’s auditing firm has declined comment on the absence of this information.

    OPSO RESPONSE: This is factually incorrect. The OPSO Detail Fund is included in the annual audit conducted by the designated auditor for the Sheriff’s Office. This report is also shared with the Louisiana Legislative Auditor each year. Attached is a letter documenting this exchange of information.

    QUESTION 10: While $12,000 was spent on bulletproof vests over the period we examined, the sheriff also signed almost $10,000 in checks to cash from the fund, spent nearly $60,000 at a catering firm for which his attorneys did not provide detailed documentation, spent $1,200 on a table for 10 of his staff at a party at Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World, and spent $100 on alcohol for a band at his annual Thanksgiving dinner, including Jack Daniel’s whisky, Hennessy cognac, and Bacardi run. Attorney General Buddy Caldwell has said previously in unrelated opinions that the use of public funds for parties and celebratory functions is illegal.

    OPSO RESPONSE: The alcohol listed in the Detail Fund ledger is related to the purchase of beverages for entertainers who appear at the OPSO’s annual Thanksgiving luncheon. In an abundance of caution, Sheriff Gusman reimbursed the Detail Fund for this purchase with personal funds.

    Further, OPSO does not make alcohol available at any employee events.

    Following are our responses to the specific expenditures from the detail fund mentioned above:

    o $10,000 in cash expenditures – These are cash expenditures supported by receipts, which are all included in the audit documents provided to the OPSO external auditor (and you).
    o $60,000 in catering expenditures – These expenditures do not exist. The only expenditure we could find was approximately $58,000 with a vendor over the course of a 12 month period for community policing activities sponsored by the Sheriff’s Office. That vendor – Kelley and Abide – is a provider of uniforms and printed clothing. According to records from Craig Frosch, these invoices were made available for inspection to you on Sept. 21, 2011.
    o $1,200 for a table of 10 – This expenditure represents the purchase of a table at the annual New Orleans Crimestoppers fundraising luncheon. The Sheriff’s Office purchased a table at this event and deputies and other ranking members of the OPSO attended this event with Sheriff Gusman.
    ?

    QUESTION 11: Records show the checks to cash were used to buy Starbucks gift cards for “spiritual guest speakers as a token of appreciation,” multiple $100 Ruth’s Chris Steak House gift cards to congratulate employees of the month, coloring books and Wal-Mart gift cards for the sheriff’s Easter egg hunt, and hats and decorations for a St. Patrick’s Day party at a rehabilitation center. Caldwell has also written that using public dollars to purchase restaurant gift certificates for employee of the month awards is illegal.

    OPSO RESPONSE: Please refer to the letter from P&N confirming that these expenditures are allowable and included in the audited financial statements provided to Louisiana Legislative Auditor.

    Regarding the instances mentioned above:

    o Empowerment Seminar – Guest Speakers – The OPSO conducts regular inmate empowerment seminars to discuss conflict resolution, job training and interview skills, social skills and familial responsibilities. Some of these speakers possess a faith background, while others represent a variety of experiences and backgrounds in the New Orleans community.
    o Gift card purchases – The OPSO Human Resources Department developed an employee recognition program open to all 787 Sheriff’s Office employees, which recognizes acts of service and performance over and above the call of duty.
    o Community Policing Materials – The charges related to the purchase of coloring books and Wal-Mart materials are used in the OPSO’s community policing program, which provides arts and crafts materials for kids attending OPSO-sponsored community events, such as the Sheriff’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt, which are all free and open to the public.
    o St. Patrick’s Day event – This is an annual community event and barbecue at the John Hainkel Rehabilitation Home in New Orleans to serve members of the community with special needs.

    QUESTION 12: The Lens requested timesheets for March 2011 for a random selection of 14 deputies working details. Of those, three took taxpayer dollars working an official Sheriff’s Office shift at the same time they claimed money for paid details:

    o On Thursday, March 10, records show Deputy John Sens worked a paid detail between noon and 8 p.m. for Woodward Construction, patrolling the perimeter of the sheriff’s new kitchen and warehouse facility for his planned new jail. But Sens’ timesheet at the sheriff’s office also showed him clocking in for a 10-hour shift working in the sheriff’s contracting department between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. on that day.

    OPSO RESPONSE: This matter is under investigation by the OPSO. We expect to have this investigation concluded by next week.
    ?
    o On Friday, March 25, records show Deputy Harlon Martinez worked two paid details — one at the Walgreens at 4400 South Claiborne Ave. between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. and another at the Walgreens at 5501 Crowder Blvd. from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. But Martinez’s timesheet at the sheriff’ office also showed him clocking in for a 12-hour shift at the Conchetta facility on Tulane Avenue between 6:26 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.

    OPSO RESPONSE: Based on an ongoing internal investigation of this matter, Deputy Martinez punched in for his shift at the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office at the designated time. This was verified through Martinez providing his fingerprint as part of the daily punch-in procedures. In addition, Martinez made handwritten entries into internal jail logs, of which the OPSO has a record.

    Furthermore, based on our investigation, there are no OPSO deputies working a detail at the Walgreens on South Claiborne. The OPSO investigation revealed that Dep. Martinez did work a detail at the Walgreen’s on Crowder Blvd., according to OPSO policy and procedures.

    o On Thursday, March 3, records show Deputy Bucky Phillips worked a paid detail between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. for Hotard on Convention Center Blvd. But Phillips’ timesheet at the sheriff’s office also showed him working a 12-hour shift between 5:57 a.m. and 6:25 p.m..

    OPSO RESPONSE: This matter is under investigation currently and will be concluded next week.

    QUESTION 13: In responding to The Lens’ public records request, three days of paid detail records were simply missing, with the sheriff unable to offer an explanation.

    OPSO RESPONSE: We are not aware of any missing records and are unable to provide any further documentation without more information.

    QUESTION 14: The sheriff does not track how much money his deputies earn for working paid details, or for coordinating details, his attorneys said. Deputies are also allowed to accept cash for working paid details, his attorneys said. Deputies are also allowed to perform paid details without handing out receipts or any particular paperwork, the sheriff’s attorneys said.

    OPSO RESPONSE: Because deputies working details are engaged in a transaction with a private individual or company, the deputy is responsible for accounting for the funds that deputy receives, as part of their own annual tax returns and required financial documents.

    Deputies must complete a form prior to accepting a detail assignment to ensure that the detail will adhere to OPSO policies and procedures and does not interfere with scheduled shifts at the jail or required off-time. Ranking OPSO officers review these requests, confirm the detail completion and provide information to OPSO human resources for the deductions needed for contribution to the Detail Fund. All of these records are reviewed and filed with the OPSO.

    Sheriff Gusman has been engaged in a comprehensive policy review of the detail system since Sept. 1. This review is part of the OPSO’s annual policy and procedure review process. In addition, Sheriff Gusman has consulted with partner law enforcement agencies and sheriff’s departments statewide. The OPSO will implement policy revisions as part of this annual process around the first of the year.

    QUESTION 15: Of the 14 deputies whose timecards we scrutinized for the month of March, four appear to have earned more money working paid details than they earned working on the clock for the sheriff.

    OPSO RESPONSE: Similar to sheriff’s departments across Louisiana, the standard hourly rate for details is based on the overtime rate scale for the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office. The standard pay earned by deputies also accounts for the following benefits and programs – health insurance, pension contributions and deferred compensation. Many of these items are deducted from an employee’s regular paycheck, as it is with millions of employed citizens in private and public organizations. The hourly rate for details includes none of these items.

    o Phillips earned over $3,500 working paid details for Walgreens and Hotard, more than his $2,650 gross salary.

    o Deputy Gerard Golden earned $3,000 working paid details for Wal-Mart, more than his $2,775 gross salary.

    o Special Operations Field Training Officer Ernest Newman earned at least $4,000 working paid details at branches of Wal-Mart, barber shops, and daiquiri shops, more than his $2,900 gross salary.

    o Court Security Lt. Craig Lawson earned at least $3,600 working paid details at branches of Wal-Mart, and at Harrah’s Casino, more than his $2,900 gross salary.

    QUESTION 16: The Lens requested the ranks of 16 random detail coordinators out of over 100 listed at the sheriff’s office for the period we examined, and found that five coordinators were ranked as mere deputies, the lowest rank, meaning they’re deciding outside assignments of either their peers or people who outrank them. One example of such a disruption in the chain of command is Maj. Bonita Pittman. Records show Pittman worked 22 hours of paid details for Woodward Construction in March. The security detail for the Woodward site is run by Deputy Robert Gates, who works in “security,” according to Gusman’s official records. While Gates is not a direct report to Pittman, she was still beholden to a ranked inferior for the lucrative $40-an-hour detail, which earned her an extra $880 in March.

    OPSO RESPONSE: There are multiple detail coordinators working on this construction detail, including Deputy Gates. Deputy Gates is not and never has been supervised by Major Pittman.

    Sheriff Gusman has been engaged in a comprehensive policy review of the detail system since Sept. 1. This review is part of the OPSO’s annual policy and procedure review process. In addition, Sheriff Gusman has consulted with partner law enforcement agencies and sheriff’s departments statewide. The OPSO will implement policy revisions as part of this annual process around the first of the year.

    QUESTION 17: Other aspects of the sheriff’s paid detail program are reminiscent of criticisms raised by the Department of Justice in its report on paid details at the police department:

    OPSO RESPONSE: Sheriff Gusman has been engaged in a comprehensive policy review of the detail system since Sept. 1. This review is part of the OPSO’s annual policy and procedure review process. In addition, Sheriff Gusman has consulted with partner law enforcement agencies and sheriff’s departments statewide. The OPSO will implement policy revisions as part of this annual process around the first of the year.

    QUESTION 18: The sheriff’s deputies work long hours on details, which could lead to potentially dangerous fatigue and endanger inmates in the sheriff’s jails.

    OPSO RESPONSE: According to long-standing OPSO procedures, all OPSO deputies are required to have a minimum of 6 hours of downtime between the end of a detail assignment and the beginning of a scheduled shift. OPSO supervisors monitor this scheduling on a daily basis.

    Further, there is 24-hour surveillance ongoing at all OPSO jail facilities. Supervisors, ranking officers and the OPSO Internal Affairs Division are monitoring this surveillance at all times. If a deputy is caught sleeping or working inconsistently with the proper behavior of an officer, they are removed and disciplined.

    QUESTION 19: The sheriff’s deputies appear to work at outlets selling alcoholic beverages, despite a rule saying they should not, without the sheriff’s approval.

    OPSO RESPONSE: Sheriff Gusman has not approved a new request for deputy details at alcohol beverage outlets since taking office in 2004. There are a small number of establishments that had detail arrangements with the prior sheriff. The Sheriff’s Office grandfathered those establishments into new policies. However, as locations reopened following Hurricane Katrina or ownership of these establishments changed hands, Sheriff Gusman refused to allow OPSO details at these locations.

    QUESTION 20: The sheriff’s paid detail practices raise the appearance of favoritism and conflict of interest.

    OPSO RESPONSE: The deputies that are being asked to fulfill detail assignments are doing so for a period of time, because they have the capabilities to do the job requested of them. They report on time and perform in a professional manner.

    Working details through the OPSO is not a right, it is a privilege. Each deputy must be in good standing with the OPSO, have a record of on-time attendance and high performance.

    Further, Sheriff Gusman has been engaged in a comprehensive policy review of the detail system since Sept. 1. This review is part of the OPSO’s annual policy and procedure review process. In addition, Sheriff Gusman has consulted with partner law enforcement agencies and sheriff’s departments statewide. The OPSO will implement policy revisions as part of this annual process around the first of the year.

    More specifically:

    QUESTION 21: The sheriff’s paid detail policy is actually more prone to cause his deputies to become fatigued than the NOPD policy slammed by the Department of Justice earlier this year. The police department policy allows officers to work an additional 28 hours per week, with little oversight to ensure that the cap is observed. Meanwhile, the sheriff’s policy allows deputies to work up to 32 hours a week on top of their regular jobs. Two sheriff’s deputies who have worked at the Templeman Five facility told The Lens that supervisors would frequently take naps while on duty, to make up for the hours they had been out, working on details.

    OPSO RESPONSE: According to long-standing OPSO procedures, all OPSO deputies are required to have a minimum of 6 hours of downtime between the end of a detail assignment and the beginning of a scheduled shift. OPSO supervisors monitor this scheduling on a daily basis.

    Further, there is 24-hour surveillance ongoing at all OPSO jail facilities. Supervisors, ranking officers and the OPSO Internal Affairs Division are monitoring this surveillance at all times. If a deputy is caught sleeping or working inconsistently with the proper behavior of an officer, they are removed and disciplined.

    QUESTION 22: The sheriff’s paid detail policy forbids working at alcoholic beverage outlets unless the sheriff gives permission. But in the handful of detail records obtained by The Lens, there are several instances of deputies working at daiquiri shops. Did the sheriff approve of these?

    OPSO RESPONSE: Sheriff Gusman has not approved a new request for deputy details at alcohol beverage outlets since taking office in 2004. There are a small number of establishments that had detail arrangements with the prior sheriff. The Sheriff’s Office grandfathered those establishments into new policies. However, as locations reopened following Hurricane Katrina or ownership of these establishments changed hands, Sheriff Gusman refused to allow OPSO details at these locations.

    QUESTION 23: The sheriff’s choice of Deputy Gates to coordinate the Woodward Construction security detail for his new jail kitchen and warehouse facility raises the appearance of a conflict of interest, since marriage records show that Gates is the son-in-law of Gusman’s top aide, the late Chief Deputy Bill Short. Short, who died in October, donated over $10,000 to the sheriff’s political campaigns since 2005, state campaign records show. He also helped choose the selection of a construction manager at the kitchen and warehouse facility in 2008.

    OPSO RESPONSE: This construction detail has had multiple coordinators, including Deputy Gates.
    ?

    QUESTION 24: Deputy Sens works as Gusman’s director of purchasing, and shepherded the approval of Woodward Construction for the contract on the kitchen and warehouse facility through to completion. His signature and name appears on countless letters to and from Woodward at various stages of the bid process. Now Woodward pays Sens for working a security detail at the site. Records show Sens earned $700 in March.

    OPSO RESPONSE: The OPSO project manager directs all interactions between the OPSO and contractors working on various projects. The project manager also develops all bid specifications and packages distributed to the public for bid.

  • Sheriff Deputy

    And thats just a small part of all of the corrupt stuff Gusman and his croonies are doing. But what do you expect when Gusman hires Stan “Pampy” Barre’s cousin Phil Barre to supervisor the Sheriff’s inspections division that supervises all details or Jerry Ursin, the New Chief Deputy, who was forced out of NOPD for lieing about his college degree, or the Chief of security who has a secretary read everything to him because he can’t read and write. As for the Sheriff not having enough money to run the department why did he just hire a new major that was forced to retire from NOPD after 38 years and not making past lt.

    Gusman is even more corrupt than his buddy Marc Morial.

  • Eric

    Wow Mr. Publicist

  • John

    Surprised the Sheriff’s office is responding in this way. Seems like this is an obvious PR mistake. And certainly a break from their past policy — http://thelensnola.org/2011/10/06/auto-pound-detail-non-payment/

    “Gusman did not respond to a request for comment. His paid publicist, Malcolm Ehrhardt, said previously that neither Gusman nor The Ehrhardt Group would provide comment to The Lens because they believe the news website publishes inaccurate information and has unfairly targeted Gusman for negative coverage.
    Gusman pays Ehrhardt’s company thousands of taxpayer dollars each year for public-relations services, according to Gusman’s 2010 budget documents.”

    SEEMS LIKE THEY’VE CHANGED THEIR STRATEGY.

  • Sheriff Deputy

    Well of course they have changed their strategy. Wouldn’t you change yours if the only person at the sheriffs office who understood the function of the department and how to justify expenses died and now the department is being run by former NOPD from the corrupt days of NOPD. What do you expect?? The chief with a diploma mill degree or a chief who can’t read or write to answer the story….NO!!!!

  • Sheriff’s Deputy 2

    I worked at the Templeman Phase 5 facility and have personally witnessed Major B. Pittman work paid details at the new kitchen construction site while she was supposed to be performing as warden. At OPSO you have to keep your mouth shut about stuff like this until you get another job, because they will blackball you. Deputy Golden (referenced above) works wal mart details almost everyday possible and is allowed to sleep on duty by the supervisors because he is shown favoritism. He is also allowed to bring his cellular phone in the jail which is a violation of OPSO standard operating procedures. When I was finally eligible for detail work, after graduating the opso academy, I was unable to find detail work because I was not in the Clique. And it’s true the Chief of Security Earl Weaver cannot read and has to have his secretary read EVERYTHING to him. There’s more where this corruption came from and I for one am glad it’s all about to come out.

  • Sheriff Deputy 3

    OPSO has always had a culture of corruption but since their deputies have limited interaction with the public as compared to NOPD, it doesn’t always get uncovered. Hopefully this discovery leads to more, because OPSO is run by incompetent supervisors of all rank. There are some good deputies but over all I think a sweeping overhaul is needed to change the department. The sheriff’s spokesperson can act as a mouthpiece and try to justify their errors with scripted responses to the allegations but the actual employees of OPSO know about all the corruption and alot of them will come forward. I encourage thelensnola.org to dig deeper, not only into the paid detail system but also investigate the treatment of ICE detainees, and juveniles. There is a deep culture of corruption greater than or equal to the New Orleans Police Departments woes.

  • iAMamused

    I am still trying to figure out why prison guards need a fleet of vehicles and motorcycles. Maybe a few transport units are necessary and a few pool cars for official use but I don’t feel like my tax dollars should be spent to pay for a vehicle that sits outside of the Walmart on Tchop while an overweight security guard is getting paid to moonlight inside.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am all for these guys getting the ability to earn some extra cash but it should be done above board with payroll handled through the same channels as their normal duty. If they are wearing the uniform and using the equipment they should be considered off duty and paid as such.

    The city really should consider the economics of bringing all of this in house. The savings to the general fund could be enormous by building in the overhead costs of these details into their bill rate (officers paid standard overtime rates). They may even be able to raise the standard pay of the officers with the extra income.

  • OneWhoKnowsTheTruth

    Gotta love the NOPD guy I am amused, still jealous. The Sheriffs office does have a fleet of cars when in reality we make nothing as far as pay, we do warrants and patrol and have a very large area within the Sheriffs office grounds to cover just shows your ignorance as to what the Sheriffs Office actually does.
    To the Deputies that commented pretty obvious you all work at Phase5 and you have been her a minimal amount of time and until you understand everything you should not comment. You have not even earned that right yet I was here for at least 5 years before I worked my first Detail. Just because you do not like Major Pittman I can tell you she uses her annual to work the detail you are talking about with that said I do not agree with everything that happens but I choose to stay here and deal with it the grass is no greener any wheres else. Also Chief Weaver can read and write by the way another terrible rumor. I don’t agree with everything he does but he can read and write.
    This guy Matt Davis would not have a career without picking on the Sheriffs Office he fills his stories with half truths and lies MATT DAVIS quit writhing about BS that hurts the little men at the Sheriffs Office and find something that actually makes a difference. You bring up Chief Short about helping to select the PM but you wrote a story a while back about how he voted against this company STOP contradicting your self to make your story sound better.http://thelensnola.org/2011/02/01/jail-construction-manager/ The story with the cars was the worst. You wrote about the auction of cars and how the Sheriff sold so cheap when you knew they were totaled missing doors etc. but yet you failed to include that. Mr. Davis Plz they have so much wrong with the Sheriffs Office and you keep writing these BS stories your not that good of an INVESTIGATIVE Reporter may be you should try weather.
    The Sheriffs Office is about to have people leaving in record numbers maybe you should find out why.
    The Only part of this story I liked is where the dollar an hour is being spent Maybe you should write a story about why the Sheriff is using the Deputies MONEY to buy votes and how Major Barre is connected to Gusman are the new people he just bought over. The Dollar an hour is rarely spent on the Deputies thanx for pointing that out but the rest Just BS.
    People should be happy the business owners are paying for there security too.
    Mr.Dvis start looking at the civil side if you want a story difference in pay uniforms treatment etc. Believe me there is a lot there just plz write accurate.
    I could go on for Days But I have to end it here. So Mr.Davis get a life and a real story. Try to stop beating up on the little people and highlight some good stuff they do. It is bad enough the Sheriff treats his inmates better than his employees. DETAILS are the only way most of us with families survive.

    PS: Why don’t you pay attention to how they are purposely trying to run Deputies out that are in good positions so they can bring over NOPD retirees to replace them

  • Deputy Sheriff 4

    Good points about the old NOPD guys Gusman is bringing in. At least its good news for the old NOPD corrupt cops. They now have a place to get a job when Chief Serpas fires them. They will be right at home with the Lie you rise policy at the Sheriffs Office. If you lie you get promoted, the better you lie and cover up the higher rank you get. And it doesn’t matter if the sheriffs office struggles to make payroll every payday as long as Gusman can contiue to pay the high salaries to his former NOPD croonies from day one. Starting pay at Sheriffs office is $9.50 hr unless your an old school lying corrupt NOPD cop who was told quit or get fired from Chief Serpas then your starting salary is at least $20 hr.

    Way to look out for the deputies who stuck it out through Katrina push them to the side for your croonies.

  • OneWhoALSOKnowsTheTruth

    In response to ONEWHOKNOWSTHETRUTH, it appears as though you are benefitting from the corruption that The Lens is trying to uncover. This issue is bigger than a mere Major working details on work time. This is bigger than a high ranking official who allegedly cannot read or write. This is about an underlying culture of corruption that has been festering since Foti was Sheriff. One doesn’t have to be a veteran of an organization to become aware of its corruption and to comment on it. I worked at Phase 5 and OPP, both adding up to 5 years and there is many things the rank, deputies and NURSES do that are illegal and unethical. I can understand you defending your power as a law enforcement officer (OPSO deputies often don’t get the respect they deserve) but do not defend the actions of people who are clearly doing things below board. The point is that some deputies and rank sleep on the night shift. Some deputies logged in fake security checks. If it took you 5 years to work a detail that shows how unpopular you probably were. Special Operations Division gets carte Blanche to do whatever they want to inmates and even resort to falsely accusing deputies of crimes. It is a blatant LIE that the sheriff didn’t know or didnt authorize details at the daiquiri shop in new Orleans east. This detail coordination is only the beginning or the crap they do. How about the bias shown when issuing assignments after inservice? If you know the right person or if you ARE the right person ( hint) you get assignments like Court Security or Intake & Processing. Most others are sent to OPP or HOD where te conditions are deplorable. I can personally attest to a deputy having to work 2 or more floors or OPP by himself. That creates and unsafe environment for the inmates but more importantly the deputy. If you have to work details every day to “survive” then its time to find another job. There is no way a deputy can function working 48 hours a week at the jail then an addition 36hours in details. He will slip up at some point. So before you speak Mr. Onewhoknowsthetruth know that there are former deputies who might know more about the corruption than you do. And have “earned the right” to speak on it, whatever that means. And also the grass IS alot greener elsewhere, you might like your old grass, but I’m like a cow in the garden or eden since I left OPSO. Mr. Davis please continue to expose the truth about Sheriff Gusman and the Orleans Parish Sheriff Office. I can guarantee there’s more where this dirt came from.

  • Someone else

    Some other points to investigate to leave the “little people” alone. How about the SO’s technology contract to maintain the computers and network. Who owns the company, no other than Gusman’s campaign manager. How much is the company making a month??? Try $100,000. Or maybe the so-called “project manager” of the construction projects, who owns the company??? How about Gusman’s roommate in college. No conflict of interest on either one of those. An “aorta of corruption” as the Feds have described the NOPD’s detail policy, how about Pampy Barre’s family member, Phil Barre in charge of assigning high priced details to whomever he sees fit. Its so easy to find it at the SO, just investigate it as the poster stated!

  • Let the truth be told

    The Sheriff’s Deputies are POLICE, even the deputies who work as corrections officers go through a Louisiana accreditted Peace officer standards and training (P.O.S.T. CERTIFIED) academy. To refer to all Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Deputies as “Prison Guards” just shows the lack of real research put into this investigation by Mr. Davis. When a Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Deputy completes all of his required training he is certified as a Police Officer and a Corrections Officer. He must past both the Louisiana P.O.S.T. Certification as a basic Law Enforcement Peace Officer and as a basic Corrections Peace Officer. N.O.P.D. Officers are only certified as basic Law Enforcement Peace Officers.

    The Sheriff has Law Enforcement Jurisdiction over the entire Parish of Orleans. The Sheriff has Detectives assigned to the Westbank Major crimes Taskforce, The U.S. Marshal’s Taskforce, Has Deputies who perform Criminal Patrol (Warrants,Etc.),Has a Mounted Division (Horses), Has a Marine Divison (Patrol Boats), has a Motor cycle Divison, Has a Special Operations Division, Has an Internal Affairs Division, Has a Corrections Division, Has a Asset Forfeture Division Provides Law Enforcement Personel To Criminal, Civil, Municipal, And Traffic Courts, In addition Serves all Writs, Processes, Warrants of said courts,Provides Police to protect Government buildings, Etc. There is still a lot I am Leaving Out, because I am tired of writing. By now you get the point, the Sheriff’s Office is a “LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY” A.K.A.”POLICE”. Please do your homework.
    Furthermore there are three components to the criminal justice process:Police,Courts,and Corrections. The Sheriff’s Office completely runs the courts and the jails. In addition The Sheriff’s Office Has Detectives and Police working the streets of Orleans Parish. The New Orleans Police Department Only works the Streets. Do The Research,Thanks For Your time, And report accurate infomation to the public that you the “Press” serve.

  • Former OPSO Deputy

    @Let the truth be told
    Yes Gusman has all of the equipment and does have about 5 deputies that perform police work and a handful that are BASIC PEACE OFFICERS. However, the majority of the deputies are only POST CORRECTIONS OFFICERS. yet they work off duty details and don’t know how to fill out the paperwork and are not properly trained to work the streets.

    SO THE TRUTH IS THAT TECHNICALLY THEY ARE THE POLICE BUT IN REALITY MOST OF THEM ARE PRISON GUARDS NOT THE POLICE.

    But this story is about the corruption at the top not the deputies who are trying to make an honest living making $10 an hour and having to work extra jobs to pay bills. The fact they these deputies are some of the lowest paid officers in the state and GUSMAN and his croonies take a $1 an hour from there extra job pay is shameless of GUSMAN and his croonies.

    PAY THE DEPUTIES LIKE SCUM AND THEN TAKE MONEY FROM THEM FOR WORKING EXTRA TO MAKE ENDS MEET>>>

    RECALL GUSMAN NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous Deputy

    The younger, “non-superior” deputies kill themselves working 12 hours a day, for LESS than $10.00/hour, then going to work a detail for another 4-5 hours that same day. That is the only way to make ends meet working for OPSO. While ranking deputies hoard the top paying details for themselves, and obviously stay “on the clock” while they are sitting at a construction site for $40.00/hr. This is a common trend throughout the entire Sheriff’s Office. The upper eschelon is a completely crooked element, while us younger, non-crooked deputies are fed up with being underpaid and screwed on the details available. It’s about time this situation has come to light. What are you going to do about it Sheriff Gusman ? -Anonymous Deputy

  • Geez

    Gusman is trash. His days as sheriff are numbered.

  • Eli

    This is great stuff. When the OPSO finally unravels it will be in no small part to the journalism that has appeared over the last year or so at this website. I am so so glad to be a member today.

  • MD

    The Pipes are starting to ….

  • nola_rolla

    Thanks for this informative article.

  • Deputy Sheriff 5

    I guess all lot of my fellow Deputys have had it with Sheriff Gusman and his X-NOPD crooks & croonies that he has decided to let run the Sheriffs office. Foti may not have been an angel but at least the deputies didn’t starve so his croonies could steal ALL the money like Gusman and his croonies are doing.

    The chief Deputy and his Majors are the CHIEF CROOK AND THE MAJOR CROOKS!!!!!

  • NOPD

    Gusman hired his ole buddy Gerry Ursin who is the grandson of Jules Ursin the former driver for NOPD Chief Giarrosso who was close friends with Dutch Morial. Gusman was Marc Morials right hand man.

    Melvin Howard was Ursins henchman when he was in the 8th distict. Ursin and Howard are two of the most corrupt, back stabbing, racist, self serving cops I have ever had the displeasure of working for.

    Melvin is the reason that Serpas disbanded the motorcylce division and Ursin couldn’t lead a dying horse to water.

    Gusman sure knows how to pick a winner.
    New Orleans thought they were cleaning up the corruption in the criminal justice system. but instead they are just moving them to another location to bleed the city dry!!!!

  • Anonymous Deputy

    The Barre family is still living large. Sheriff’s office Major Phil Barre, and Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Inga Barre (Phil Barre daughter). Both close family members of Stan “Pampy” Barre. Both with cushy positions that allow them to work movie details on the clock. And of course the movie details are given to inspections division Commander Phil Barre and his lacky Sgt. Mary Loup by sheriff reserve deputy Marlon Defillo. And of course as long as the Barre’s keep scaming money Defillo will keep his reserve position. And as long as Pampy keeps his mouth shut about his corruption with Mayor Marc Morial and Morial right hand man Gusman the Barre’s will continue to well kept.

    Enough corruption for the Letten to look into for years to come and maybe fill up a few of these beds in templman 5.

  • Myron Rogers

    Great reporting. May it lead to change.

  • FUO

    Does anyone know if opso has properties in MS or camps??
    Must be satelite offices or sumtimme..

  • ITSGOINGDOWN

    WOW

  • ITSGOINGDOWN

    IT’S FINALLY HITTING THE FAN! IT WASN’T THIS BAD WHEN FOTI WAS HERE! GUSMAN IS ALL FOR THE CROOKEDNESS. AND ALL HIS FRIENDS ARE MAKING THE MONEY. GUSMAN CATERS TO THE CRIMINALS HE LOOS OUT FOR THEM MORE THAN THE EMPLOYEES! ITS CRAZY THAT HOUSEKEEPING PEOPLE MAKE MORE THAN WE DO WORKING AT THE JAIL! AND WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE MURDERS AND EVERYONE ELSE, PUTTING OUR LIFE ON THE LINE FOR UNDER $10, WHILE MARY LOUP WHO’S ALCOHOLIC HUSBAND HAS STARTED WORKING THERE AND SHE SPENDS MOST OF HER TIME BABYSITTING HIM WHILE AT WORK. SHE CONSTENTLY GIVES DETAILS TO HER FRIENDS, PHIL BARRE SMOKES ALL DAY AND RIDE AROUND IN A SHERIFF’S ISSUED CAR WHY? JOHN SENS STRAIGHT CROOKED SO HE DECIDED NOT TO SHOW UP TO WORK CAUSE HIS PIC WAS ON THE NEWS. WE’RE SO GLAD THIS IS COMING OUT

  • ITSGOINGDOWN

    THESE JAILS NEED TO BE TORN DOWN. THEY ARE SO NASTY TO WORK IN,THERE IS MOLD GROWING AND THEY WONDER WHY PEOPLE ARE GETTING SICK.

  • ITSGOINGDOWN

    MARY LOUP HAS THE ALCOHOLIC HUSBAND WORKING THERE ACTUALLY THE WHOLE MAINTANCE DEPT. DRINKS ON THE JOB! BONITA PITTMAN WHOS HUSBAND RETIRED DO TO SEXUAL HARRASSMENT CHARGES THAT WAS FILED AGAINST HIM BY A LADY IN THE MAINTENCE DEPT. MAJOR PITTMAN RAN AROUND CRYING HER SELF TO ALMOST DEATH, SHE KNEW WHAT WAS GOING ON WAY BEFORE. NOW HER BUDDY IS MRS.WEATHERSBY WHO’S AS CROOKED AS PITTMAN, THERE ALWAYS ON THE CLOCK AND NEVER IN THE BUILDING

  • http://www.opso.us ITSGOINGDOWN2

    Don’t forget Capt. Carl Haydel (related to the Glenn Haydel who was convicted by the FEDS for defrauding the RTA out of $40,000) who runs the court sercurity and Capias. But the only day he shows up is on payroll day just long enough to sign the payroll. Sounds like payroll FRAUD. But of course he is buddies with Gusman and the rest of the crooks!!!!!!

  • Geez

    Gusman…Sens….Who else? Oh, yeah, I think Cannizzaro name is usually mentioned in the same breath as the first two….Lordy, Lordy….This is the best thread of comments EVAH!

  • ITSGOINGDOWN2

    Seems like if your family was convicted of corruption charges connected with the Morial clan and they didn’t spill the beans then Morial’s former right hand man, Sheriff Marlin Gusman, is taking care of the family members by giving them cushy lucrative jobs at the Sheriff’s Office to keep people quiet.

    Sounds like the same thing the MAFIA use to do when one of its people went to prison. Also sounds like it might add up to conspiriacy, obstruciton of justice, and RICO charges for the whole clan if Jim Letten does a little digging!!!!

  • OPSO Deputy

    In the last ten years at least 5 deputies, including Chief Deputy Short have died from cancer or other mold/asbestos related illnesses. Coincidence, I think not and Sheriff Gusman has to know or either he is incompetent.

    RECALL GUSMAN NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • FUS

    Whenz is lettin gonna coma calling??
    Dez bitch azz people been doing what they want for yrs
    Bc they are buncha lackys…..! Tidz a turning?…

  • Let the truth be told

    @Former OPSO Deputy
    I understand what the story is about. I am only upset about the fact that the press is refering to all Deputies working details as “Prison Guards”. As you probaly know having had been a Deputy yourself, this is simply not the case. “Prison Guards” are persons who work at a post-conviction facility and have no Law Enforcement Authority, except to detain offenders for Law enforcement on offenses commited on there prison grounds. O.P.S.O. Deputy Sheriff’s are fully commissioned Peace Officers.The Deputy’s in corrections are certified as P.O.S.T. Basic Corrections Peace Officers (Level 2 P.O.S.T. certification). The Level 2 certification came into effect in 2002 and was designed to give Deputys who work in a correctional setting the skills to make an arrest outside of a Correctional setting. Persons who obtain the Level 2 certification recieve all the same Training as a Basic Law Enforcement Peace Officer (Level 1 certification) with the exception that the La. title 32 (Traffic Law) training is replaced with a A.C.A. core curiculum. In essence they cannot write a Traffic ticket, because they are not trained, but they still have full Arrest Powers and can Carry firearms on or off duty and are trained in arrest paperwork (summons, gist, incident report, etc.) The “P.O.S.T. correctional officer” course you are refering to is a P.O.S.T. Level 3 certification, which is only a 90 hour A.C.A. core curiculum corse. The Level 3 certification is not a Peace Officer course. O.P.S.O. Commissioned Corrections Deputies are Level 2 P.O.S.T. certified Peace Officers that is why they recieve Police State supplemental pay, because they are sworn Police Officers not “Prison Guards”. For further reference you can contact the Louisians Commission on Law Enforcement, Which Oversees the P.O.S.T. Council.
    Also I would like to respond to your comment about O.P.S.O. only having A hand full of P.O.S.T. Basic Law Enforcement Peace Officers (Level 1 P.O.S.T. Certification). The Sheriff’s Office has over 200 Deputies who have attained the Level 1 Certification. These Deputies also have Full Arrest Authority and are trained in the Traffic code so they can write traffic citations. You can contact the Louisiana Commission on Law enforcement for the exact numbers if you do not believe me.
    Also there is a lot more than 5 Deputys who perform POLICE work in Orleans Parish. Less than two thirds of the Approximate 700 Deputies employed by O.P.S.O. work in Jails. These are the facts.
    I am only trying to educate the Public and I appreciate your time and opinions. Thanks

  • Fukallyall

    Eventually its gonna be time………… White to yellow??…..

  • Former OPSO Deputy

    @Let the truth be told:

    1 deputy on the each of the two task force. The deputies who serve warrants (6) did it as overtime. The deputies that did criminal patrol (6) did it as overtime. If you are referring to the Capias deputies that serve subpoenas they serve their court papers when they aren’t at home, at a girlfriends house, or sleeping under the overpass at Jeff Davis and Perdido St., Audubon Park, or City Park. The Sheriff’s Office is a joke…. It is nothing more than a place for the corrupt politicians to give their family and friends a cushy job at the expense of the Deputies who want to work hard, make living, and help the city. Unfortunalty, either you are one the family and friends, one of the hardworkign deputies being taken advantage of, or you are just to blind to see the truth.

    I’m an certain there are a lot of good, honest deputies working at the Sheriff’s Office. But until the corrupt politicians and their crooked relatives and friends that run the department are forced out of the Sheriff’s Office that department will continue to be more corrupt and a bigger joke than the NOPD!!!!!

    P.S. I hope that you are one of the good ones, if not your days are numbered!!!!!

  • CMB

    This shit is bigger than Nino brown and i got a list to prove it.
    If im goingz down im taking a whole lot a people wit me!

  • Ex-OPSO “Thank God”

    Gusman’s deputies appear to work at outlets selling alcoholic beverages, despite a rule saying they should not, without the sheriff’s approval.

    Ehrhardt wrote that Gusman has not approved a new request for deputy details at alcohol beverage outlets since taking office in 2004, but that a few alcoholic beverage outlet details were grandfathered in.

    That’s an interesting response from Gusman’s public relations people. I guess the Frat House AKA Mike Andrews Neighborhood Watch opened after 2004 even though the city permit shows 2005. What about “The Boot” , don’t recall seeing a Sheriff detail there before Katrina. How about the party Café? What about the Rendon Restaurant/Hanger? They only have Sheriff Details when the restaurant is closed and the bar is open with college and high school kids drinking under age!!! Way to enforce the drinking age laws Sheriff!!! What about the ENVY lounge it didn’t open til after Katrina and it has a Sheriff Detail!!! And of course there’s F& M railroad…..I think they mean F&M Patio & Bar!!! All of these outlets selling alcoholic beverages have one thing in common…. They are run by either special operations deputies or by deputies who are politically connected. WOW I am shocked that Gusman lied to press. Of course he lied to the press he’s a politician not a cop!!

  • STILLATOPCSO

    I AM SO GLAD ALL OF THIS SHIT IS HITTING THE FAN, NOW THAT THERE IS A NEW INSPECTION TEAM ALL OF THE TEA IS COMING, I WONDER WHO IS SPILLING THE BEANS (MARY LOOP). IT’S ABOUT TIME THEY GET THE COURT SYSTEM TOGETHER NOW MAYBE WE CAN SEE TRISHA BRUNO DO SOME WORK NOW THAT THE DEVIL HAS TAKEN HIS SON BACK ( CHIEF SHORT) . THEY NEED TO START WITH EVERY BUILDING AND INVESTIGATE. I SEE SO MUCH SHIT HERE ON A DAY TO DAY BASIS. I HOPE YALL LOOK INTO THE GOLDEN BOYS IN SOD.WHEN EVER THEY DO SHIT DON’T NOTHING GET DONE. JERRY MARTIN WHEN HE WAS ARRESTED ON DRUG CHARGES THE SWEEP THAT UNDER THE RUG. DANIEL SHORT WAS ALSO ARRESTED AND HAS CONSTANLY PISSED NEG ON DRUG TEST ( PILL HEAD) . RODNEY WAS TRANSFERED TO MY BUILDING WHEN HE WRECKED A UNIT ( DRINK

  • STILLATOPCSO

    ING WHILE INTOXICATED. WALTER GIVENS PAYROLLFRAUD. ERNEST GABRIL PAYROLL FRAUD, DOING PAID ESCORTS WHILE AT WORK…. NOW LET’S GET ON LOCK UP…. MEL IN JOSEPH HARRASMENT CHARGES FILED AGAINST HIM AND NOTHING HAPPENED…. YOU HAVE THE WORKERS IN CINTAP GETTING PAID BY OUTSIDERS TO GET RELEASES FROM JUDGES( BIERRA , STEWART, GANT)… IN OPP YOU HAVE HBD RANK OVER THERE TURN THERE HEADS WHILE CERTAIN DEPUTIES HAVE CONGICAL VISITS WITH THE INMATES…. MAN THE LIST GOS ON AND ON……. STAY TUNED FOR THE BOOK WHEN EVER I LEAVE THIS BITCH…. I TAKE GOOD NOTES

  • Ex-OPSO Deputy

    I know of several female deputies that have had babys by inmates they were supposed to be responsible for Care, Custody, and Control of. I guess those female deputies were taking good care of the inmates so they would stay in custody. The female deputies controlled the males in jail the same way they control them out of jail.. I think Prince wrote a song about it….. P**sy Control!!!!!

  • Peter Pan

    Wait until they discover the WORK RELEASE PROGRAM and THOSE books !

  • Peter Pan

    I sure hope that Julie Langham does not have to fall on the sword for these crooks since she is in charge of finances. This is just the tip of the iceberg if the feds really wanted to dig into everything…..did you know that there is a WHISTLEBLOWER law where if you come forward and prove that PUBLIC money is being misspent, the person who comes forward gets 10% of the recovered money ? Just dig deeper into that NEW JAIL CONSTRUCTION and OVERPRICING.

  • Peter Pan

    This is a nice website to vent but it would be much better to write a truthful letter to U.S. ATTORNEY Jim Letten.

    United States Attorney
    Jim Letten
    650 Poydras Street, Suite 1600
    New Orleans, Louisiana 70130

  • Peter Pan

    Nobody has never said anything concerning the CIVIL Sheriff side of the department….. HUGE tax liabilty breaks for Guzman’s croonies. I won’t even get into the auctions…the hits just keep coming. Keep hiring those crooks from N.O.P.D., they will not have far to walk to jail when Jim Letten comes calling.

  • Eazydoes

    The headz of the kkk is going com a falling
    Theyz already lost there chief gardner and the
    House of cardz will be a falling…… Boy u shoulda known by
    Now eazy doz it….

  • OPSO Deputy

    Wow, Matt you really struck a cord with this article or Gusman really ticked off just about the entire department!!!! A guess the ship is sinking so watch out for the RATS leaving a sinking ship!!!!

  • Geez

    I have wondered for years now why no one would speak up against Gusman. He is such a bad man and he allows such horrible things to happen and is so secretive. I really appreciate you guys coming forward. I hope all these comments are investigated by the DOJ. please…tell more…this is all the info I have been searching for.

  • FUKGusman

    How come no one has ever mentioned anything about deputies have to constantly get loans from the credit union because the can’t pay their bills? And why does Gusman say that he’s not African American but he was African American when he ran for sheriff? It is clear that Gusman does not give a DAM about the duties at the sheriff’s department.

  • Another Former OPSO Deputy

    Rotflmao! Whew-Wee! Some of yall just don’t know the half og this shit but it’s ok…CUZ YOU GON LEARN TODAY! LMFAO…This shit gon be HILARIOUS!

  • THE BOY

    NOMBADY SAY NOTHING ABAUT THE MAINTENANCE DEPARTMENT.
    WERE THE SUPERVISOR DARREN BARNES TOOK A $3000 DOLLARS GENERATOR, FOR THE CONTRUCTION OF HES FORMER GIRLFRIEND HOUSE AND NEVER BRING IT BACK. AND THE CONTRUCTION MATERIAL WAS ORDERED BY MR BARNES, UNDER MAINTENANCE BUDGET.
    REMEMBER THE CASE, FORMER OPSO LT PITMAN, WAS FIRED FOR SEXUAL HARRASMENT THAT WAS A SETUP MADE BY MR BARNES AND MS THOMAS.
    SOME OF YOUR SAY THE OPSO DOESNT HAVE A PATROL DEPUTYS,BUT THE ALL MAINTENANCE DEPARTMEN IS ONLY THEY DO PATROL THE NEW ORLEANS STREETS, THEY DONT DO NOTHING JUST RIDE ALL ARAUND NEW ORLEANS IN THE OPSO MAINTENANCE TRUCKS.

  • Another big head boy

    Get the story right: Bob Martin and Darrin Barnes, was the reaaon Lt. Pittman was Fire they just used Ms. Thomas to give a reason for Darrin to become supervisor over maintenance, which would keep his son: Darrin jr. his daughter: trenise barnes: his to get it boys Gabrel and lewis comfortable that why only contractors done the a/c work. You don and carlos that set in the shop all day with there feet up on the table because don suppose to be kind to the sheriff but in reallity he’s another political figurehead alone with Defello’s papa that don’t even know how to read a tape measure but he came in as head carpenter now making 17 dollars an hr. to point his fingers Wtf yes Darrin don have pull He have a straw inside Weaver, Bob and Loup ass he didn’t only get the generator, Lonnie and greg jacques did the eletrical work lonnie did the plumbing work also all on the sheriff funds and time gabriel, lewis and barnes work details on the clock, then you have the thieves as far as the clock goes if you doing something and need to get your tome rejected just get someone to put your ssn with their finger works everytime. Than you have the inmates that works in maintenance I thought the state pay for them to be housed in the facility but they works their ass of for 8.00 an hr. and have to pay Sgt. Lahatte and his group for food, housing , and transportation.as for the alcohols they all over maintenance only have two on the job. I think they put Ms. Thomas in this shit but if they knew anything they’ll know she’s fucking the Plumber Frye. I Ain’t Finish Yet.

  • OPSO Deputy

    Letten also needs to look into how much money Gusman is taking from the deputies details. I have caught Mary Loup, Phil Barre, and Amanda charging me that $1 an hour extortion two and sometimes three times for the same detail. And when you tell them about it they promise to get you the money back but you have to bug them about it for months before you get your stinking $1 an hour back.

    Gusman, Barre, Ursin, and the rest of them are nothing but a bunch of theiving crooks that Jim Letten needs to lock up in the federal pen with Pampy, Dollar Bill Jefferson, Renee Gill Pratt, and lets not forget about his buddy Jiff Hingle!!!!!

  • Former OPSO Dep.

    I have firsthand knowledge of a ranking officer having sex with a deputy ON DUTY! I voiced my concerns through the proper channels, and I ended up with a target on my back. I started getting shitty assignments and disrespect until I had to request a transfer. And wouldn’t you know it, the transfer was worse than the facility I was in! I swear if I could sue them I would. I just want the old guard gone!! Gusman, Weaver, Pittman, Sens, Barre’, LOUP, the entire SOD. All of them gone with federal charges. Jim Letten is gonna be remembered for years as the only legit law enforcement official in New Orleans. Anybody hear that? It’s the ice cracking beneath their feet!

  • Santadez

    Twas the nite befoe xmas and all thru the jail
    Not a creature was stirring except the fat pigs
    In charge, santas about to slide down the chimney
    And maybez shows lettin the ways first….

  • Geez

    Why can’t you sue them? What sort rights do you have to sign away to become an employee at OPSO?

  • xdeputylmao

    i can go on and on and on about all the corrupt things going on in the sheriff office ( smdh) just sad u can do illegal things and they have a good Position for you to work i remember working at hod we were forced to eat state food because warden pittman didnt allow us to eat food from the outside the rank and the second floor deputies ate po boys and refuse to send us relief because they didnt want us to see not only that sometimes we had to piss in closets because certain control deputies (i aint saying no names im going to spare her some embarrassment) lied saying that she didnt have a relief or she was gonna send somebody but didnt this is just the beginning its all going to come out

  • Trenise BArnes

    who eva the hell Another big head boy keep my name out of ur mouth my job has nothing to do with my farther im earned everything that i have work my ass off every day and if u wanna put other ppl business out there start by being a realy man and tell me and family to our face what u have to say instead of hiding behind this

  • http://nolaanarcha.blogspot.com JailGusman

    This is SO absurd. How is Gusman not in jail already?

    And all you Sheriffs out there: does knowing you work with and for a corrupt, unjust department and people make you question your job at all? Or are you just mindlessly following orders and looking the other way all the time?

    HAVE SOME SELF-RESPECT AND DIGNITY. EXPOSE CORRUPTION, EXPOSE SPECIAL TREATMENT, EXPOSE GUSMAN!

    AND QUIT YOUR JOB!

  • JailGusman

    TO Former OPSO Dep. says:
    December 19, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    You can sue them, their are federal whistle-blower statutes written to protect people from retaliation. Get a lawyer and have them call the FBI about it.

    P.S.- All of you Sheriff’s Deputies who can spell or write sentences correctly on here disgrace your uniform with your stupidity. Learn to write English at higher level than a 5th grade text message.
    No wonder Gusman hires y’all, I bet he can run circles around you ignoramuses.

  • JailGusman

    I obviously meant CAN’T SPELL, not can spell. Oops!

  • Messymill

    Smart ass JailGusman sound like you can’t spell. OoPS!

  • JailGusman

    ” Messymill says:
    December 23, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Smart ass JailGusman sound like you can’t spell. OoPS!”

    That would be “it sounds” not “sound” you idiot.

    And yes, I can spell, although I admit I sometimes fail to proofread my comments. That is much different than you, who doesn’t understand grammar, much less spelling!

  • Geez

    I, personally, am just grateful that these deputies have posted here. Gusman needs to go. The only way is to make public the corruption he encourages. Please don’t discourage anyone from posting. I want more stories, more names, more incidents. I want Gusman to go to prison. I want justice.

  • Messymill

    @JailGusman shut up gay b***h! practice what you preach lol

  • Disgruntled70127

    What amazes me is that more employees aren’t complaining about the use of the funds in this account. Gusman created this account for the purpose of purchasing radios and bullet proof vests for deputies (both full-time and reserve). However, it is obvious that the purchase of shirts and aprons for Easter and Thanksgiving are far more important than his employees being able to communicate when working, and God forbid one of those deputies is involved in a deadly force encounter and succombs to injuries suffered as a result of Gusman not providing the same bullet-proof vests the deputies are actually paying for.

    Somebody should discuss the fundraiser tickets that came out just before Thanksgiving in which employees were “strongly encouraged” to purchase at a price of $100. The bottom of the ticket clearly stated that it was for the Gusman campaign fund.

    How about we discuss the fact that several of the high ranking members of the department are now part-time employees, who are drawing a pension and collecting a salary, all while maintaining their full-time rank. Ex. Chief Rudy, Chief Bordelon, Colonel Howard, Colonel Washington (Internal Affairs), Major Jenkins, former Chief Deputy Short, and the list goes on. This is part of the reason the OPSO is the trash of the state and will continue to be until it gets a real Sheriff who will clean house. Instead, this Sheriff promotes a guy who retired under investigation from the New Orleans Police Department in 2003 for falsely claiming that he held a post-high school degree and makes him the new Chief Deputy (Gerald Ursin). Then this same guy brings over a retired NOPD Lieutenant who is under investigation for allegedly accepting cash for services and fraud, and of course, this same guy comes in as a Major (Melvin Howard).

    The Orleans Parish Sheriff (Marlin Gusman) is a joke. He is a career politician who has absolutely no clue how to effectively run a law enforcement agency. He refuses to appoint/promote competent, ethical people. The real question that should be asked is, how can someone with Gusman’s legal and accounting background allow so much fiscal mismanagement to occur in his organization?

    I won’t even get into the Chief of Security who can’t read. While he knows the department, how can you be an effective leader when your subbordinates are more intelligent than you are.

    I salute the Lens for bringing this information to light. Hell, it wasn’t until The Lens did the story about the deputies working the Auto Pound and not being paid, did tehy actually start getting paid. The other thing that should be investigated is where the money from the Auto Pound is going. Currently Gusman is paying reserve deputies the detail rate ($30/hr) and full-time employees get overtime which equates to about $15/hr. Where is the rest of the money going? Keep the information coming. Don’t let up.

  • x-opso

    $10,000 for Mardi Gras beads. Wow I wonder who is getting a kickback on that deal. Probably someone related to either Gusman or Short!

  • ITSGOINGDOWN2

    THIS IS CRAZY! MORE AND MORE IS COMING OUT. HOW YOU LIKE THE SHERIFF IS GETTING ALL THIS MONEY AND HE GIVES EVERYBODY A CHECK FOR $123.19,HE TAXED IT..WOW!I REMEMBER WHEN FOTI GAVE EVERYBODY BETWEEN $100-$500 AS A BONUS AND GUSMAN HAS ALL THESE SCANDALS GOING ON. BUT I BET MARY LOUP,PITTMAN,ROBERT GATES,BARRE,ELAINE,CATHY TAYLOR(WEAVER LIL PUPPY)WEAVER,WASHINGTON,JENKINS,URSIN,HOFFMAN AND THE LIST GOES ON….THEY HAVE THEIRS AND MORE!

  • GUESSWHAT?

    LETS TALK ABOUT CHIEF HOFFMAN. YALL FORGOT ABOUT HIM? THIS ALCOHOLIC MAN GETS PAID TO RIDE AROUND ON A CART DRINKING AND SMOKING ALLLLLL DAY LONG WITH THOSE SAME FUNKY ASS CLOTHES ON EVERYDAY! THIS MAN IS ALWAYS SEEN COMING OUT OF THE “HOE-MOTEL” ON THE CORNER OF TULANE WHERE ALL THE RELEASED JAIL SISSY’S ARE! I’VE SEEN IT WITH MY OWN 4EYES. HE PARKS HIS CART AND GO INTO THE ROOMS AND WHEN THOSE SISSY’S COME TO JAIL THEY SURELY LOOK FOR HIM! WHY ISN’T THAT LOOKED INTO? HE’S ALSO A RACIST PIG.

  • GUESSWHAT?

    LETS GET ON DEPUTY ROBERT GATES WHO’S ALSO A NURSE WHICH I DIDN’T KNOW. HE WORKS AS BOTH HE DOSENT EVEN WEAR HIS COMPLETE UNIFORM AS A NURSE. WHEN IS HE A WORKING AS A NURSE? HE’S ALWAYS ON THE $40HR DETAIL. THEN HIS DADDY WAS THE QUARTERMASTER HOW IS THAT?THEY FIND POSITIONS IN THIS PLACE. BUT HIS PAPPY AIN’T NO MORE AFTER HE RAN THE BILL UP ORDERING EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN AND TAKING IT HIM & ROBERT.NOW WAYNE WATSKIE CONTROLING THE WAREHOUSE,HE’S NO BETTER ANOTHER ALCOHOLIC

  • HEARMEOUT

    HOW DO NYOU SPEND OVER 80MILLION DOLLARS ON A KITCHEN/WAREHOUSE AND OPP AND HOD IS MOLDED AND NEEDS TO BE CLEANED OR DESTROYED. HOW IS IT THAT YOU SPEND ALL THAT MONEY ON LIQUOR FOR A BAND AND YOUR EMPLOYEES CAN’T GET WATER IN THE BUILDINGS? HOW IS IT THAT YOU DON’T HAVE A SEPERATE AREA FOR HOMOSEXUAL INMATES BUT YOU LEAVE THEM IN GENERAL POPULATION WITH THE WOLVES? WHY ARE SICK HIV PEOPLE IN GEN POP? WHY DO YOU ALWAYS WANNA SHAKE SOMEBODY HAND? WHY WE DON’T HAVE TRASH BAGS,SOAP,HOT WATER,HEATERS,FANS,A STAFF KITCHEN,YOU HAVE STAFF MEMBERS WHO SEXUAL ASSULT OTHER STAFF MEMBERS OR INMATES!

  • HEARMEOUT

    GUSMAN CARES MORE ABOUT THE INMATES THAN THE STAFF,RE-ENTRY JUST GOT NEW UNIFORMS,STAFF DIDN’T, HE GIVES INMATE FAMILIES TOYS,NOT THE STAFF KIDS. HE CATERS TO THEM? YOU THINK BY YOU DOING THAT IT MAKES YOU LOOK GOOD?HELL NO! YOU WANT THEIR VOTE? R U SERIOUS? SHERIFF: TELL YOUR FAMILY VOTE FOR ME,CAUSE I TAKE CARE OF YOU WHEN YOU BACK HERE!WINK! INMATE:OK SHEFIFF

  • HEARMEOUT2

    HERE ARE YOUR COUPLES OR SCREW BUDDIES:
    MS.JOHNSON-TP5 & J.GRIFFIN-TP5,MARY & CURTIS LOUP,H.BOWSER-HOD & J.BROWN-MAIL(GAY)D.FRYE-MAIN & S.THOMAS-MAIN,PITTMAN & JENKINS,WEATHERSBY & DEFILLO,ROBERT GATES & THE WHITE CLERK ON 10TH FLOOR,

  • HOLDUP

    WHY EVERYBODY IN THE KITCHEN LOOKS LIKE THEY DIED? THE REASON I DON’T EAT THAT FOOD. SUTHERLAND-MONKEYMAN,T.JONES CORNEY COCKEYED ASS,BIG BOY DAMIEN STRAIGHT TRIFFLING & GAY,SMALL SHOW AIN’T SMALL,POUNCY GOT A KANGAROO POUCH,THEY HAVE THE LIL RETARDED ONE GRIGLY,ANDERSON ALWAYS SICK,TENDERFEET GOT FIRED,DYKES A PUNK,STACKS IS SO WACK AND ALWAYS STUNTING UNDERCOVER BROTHER,KIDD ALWAYS CHEYING A TOOTHPICK SAD,THOMAS MISSING TEETH,GRANT IS A MAN,THE OTHER LADY BALD MOUTH AND ALWAYS COUGHING.THEN THERS BEACH WITH THE MUSTACHE WHO SUCKS UP TO MARY.DONE FOR NOW

  • http://nolaanarcha.blogspot.com JailGusman

    Sexist, homophobic people like Messymill should never be allowed to be Sheriffs because they are entrusted to give equal treatment to all people under their control, and with such bigoted views, they can’t be trusted to do so.

  • http://nolaanarcha.blogspot.com JailGusman

    Hey Deputies:
    You know the quickest way to stop all these problems and abuses and humiliations you have to face, and stop the unsafe inmate conditions that make YOUR job unsafe?

    YOU ORGANIZE A UNION AND GO ON STRIKE UNTIL CONDITIONS IMPROVE.

    Other than that, you may as well quit. The only power you have is power as a group.

    The boss needs you, you don’t need the boss!

  • Disgruntled70127

    While everyone has a right to their own opinion, as I have previously expressed mine. However, it is more beneficial to the entire department and the community that the members of the department speak intelligently and about the facts at hand. Who’s sleeping with whom and the like, while entertaining are not relevant to this article. Let’s stick to the talking points ladies and gentlemen. There is enough corruption going on within the department that we can stay on topic. Also, let’s remember that you can speak the facts without getting personal or degrading anyone.

    Also, please remember that the OPSO does not own OPP or HOD. Both of those buildings are owned by the City of New Orleans, who refuses to put any money into them for repairs. However, I do agree that there should be places for staff to eat, instead of being forced to eat what the inmates eat.

    By the way, please stop typing in ALL CAPS, it’s very difficult to read and makes you seem as if you’re yelling. While I’m thinking about it, let’s try to use spell check before we hit send as well. As long as “we” (some of you) continue to post irrelevant comments, what makes you think anyone is going to pay attention???

    Just my $.02…

    Best,

    Disgruntled70127

  • HEARMEOUT2

    I WOULD LIKE TO APPOLOGIZE FOR SOMETHINGS SAID ABOVE. COMES TO FIND OUT SOME INFO IS INCORRECT THAT THE SOURCES PROVIDED ME! HOPE ALL TURNS OUT WELL IN THE JAIL FOR I HAVE BEEN GONE FOR A FEW MONTHS NOW WORKING SECURITY AND MAKING $12.00.

  • FUBU

    whats your prediction for opso for 2012..
    Predicton???
    Yes, Prediction….???
    P A I N………………………..

  • http://opso.us OPCSO

    Jim Letten will investigate and indict Sheriff Marlin N Gusman, Chief Deputy Jerry Ursin, and several other members of Gusman’s inner circle. The people of New Orleans will elect a new sheriff that reforms the office into an honest and powerful office in New Orleans that leads charge to end corruption and the old way of doing things in New Orleans.

  • I want to join OPSO

    Wow, I want to be a Deputy at the New Orleans Sheriff Office. I could get drunk on the taxpayer dollar while having the Honeybees dance for me and then I build myself a new house with the building supplies paid for by the Sheriffs office have inamtes do the labor and then I’ll have plenty of money to ride in a mardi gras parade. If I throw the Sheriffs mardi gras beads I wont even have to buy throws.

    Wow, what a job…..Where do I sign up????

  • Geez
  • Geez?

    Is who related?

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