Criminal Justice

IG's report slams Sheriff Gusman and Judge Sens for hiring wives

New Orleans Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux issued a report today blasting a cozy wife-hire arrangement between Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman and family friend Administrative Judge Paul Sens. The hires, first reported earlier this year by The Lens and our reporting partners at WVUE-Fox 8, reeked of “impropriety” but were not criminal, the report concluded.

I.G. Quatrevaux

As disclosed in our earlier coverage, Paul Sens hired Renee Gusman to counsel  marijuana offenders in his court.  Around the same time, Sheriff Marlin Gusman hired Ann Sens, a real estate broker, to conduct appraisals for his weekly sheriff’s sale of foreclosed and other properties. Renee Gusman was paid about $30,000 in public no-bid money for her services; Ann Sens earned about $90,000 in a year of doing appraisals paid for by parties to the sheriff’s sales.

Quatrevaux said he opened the inquiry after seeing the stories about the wives.

Sheriff Gusman

Judge Sens

“The Investigations Division of the Office of Inspector General opened this inquiry after media reports stated that the Administrative Judge of the New Orleans Municipal Court retained the wife of the Orleans Parish Sheriff as a consultant,” the Inspector General’s report reads, “and that the Orleans Parish Sheriff had hired the wife of the Administrative Judge as a consultant shortly before. “

Renee Gusman

“That’s kind of the old New Orleans,” Quatrevaux said in a follow-up interview with The Lens and Fox 8.

“The manner in which the sheriff’s wife was selected was almost cavalier,” he added.

Still, Quatrevaux found no criminal wrongdoing and was unable to draw a clear quid pro quo connection between the hirings.

Ann Sens

“The OIG was unable to substantiate whether or not these transactions were related,” the report’s introduction reads. “The inquiry found no evidence of criminal behavior; both officials had legal authority for the actions they took.  But these actions took place barely a month apart, and created an appearance of impropriety that leads citizens to believe that the criminal justice system is corrupt and diminishes confidence in government in general. Legality is an essential baseline but an insufficient standard for elected officials.”

Quatrevaux said he focused his inquiry mostly on the Renee Gusman no-bid hire, since it used public money to pay her for counseling juvenile marijuana smokers.

“A transparent procurement process engenders trust that public servants are working to get the most value for taxpayers’ dollars,” he wrote, “and strengthens the public’s faith in government.”

Ann Sens was paid by the bank or plaintiff in the foreclosure sales, and earned about $90,000 in appraisal fees over a year – at $150 a pop. Her job was not posted and other appraisers were not considered, despite the fact that she herself is not a licensed appraiser. A public hiring process, complete with job postings, “would be ideal,” said Quatrevaux. “But it’s not required by law.”

According to the Inspector General’s report, Gusman said Ann Sens was not suited for working in the jail, but he knew she was a real estate agent.

He told Quatrevaux that if the Chief Deputy who hired Sens, Peter Rizzo, had not hired her, “the matter would have ended there.”

Paul Sens already had a brother, John Sens, working for the sheriff’s criminal division when Gusman hired Ann Sens to work in the civil division. John Sens name has come up in an ongoing Federal investigation over contracts and questionable purchases at the FEMA-funded temporary jail that Gusman runs. According to published reports, Gusman hired John Sens in 2005 as his director of purchasing, soon after he was elected sheriff. Gusman reassigned him after news of the federal investigation broke.

But when it comes to the wives, Gusman said there was no agreement between him and Paul Sens to hire each other’s spouses. He told Quatrevaux that the idea was “ridiculous.”

“There is no basis in the law or fact to support the presumptions and inferences expressed,” Gusman said later in a statement released through his publicist, Malcolm Ehrhardt.

Quatrevaux’s report, however, was not so quick to dismiss questions about the close-knit hires:

“The Judge and the Sheriff are elected officials in a city in which there is substantial and warranted mistrust of government. The appearance of impropriety leads citizens to believe that the criminal justice system is corrupt and exemplifies questionable government practices. The officials’ actions were poorly documented and provided little information.”

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About Tom Gogola

Tom Gogola covered criminal justice for The Lens from February 2012 to May 2013. He is a veteran journalist and editor who has written on a range of subjects for many publications, including Newsday, New York, The Nation, and Maxim. Gogola was a 2011 winner of the Hillman Foundation Sidney Award, for his groundbreaking report in New York magazine detailing regulatory waste in the commercial fishing industry.

  • Truth Teller

    Gusman is a horrible sheriff whom only thinks of himself, Gussy hired NOPD Officers who was under investigation and allow them to run the department, in order to get the department back right, we need to clean house starting from the top to the bottom. First recall Gussy better yet arrest him for payroll fraud, getting a new air conditioner unit put in his home,stealing fema money and putting it in his campaign account,telling deputies to break the law,ignoring sexual harassment complaints,giving promotions to his friends and ppl who is not qualified for the positions,buying vehicles without checking with the auditors first,inmate abuse and alot more. Chief Gerald Ursin needs to be arrested for illegal bonds when he was in Cental Lockup and the money he is stealing from the details at the construction site.Major Melvin Howard was the next disgrace hired by Gussy and Ursin whom is very slow and is a retard who have a problem with women, he is a disgrace in the sheriff uniform WELL so is GUSMAN a DISGRACE, he controls gusmans mind and tell him what to do. Major Melvin Howard is also a woman beater he beat his first wife til she left him for another police officer, Major Spinney is also a crook he steals from every event they have,Major Bonita Pittman have been under investigation so much for everything including beating on inmates in her building, Major Louque is a depressed pill popper who have been on suicide watch on numerous occasions and he sits on the displinary board and he is a warden,Major Barre stealing money and dtais him and his pal Mary Loupe, O we cant forget the child molester they let come back to work Capt. Don Ditta,Chief Earl Weaver another RETARD he cant read or write but he is a CHIEF and on his car he have it spelled “CHEIF” now that is DUMB.Stephanie Noveaux the sheriffs secretary O old secretary she was sleeping with an inmate and she got a record for writing bad checks, ladies watch your purses around her, but she still work here under the drunk Bob Martin who just had a DWI that Judge Paul Sens thru out for him. Lt. Frank Serio working details on the clock all at walgreens. Byron Woods aka Special Agent he confused thats only for the FBI,we know you dont work for them you dont even know how to do investigations the IAD is a joke a child can type a report better than you dummies. O you just do what your told ass wipe be a man. The FBI is taking to long I will be all day naming all the crooks in the department that was just to name a few. On other news the deputies are under paid and over worked while the rank is over paid and dont work at all. Everyone is retiring you cant run from an indictment they will still get you crooks. The crimes are already done, we should have known Gusman couldn’t run a jail listen to his speeches that he give they are horrible they are so first grade but he call himself educated. All he is arrogant so smart until he is dumb, he puts the blame on everyone he should be ashamed and he needs to go hide himself and powder his nose and get ready for that ORANGE JUMPSUI FBOP#80,000 THAT From the Fema money you stole.

  • Truth Teller

    Now look there hiring there wives more politics please clean house Letten, FOTI we need help the department is gone down and bankrupt.

  • Benelux

    Truthteller. I appreciate this. I am waiting for more….tell us more. Thank you .

  • Truth Teller

    Ok, I wil give you more… To be Continued…

  • Bro Keith “X” Hudson

    Truth Teller, I thought I was insane with the truth, but you are psychologically distraught! That’s what they call people who expose the “real criminals” in this city, and the Lens/Messenger, et al, only publicize certain wrong-doings, and that’s called “Selective Journalism!”

  • Truth Teller

    Brother Keith I just speak the truth… Continued well so much you guys well since we last blogged ill give you all a lil more day b day. Lets start at the top MARLIN N GUSMAN I cant call you a Sheriff it would disgrace the name you are horrible I cant put it into words you have showed the citizens of New Orleans how arrogant and dumb you are, you have a lack of leadership and common sense Thank You for ruining your career its called Political Suicide and letting use as voters know what we get with cheap make up and bad suits. Our sheriff department is ruined lets get down to buisness Gusman has made some poor choices he brought NOPD Rejects to our department and ket them run it, if NOPD didnt want them y would u. Gusman needs to be arrested for stealing $ and putting it in his campaign fund didnt cousleman johnson just get indicted for that,INDICTMENT for Gusman DUMMY, getting a new air conditioner unit put in your home with sheriff department $ miss appropriation on funds INDICTMENT, beating on inmates and turning the other cheek and changing the paperwork so the FBI wouldnt find out INDICTMENT,stealing $ from fema and those construction contracts INDICTMAN, ignoring sexual harassment complaints and sleeping with your old secretary and getting mad when you found out she was sleeping with an inmate, fool… O you all it was Stephanie Noveaux, Unprofessional and unethical where is your morals you should have fired her, but you couldnt because she would tell your secret now she is sleeping with Col. Melvin Howard the woman beater he beat his wife and one of the deputies at the job, so you passed her off to be the drunk Bob Martin Secretary well you all he just had a DWI. Which was throwed out by his buddy JUDGE Paul Sens… we talked last about the discplinary board well it has changed I would say thanks but that is a lie the depressed suicidal pill popper Major Louque whom stay on suicide watch more than he is at work is off, the inmate beater and liar ugly Major Bonita Pittman is off, the thief who steals everything that is not tied are locked down the wide woman hip Major Spinney is off.

  • Truth Teller

    More tom stay stunned you guys it gets real interesting ill be gettn on more on the make up of the department. CONTINUED TOM…

  • Truth Teller

    Make up of the Sheriff Department Marlin N. Gusman a corrupt politician out of Morial Camp who steals from his deputies and community, first he steals the $ then Katrina hit and he leave the deputies and the inmates to fend for themselves while he go save his make up and cheap suits, he didnt worry about his house he used sheriff deparrment $ to fix that up, he steals from fema to put $ in his campaign fund, turn the other cheek and let his rank beat on inmates and try to cover the paperwork up so the FBI cant find out, thats there job they are smart and educated you gool and then he hire Deputy Chief Gerald Ursin to put him 2nd in command, no education,lack of experience, NOPD reject, thief,liar and also a criminal himself who let inmates out for a fee ABUSE OF POWER whom hired his secretary/girlfriend Sgt. Debra Prosper from NOPD. To drive him around and open her legs for a salary of over 55,000 a yr.

  • Truth Teller

    Next the COL. Melvin Howard a great friend of Ursin whom is under investigation by the FBI , a woman beater and no self respect, he beat 2 deputies on the job who called the police on him and he is still working and even rised up to a hire rank, now he is sleeping with Stephanie Noveaux remember ladies watch your purses around that thief and bad check writer, she have a record stay back ladies,Bob Martin is her boss now the drunk with the DWI O it was throwed out by judge Paul Sens, politics favor Corrupt. Rank who have been here for yrs and with experience shold be upset to know how Gusman think of you. Chief Earl Weaver cant read are write, Chief Rudy cant see are hear I guess it comes with old age 82 yrs old retire quit stealing old man, Major Barre (pampy) cousin in FBOP now stealing details and we cant forget his daughter who got rank from calling 911 from someone passed out in the restroom I thought that was our job.

  • Truth Teller

    Inga Barre a Sgt from that wow know wonder we have poor leadership, Lt. Frank Serio working details on the clock, Col. Roy Austin stealing bond $,Capt. Joseph sexual harassment O and Lt. Joseph Lucien Sexual harassment and then he have missing fingers Wow his court date wont be finger friendly,Capt. Don Ditta child molester,Jerry Martin (Sod) wife beater and selling drugs in uniform Wow thats y they call (SOD) Sheriff Office Dummies, congrats for Col. Locklin for your promotion thats the least they could do after all the reports you changed for them from the FBI. Was it worth it to go to jail for Wow thats part of our make up of the ORLEANS PARISH SHERIFF DEPARTMENT CORRUPT make up its really bad, its so bad that to inmates a female and male were having sex in lockup about 2 months ago, where was the deputies and the rank typical sheriff department if oir department and leadership is this corrupt how can we be law enforcement and enforce the law if the department breaks it, we are a joke the sheriff department have no credit are ability to be law enforcement FBI. Needs to take over and clean house top to bottom and Gusman is a fool for these promotions and we are bankrupt, we cant expect citizens to follow the law if the sheriff himself dont.


  • Truth Teller

    GUSMAN just a note to you, you are goinh to jail you skimmed by with Mark Morial you wont with these and your good friend Chief Ursin is telling everyone he is going to be the next Sheriif in Col. Melvin Howard will be 2 nd in command when he you go to jail, they are going to laugh your dumb ass to federal prision watch the company you keep but it to late for you and sh*t Ursin might be going with you to federal prision, so you all can powder each others nose. Just A Word Of Advice fool and yes he told me I work for You, its so embarrasing to wear that uniform U change before I get off.

  • Truth Teller

    Well you guys I received my check stub today and WOW the news letter states the discplinary board has really got worst COL./MAJOR Melvin Howard is the chairman. Wow!!! Well im going to have to be a little dirty,you guys I got paperwork and proof on the sheriff department im disguisted of all this politics and criminal activity. Letten has got to get a handle on this CLOWN SHOW… The sexual misconduct and stealing from our checks is horrible, now we work details for a fee, Gusman and his buddies get rich while we struggle , I worked a detail last night just to receive half a check because I got to pay Gusman and his friends thats ABUSE OF POWER. ITS GOT TO STOP…TO BE CONTINUED

  • Disgruntled70127

    Truth Teller: While you make some good points and have a wealth of knowledge about the good and bad within the department, please try to use spellcheck when blogging. It is extremely difficult to read some of your posts. Try using some much needed punctuation so you can be more effective and efficient. You can’t in one sentence refer to someone as being a retard that can’t read or write, when you’re improperly using “are” when you clearly mean “or”.

    Those are just a few changes, if corrected, could make what you allege more believable.

    Just my $.02!

  • Truth Teller

    Your .02 is not needed im at my detail writing fast before I make my rounds, you just need to focus on the truth so stay in your place before I get on you.

  • Disgruntled70127

    Truth Teller: First and foremost, I welcome you to “get on me”. As a matter of fact, I implore you to do so. You are off your rocker if you get upset when someone offers you some friendly advice to help add credibility to what you are saying.

    I believe that you aren’t interested in change at the OPSO, you’re only focused on continuing the soap opera you refer to. Either way, have a nice day!

    Just my $.02

  • Truth Teller

    You are so not relevant, your just mad that you couldn’t inform the citizens of New Orleans what we vote on, so if you are not interested in the truth just stay off the blog and keep your .02 to your self, because just like your name you are disgruntled and unhappy. I wont waste anymore time on you, i’ll continue on informing the citizens of New Orleans what we get in bad politics.

  • Disgruntled70127

    Truth Teller: You completely missed my point!! I absolutely support what you’re doing. If you want to read a little about me, check out my personal blog and then talk to me about how I’m not informing the public. I’ve done the same thing you’re doing now. I just do it a little more eloquently and was merely suggesting that you assist those of us that read on a level higher than 4th grade with actually deciphering through your comments. However, I don’t wish to quarrel with you, I will refrain from responding further. In the meantime, please review the below link and post as many comments as you’d like.

    Just my $.02

  • As a former Reserve Deputy with the Sheriff’s Department, I have to agree with a majority of the comments presented. The department is run by a cadre of misfits who have been around since high school, with no meaningful training in law enforcement. Many of the folks (Rank) are self-serving individuals who are only looking out for themselves and what they can get. I left the department to complete my studies and obtain my Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice and wanting to put my 15 years of law enforcement training (military and civilian) and my education to use, I was never given a nod for allowing my return to the department even though I was doing it as part of community service. The rank in the department are afraid of anyone with more education than they have, or anyone with an understanding of what is required to effectively run that department and as such, they shy away from bringing on anyone who may attempt to straighten out that mess. I would appreciate the Feds stepping in and reviewing their operations to turn that department around as well as when it does, I will resubmit my application.

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  • benelux

    Truthteller..I don’t care how yout structure your sentences or puncuate…I like what you are doing. bring the darkness to light. if you don’t mind, I would like to know more about how they cover things up. like when bad things happen and they act like it was nothing. How do they get away with the cover ups? What happened with goatzee? And the other people who have do they work the cover up? And all the inmates who died during the storm?

  • benelux

    why are the comments out of order in respect to date?

  • benelux

    Truth teller…please just tell anything and everything you like. I truly appreciate the info and I know your words are going to make a difference. Thank you.

  • Truth Teller

    I will keep on giving you guys more, it is alot going on and the FBI is very aware Benelux I appreciate you understanding the concept, this is put out there to help others. Legal Ed you did right to leave and it is so true that Marlin Gusman only like to surround himself with uneducated people so he can make himself feel good and feel smart. A person with good sense would not allow all of this foolishness to go on.

  • connectingthedots

    Truth Teller you make this world a better place!

    Is Jim Letten doing anything about the issues raised by Truth Teller?
    Could this be another case of “ignore it all” via political pressure?
    Am very aware that Letten and the boys take orders under pressure…Make things go away, ignorance is bliss

  • david luchianooe

    @truthteller can you contact me at I need the information you have to pursue a case.