The news media were out in force for Holder's announcement. Photo by Tom Gogola

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder offered a curiously nonresponsive answer to the question that was on many people’s mind Tuesday afternoon: Now that the New Orleans Police Department’s consent decree with the federal government has been finalized, is the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office next?

Holder was joined by city officials, federal agents and police brass at Gallier Hall to announce that the NOPD consent decree was finished after two years of work.

Holder noted that the New Orleans Police Department consent decree was a model for efforts currently underway, a comment that raised a few eyebrows in the jam-packed room filled with TV cameras.

Shortly thereafter, a reporter asked Holder if that meant that New Orleanians might expect a similar all-hands-on-deck announcement about a much-anticipated Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office federal consent decree?

Sheriff Marlin Gusman was sitting in the front row while Holder spoke.

Holder did not answer the question.  Instead, he noted that the New Orleans Police Department decree was an “experiment” that could be a “template” for other municipalities.

Gusman didn’t stick around for long after the event wrapped.

The Lens caught up with Deputy Mayor Andy Kopplin in the hallway following the Holder announcement. Kopplin averred that Gusman has indeed been huddling with city officials lately to hammer out details of a consent decree at the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office.

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...