Criminal Justice

Former Sheriff’s Office purchasing chief, friend of Gusman, resigns from jail

John Sens, the former purchasing director at the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office, resigned from his post at the jail late Friday afternoon, Sheriff Marlin Gusman’s spokesman said.

Sens, a deputy at the jail for the past eight years, was reassigned to a security and administrative post by Gusman last year as federal investigators descended on the sprawling jail complex to check into a raft of questionable post-Katrina contracting issues.

Sens emerged as a notable figure in the feds’ investigation, but he has not been charged with any wrongdoing. A federal grand jury investigating contracting deals at the jail has not taken taken public action, though it has issued subpoenas.

The U.S. Attorney’s office does not discuss pending grand-jury investigations.

John Sens is the brother of Municipal Court Judge Paul Sens, a close family friend and political ally of Marlin Gusman.

Paul Sens cited health issues when he left his post as chief judge on the court in June.

The Sens clan has come under increasing fire in recent months over a number of favorable family arrangements and insider dealings playing out across the Orleans Parish criminal justice system:


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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.

  • At the very least you’ve won Editilla’s Brass Balls Award for nailing that rat bastard Sheriff Gusman’s to the floor. Thanks for sticking it.

  • benelux

    I am very appreciative for the Lens’ coverage!! You guys ROCK!

    I may have missed a few things and I have some questions……. What has the Judge been up to lately? Who does Gusman’s judicial bidding these days? (Who does he call in the middle of the night for favors?) Do the wives still hold their jobs? What about all the Sens who worked for the NO court system? Have the Feds been given access to all of OPP’s financial records? How much money does Gusman make? Does it jive with his lifestyle? How much did he spend on furnishing his office? What does his office look like? What is the current relationship between the sheriff, the former judge and the current district attorney? It seems like they were pretty tight for a while.

    I’ve also been wondering about the tension level in the executive offices at OPP. Truth Teller? OPSO Deputy? Aside from the great investigative journalism here at The Lens, I confess I check back often to hear from the commenters about life as an OPSO employee. Have there been any repercussions for all the leaks?