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:
- Earlier this month, The Lens reported on a lucrative and long-running relationship between a favored office supply company, Metro Business Supplies, and the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office. Documents clearly show that John Sens was the point person at the Sheriff’s Office who managed a bidding process that led to the selection of the politically connected Metro. Metro has billed the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office for at least $1.7 million since 2006.
- Paul Sens’ wife was working for Marlin Gusman as a real-estate appraiser in the civil division, and that Gusman’s wife was working for Paul Sens as a drug counselor in his court. That report led to a New Orleans Inspector General report blasting the cozy, if not illegal, arrangement between friends and their wives in high places.
- Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux released a report in July excoriating the Sens family dynasty at Municipal and Traffic Court. Quatrevaux identified at least 18 Sens family members who were or had been employed at the court over the past 12 years.