Live blog for Thursday: Sheriff, city square off over consent decree finances

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Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman hopes U.S. District Court Judge Lance Africk will order the city of New Orleans to pay millions of dollars to finance operations at Orleans Parish Prison. Africk, who is overseeing a federal consent decree over the jail and has the final say over how it is funded, is set to hear arguments on the request from Gusman’s attorneys and the city on Thursday in a public court hearing.

The hearing starts at 8:30 a.m. The Lens will live blog it here.

In a court filing on Monday, Gusman claimed that the Sheriff’s Office’s $30 million 2015 city budget allocation doesn’t even meet his $2.8 average monthly payroll. The filing also says the city is refusing to pay for an $83 million medical and mental health services contract with Correct Care Services. The deal was negotiated after a controversial, closed door selection process, and the city is asking Africk to void the contract, saying it is too expensive.

“The City’s refusal to fund Correct Care Services has put the contract in jeopardy,” Gusman’s filing says.

The Sheriff’s Office has been slow to implement the reforms mandated by the consent decree, a fact that he has blamed on a lack of funding, a position at least partly supported by the jail’s federal monitor and the U.S. Department of Justice.

The filing doesn’t name a specific dollar figure, but it notes that the sheriff requested more than $60 million for 2015 during budget talks late last year.

Live blog

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