Criminal Justice

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

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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About Charles Maldonado

Charles Maldonado covers the city of New Orleans and other local government bodies. He previously worked for Gambit, New Orleans’ alternative newsweekly, where he covered city hall, criminal justice and public health. Before moving to New Orleans, he covered state and local government for weekly papers in Nashville and Knoxville, Tenn.

  • nickelndime

    Okay – I didn’t want to do this – and it is not going to be perceived as a popular choice – but given to finally having to take sides, I am going to have to go with Marlin. By St, Jude (Saint of Impossible and Lost Causes), Mitch is the WORST I hsve seen, and I have seen a lot. I am on Marlin’s side. “No turnin’ back…” 03/28/2015 2:13 AM

  • nickelndime

    Bear with me, THE LENS – you haven’t written the story yet – but you will. Here’s the comment:

    Is the solution to legalize everything? Drugs (the lesser ones – start out slow)? Prostitution? Not so! The problem is IS that our own legislators/lawmakers may be part of the problem. Problem being, that they will just about do anything – and I do mean ANYTHING for money – and to be re-elected. Now, you tell me, and I will stand in line, but who out there believes that you will make a difference in the voting booth at the national level? BUZZER SOUNDS. How about at the State level? Odds are better, but you best remember whar u r, boyz! Local? Best – but then u got dat (expletive deleted) up New Orleans electorate. With that, I am going to mosey on over to The Chart Room on Chartres Street where the drinks are strong and the air is thick with smoke (eat your heart out, LaToya). 03/29/2015 10:46 PM