Sheriff asking to make the city a co-defendant in prison lawsuit

Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman is trying to spread anticipated financial pain at his jail complex to Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration. Gusman’s attorneys filed papers Friday with U.S. District Judge Lance Africk seeking to include the city as a third-party defendant in an ongoing lawsuit alleging that Gusman has been running an unconstitutional, unsafe jail rife with brutality, understaffing and other problems.

On Friday, the city said that the move by Gusman was part of the plan all along.

No jail time for former deputy in Coast Guard officer's suicide

Family members of U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. William Goetzee pleaded Friday morning for a judge to put a former Orleans Parish Sheriff’s deputy in prison for enabling Goetzee to commit suicide while in jail. Instead, former jailer William Thompson got five years of probation and 200 hours of community service.

IG's report slams Sheriff Gusman and Judge Sens for hiring wives

New Orleans Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux issued a report today blasting a cozy wife-hire arrangement between Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman and family friend Administrative Judge Paul Sens. The hires, first reported earlier this year by The Lens and our reporting partners at WVUE-Fox 8, reeked of “impropriety” but were not criminal, the report concluded.

Gusman slashes deputies' hours under new OPP work schedule

In an effort to trim costs, Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman instituted a new scheduling plan for deputies and staff at Orleans Parish Prison earlier this month. The schedule, which was reflected in prison employees’ paychecks for this first time last week, means fewer overtime hours for deputies, whose starting pay for working in the Orleans Parish Prison is less than $10 an hour.

Public Defender, sheriff resolve lawsuit over attorney visits

By Tom Gogola, The Lens staff writer |

The Orleans Parish Public Defender’s Office and the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office resolved a lawsuit Thursday with a deal designed to end persistent complaints about a lack of attorney-client privacy at the Orleans Parish Prison. Following a private meeting with lawyers Thursday morning, Civil District Court Judge Kern Reese said the agreement would be finalized and signed by all parties later this afternoon.

Sheriff: Jail will have more inmates in 2012

By Matt Davis, The Lens staff writer |

Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman expects to increase the number of inmates in his jail from 3,100 to 3,400 next year, he said during a public hearing Friday. Gusman confirmed the expected increase even as an advisory group assembled by Mayor Mitch Landrieu is working to set the final size of Gusman’s new jail, and relations between the two offices have become more strained as the group delays a final decision on the jail’s capacity.