New Orleans fears costs of ordered reforms to police, prison systems
By The Associated Press
Published: Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, 9:16 p.m.
NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge has approved a sweeping agreement between the Justice Department and the city of New Orleans designed to clean up the city's long-troubled police department, but Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who once strongly backed it, said the city wants to put the brakes on it because of costs.
Landrieu said he asked U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan to delay final approval, largely because the Justice Department has also entered into a potentially expensive separate agreement with the New Orleans sheriff for reforms at the city-funded jail.
Morgan, however, approved the agreement, calling it “fair, adequate and reasonable” in a Friday ruling.
“The Orleans Parish Prison consent decree may cost $17 million, which is not budgeted for this year and would therefore bankrupt the City,” Landrieu said in a news release. “If a federal judge ordered the City to pay $17 million, we would need to furlough every City employee, including police officers, for 28 days. It makes no sense to furlough or lay off police officers to give pay raises to prison guards.”
“We just can't afford it,” said City Council member Cynthia Hedge-Morrell, a member of the council budget committee.
The mayor said that he was unsure of the city's next legal step.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 8 techie companies unite, seek curbs on snooping
- Budget deal possible on Tuesday, aides say
- Ex-San Diego mayor, a Pittsburgh native, avoids jail in sexual harassment
- Air pollution measures due in court
- Congress renews undetectable gun ban for decade
- Iranian foreign minister says nuke deal dead if new sanctions imposed
- 18 L.A. sheriff’s deputies draw federal charges
- Florida congressman loses $18M in stock scheme
- Mass. special congressional race heads to wire
- Veteran held in North Korea says statement was coerced
- Government sells remaining stake in GM