Last summer, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and U.S. Attorney Eric Holder announced a partnership of sorts – a consent decree – allowing the federal government to essentially take over the New Orleans Police Department and implement major reforms. Now Mayor Landrieu wants to nix the deal.
The mayor claims the Feds were insincere and now wants nothing to do with the agreement. A federal judge disagreed. Landrieu has argued the city is too broke to pay for all of the reforms, especially those planned for the Orleans Parish Prison.
The mayor better fire some of those six-figure salaried deputy mayors or maybe cut back on some of the over $150 million planned for the new hospital in New Orleans East. Either way, the city is on the tab for around $80 million in consent decree reforms over the next few years and I don’t think Landrieu is going to be able to get out of this one.
The mayor says the city is now financially “headed for a cliff” and he “doesn’t want to catch anyone in the city by surprise”. Well, we are surprised. The needed reforms to the police department and the jail are clear. How the city plans to pay for those reforms is anyone’s guess.