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Sheriff Gusman: indictment of former Orleans Parish deputies is “Very disappointing”

Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman updated New Orleans City Council members Wednesday afternoon about the progress of the new jail’s construction. He also addressed concerns over inmate treatment at the current temporary jail.

The day before, it was jail-related contracts that led to the indictment of two of Gusman’s former top deputies.

John Sens and Gerard Hoffman both face federal corruption charges.  Prosecutors say the pair received compensation in exchange for contracts with the department.

Neither Sens nor Hoffman remains employed with the department.

After meeting with council members, Gusman told reporters he felt the alleged conduct of his former deputies was, “Very disappointing.”

Gusman said he had not spoken with either Sens or Hoffman to see if they could offer an explanation.  The sheriff also said his department is cooperating fully with federal investigators.

As far as changing his department’s procedures for awarding contracts, Gusman said events like the ones alleged by the feds give the sheriff’s office a chance to make improvements in policy.  But even if new guidelines are put in place, Gusman doubted they could stop anyone determined to break the law.

“Frankly, if people want to subvert the system, they’ll figure out a way to do it,” he said.

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