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Jabs Continue As Judge Okays OPSO Consent Decree

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Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Sheriff Marlin Gusman are both trying to show they got what they wanted from a federal judge’s decision on Thursday.

Judge Lance Africk gave the green light for the federal consent decree for the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office to proceed.  The plan aims to improve the sheriff’s office although its exact detail and price have yet to be released.

Landrieu has made it clear the city cannot afford consent decrees for both the OPSO and the NOPD, which has a separate agreement.  The mayor claims Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman’s management of the jail is the real issue, not the funding it receives from the city.

“He (the judge) also noted that the court has not determined that any additional funds are needed to remedy the the problems,” Landrieu said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.

Gusman has a different take on the judge’s decision and any claim by the city that it was omitted from OPSO consent decree discussions.

“It was an active participant and now is the only barrier to improvement,” Gusman said in his own statement this afternoon.

The judge’s decision comes on the same day that the New Orleans Inspector General’s Office released a report on jail funding in 2011.  The report says the jail appears to be adequately funded.  But because the city and jail categorize expenses using different terms, it’s impossible to tell how the city’s money was spent.