NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Several high-ranking NOPD officers are now hoping the city will pay up. Attorney Raymond Burkart has filed a lawsuit in court saying the City of New Orleans, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, former NOPD Chief Ronal Serpas, and the City Civil Service Commission have not paid the officers what is owed to them.
“We need to quit the games. We need to quit wasting resources, man hours and money. Simply pay these guys what their owned, and we’re done,” says Burkart.
The group includes 12 NOPD Captains, four of them retired, and one NOPD Major.
The battle dates back for some to April of 2011 when officers were assigned to a trailer in City Park. Burkart says the problem is they’ve been doing work similar to what’s done at the Public Integrity Bureau and now they want their share.
“I’m not sure where this gets the city. This is not about who has the bigger muscles. This is about doing the right thing and complying with civil service judgments, rules and law which are all constitutionally mandated,” explains Burkart.
This is not the first time the city has been given the chance to pay up. A year ago the City Civil Service Commission issued a judgment demanding the officers get a 10% pay increase that would be retroactive and include adjustments to their pension. Since then two more judgments have been issued.
“The city now has 1, 2, 3 judgments with the way civil service ruled in August of 2013. It’s been over a year. This is money that the officers are entitled to, and this shows once again the disdain, distaste that the administration, city hall specifically, has,” says Burkart.
Burkart says the battle is no secret among NOPD officers and while the department works to beef up their presence, he believes they should also focus on what’s going on inside.
“Worry about retention,” says Burkart, “What incentive does anybody have to a: stay on the job, or b: apply for the job?”
As part of the litigation that was filed in Orleans Parish Civil District Court a judge has issued an order to the City of New Orleans and all the defendants to comply or appear in court on September 2nd.