Landrieu blasts consent decree monitor choice

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Tell us how you really feel, Mayor Landrieu! The mayor says the feds are forcing the city to pay too much money for a law firm to monitor the NOPD’s consent decree.

He says a big Washington, D.C. law firm will get $8.5 million to oversee the process, while the firm he wanted was offering to do the work for about a million dollars less.

However, civil rights groups had blasted the mayor’s choice for being led by a former top cop accused of ignoring police misconduct.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu issued the following statement today following the selection of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton as the New Orleans Police Department Consent Decree Monitor.  Sheppard Mullin’s contract is capped at $8.5 million.  The competing firm’s cost was $7.1 million, approximately 1.4 million less than Sheppard Mullin.

“We are very concerned about the taxpayers of New Orleans paying the high cost of Washington, DC lawyers’ billing of up to $491 an hour, plus their travel expenses and incidentals.

“Every dollar we pay a high-priced monitor is a dollar we cannot spend on more police, NORD or fixing our streets.  If this firm had met the more competitive cost of the other proposal, the City would have saved $1.4 million.  That’s $1.4 million that could have instead fully funded a new NOPD recruit class of 30 for a year, or an entire 12 week NORD summer swimming program, or the repair of more than 75,000 potholes.  That’s why we are fighting so hard to negotiate the best value for the taxpayers.

“We are particularly leery of this firm’s history of overcharging municipalities.  In a separate case, a judge called Sheppard Mullin’s billing ‘excessive and unreasonable … transcending beyond the stratosphere into deep outer space.’”