NEW ORLEANS -- The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a emergency stay in the federal case concerning the consent decree over the New Orleans Police Department.
The temporary stay puts the case on hold, and postpones a meeting scheduled tomorrow to announce a monitor for the consent decree.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu's administration filed for an emergency stay on Wednesday. The administration has argued that the U.S. Justice Department negotiated the agreement underhandedly and in bad faith. Attorneys for Landrieu also claimed the city can't afford the multimillion-dollar reforms amid a separate, costly consent decree over the city's Orleans Parish Prison complex.
"The City is implementing meaningful reforms and can continue to do so without expending the exorbitant fees required by the NOPD Consent Decree, such as a costly Consent Decree monitor," City Attorney Sharonda Williams wrote in the motion.
The U.S. Justice Department has until Monday to respond to the city's claims, according to court records. The appeals court will next look at whether to grant or deny the city's motion to vacate, or toss out, the entire consent decree.
In January, U.S. District Court Judge Susie Morgan signed the landmark NOPD consent decree. The appeals court ruling now puts the matter in limbo.
City and federal officials were scheduled to hold a public meeting tomorrow to announce their choice for a consent decree monitoring team. That contract, to be paid by the city, would cost more than $7 million.
Landrieu's spokesman declined to comment on the matter Thursday evening.