NEW ORLEANS -- Mayor Mitch Landrieu downplayed his rift with Sheriff Marlin Gusman after trading barbs in recent days over funding for the city's troubled jail.
Gusman testified Thursday in federal court and defended his office amid mounting evidence and criticism of mismanagement. He also slammed Landrieu, saying the mayor was slinging mud and using Archie-Bunker-style rhetoric.
"Sheriff Gusman can be forgiven for being a little bit perturbed yesterday,” said Landrieu, “if I sat on the stand for six hours, I would be aggravated too. And plus I've been called worse."
"I think everybody sees that the conditions that have existed for some time due to bad management practices need to be corrected."
At a groundbreaking ceremony in Bywater, Landrieu said the city will soon formally request the federal government put Gusman's office and his jail facilities under receivership.
In the meantime, a judge is weighing whether to accept a proposed consent decree over the jail.