NEW ORLEANS-- It's been a little more than a week since the city asked a federal judge to throw out the NOPD consent decree it negotiated with the Department of Justice. On Thursday, Sheriff Marlin Gusman spoke to Eyewitness News about what effect it could have on the separate jail consent decree.
"We signed a consent agreement with the Department of Justice. Right now, the ball is really in the city's court," Sheriff Gusman said.
All of it stems from what the city says is the potential financial hardship of having to simultaneously implement a consent decree for both the police department and the jail. In its 1,700-page filing, the city claims the Department of Justice brought forward the cost of the jail consent decree, after the NOPD one was signed.
Sheriff Gusman said it should not have come as a surprise.
"Not only had we been talking to the DOJ for a while, but the city attorney has been present and involved in all of the discussions we have had," he said.
The Justice Department agrees and said in its filing that "the city's legal team was at the table... throughout the negotiations of both the jail and police department consent decrees."
However, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said recently he was unhappy with how the process unfolded.
"We have to do all of them, but it has to be sequenced and it has to make sense and it's got to be in time and in place," Mayor Landrieu said. "And right now, it's out of time and out of place."
In the meantime, Sheriff Gusman said his office is keeping an eye on the latest developments.
"Our counsel is certainly monitoring what is going on and you know, we're taking, we're continuing to do everything that we can in the consent judgment that doesn't require additional funds," he said.
All in all, Sheriff Gusman said it would take between $16-$17 million to put into place all of the changes required by the jail consent decree.