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Mike Perlstein / Eyewitness News
Email: mperlstein@wwltv.com | Twitter: @mikeperlstein

NEW ORLEANS -- Attorney General Buddy Caldwell is declining to take action against New Orleans criminal and civil court judges over their controversial insurance purchases using court funds.

In a letter to Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette Johnson, Caldwell says he is referring the matter to the high court for any 'corrective or additional measures administratively rather than through any legal action by the attorney general.'

The matter was referred to Caldwell by the state legislative auditor, who found that the New Orleans judges improperly spent more than $800,000 on personal insurance perks since 2006.

The insurance purchases, which were exposed in a series of stories on WWL-TV, were voluntarily stopped by the judges after they were made public.

The wide array of insurance purchases -- including life, disability and supplemental health policies -- were purchased with fines and fees collected from defendants.

The practice had been in place for decades, providing millions of dollars in extra perks to judges, according to the audit sparked by WWL-TV's coverage.

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