NEW ORLEANS -- The selection of a firm to monitor the New Orleans Police Department's compliance with a consent decree has been delayed again.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu's administration and the Justice Department are at odds over two finalists vying for the lucrative monitoring contract.
A public meeting, in which the two sides were to select a monitor, had been scheduled for noon Tuesday. But the city again asked for a two-week delay, a request that was granted by a judge this evening.
The monitor will be key to overseeing mandated police reforms. The contract will last at least four years and cost the city at least $7 million.
The feds want Sheppard, Mullin, Richter and Hampton, of Washington, D.C. The city favors Hillard Heintze of Chicago.
The U.S. Department of Justice had opposed the city's attempt to delay the meeting. In a court memo filed this evening, the feds noted that they 'have tried diligently to reach agreement' with the city, including in a telephone discussion this afternoon with Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
The next hearing is scheduled for noon, May 28, at the Superdome.
If the city and theJustice Department are unable to decide on a firm, they'll have to make their case to U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan, who is handling the consent decree case.