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

NEW ORLEANS -- Eyewitness Investigates has learned that former Orleans Parish Sheriff'sOffice Deputy John Sens is cooperating with a federal investigation into parish prison contracts.

The information, confirmed by several sources close to the investigation, comes on the heels of Sens' resignation from the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office on Friday.

The sources say that Sens has agreed to plead guilty to a criminal charge in connection with actions he took when he was the purchasing manager at the jail.

Sens was removed from the purchasing job in June after Eyewitness News broke the news about federal grand jury subpoenas being issued in connection with prison construction contracts.

Now it appears the feds are zeroing in on other types of contracts handled by Sens, including those for maintenance and plumbing work.

Sens could not be reached for comment, but a 'for sale' sign recently popped up in front his home in the Garden District.

A spokesman for Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman said he was unaware of any case against Sens, but reiterated earlier statements that the office is cooperating fully with federal authorities.

'The Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office has cooperated with every request made of us on this case and we will continue to cooperate,' spokesman Marc Ehrhardt said.

With Sens' cooperation, an indictment or bill of information is expected to be imminent. Contractors that did work at the parish prison also are part of the still-developing probe into a wide range of purchasing and contracting practices, according to multiple sources.

Sens started as a POST-certified deputy at the prison. Less than a year after Gusman was elected in 2004, he promoted Sens to the purchasing manager job at a salary of $61,000.

Sens was demoted to a security position in June and maintained that job until his resignation Friday. Sens is the brother of Municipal Court Judge Paul Sens, a longtime personal friend of Gusman.

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