NEWORLEANS-- After a contentious meeting at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Thursday, the U.S. Department of Justice and the City of New Orleans were unable to agree on who should monitor the overhaul of the New Orleans Police Department through a consent decree.
Now, both sides will give their recommendations to a federal judge, who will make the final decision.
Before Thursday's meeting, the selection committee had narrowed it down to two finalists.
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter, and Hampton is the Washington, D.C. based company backed by the Department of Justice.
Hillard Heintze, of Chicago, is the city's choice, as well as the less expensive option.
The selection committee said it has been actively speaking with both candidates.
During Thursday's meeting, the city proposed a hybrid team comprised of Hillard Heintze and two principals from Sheppard Mullin.
The Department of Justice said that was not an acceptable option, because there is no information on how much that would cost or who would play which role in monitoring the consent decree.
Roy Austin, a DOJattorney, said Sheppard Mullin is the best team because its lawyers have experience dealing with civil rights issues and consent decrees.
The city argues that Sheppard Mullin is too large a firm, and too expensive.
'This is not about choosing the least expensive, it's about choosing the best team,' Austin said.
But First Deputy Mayor Andy Kopplin said, although Hillard Heintze is less expensive, it is still the best team.
Both sides must give their recommendations to a federal judge Friday a 9 am. The judge will make the final decision on who will monitor the NOPDconsent decree.