The selection of an independent compliance director to oversee the day-to-day operation of the parish prison and continue to move the jail toward compliance with the federal consent decree was the result of a compromise between the sheriff and plaintiffs in a lawsuit against his office, asking the federal government to place the sheriff’s office under receivership. According to the compromise, Gusman will select the compliance director from the list of three nominees chosen by the DOJ, the city of New Orleans and attorneys representing plaintiffs in the suit.
Gusman says the panel he has assembled will evaluate the nominees by reviewing their qualifications and conducting interviews. The panel will make a recommendation to him prior to his final decision.
His evaluation panel includes: U.S. Representative Cedric Richmond; state Attorney General Jeff Landry; Orleans Parish DA Leon A. Cannizzaro, Jr., Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand; Rafael C. Goyeneche III, president of the Metropolitian Crime Commission; Morris Reed, president of the New Orleans NAACP; Erica McConduit-Diggs, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater New Orleans; Pat Bryant, co-moderator of the local social justice organization, Justice and Beyond; Rev. Willie Gabel, pastor of the Progressive Baptist Church and Interdominational Ministerial Alliance; and Dr. C. S. Gordon, Jr., president of the Louisiana Missionary Baptist State Convention and pastor of New Zion Baptist Church in New Orleans.
Gusman said the panel represents a “diverse group of leaders with diverse points of view” from various backgrounds, including law enforcement, policymaking, faith-based leadership and community engagement.
“I appreciate the commitment that each of these community leaders is making to assist the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office in our continued progress to operate in the best interests of public safety and our community,” Gusman said in a written statement. “I look forward to working with all of them,” said Sheriff Marlin Gusman.
The parties in the consent decree, including the City of New Orleans, have until tomorrow (Friday, Aug. 5,) to present the names of three compliance director candidates to Gusman.