Sheriff’s Office budget creates $13 million question mark for the 2020 budget
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Sheriff’s Office budget creates $13 million question mark for the 2020 budget

Michael Isaac Stein |
November 1, 2019

Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman presented his proposed budget to the City Council on Thursday, saying that his general fund allocation would increase by $13 million next year, from $53 million to $66 million.


Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman presented his proposed budget to the City Council on Thursday, saying that his general fund allocation would increase by $13 million next year, from $53 million to $66 million.

But that doesn’t line up with the proposed budget that Mayor Latoya Cantrell presented earlier this month. That proposal shows the Sheriff’s office’s general fund revenue remaining steady at $53 million. 

The Sheriff’s Office is responsible for running the Orleans Justice Center, the city’s jail. Since 2013, the Sheriff’s Office has been overseen by a federal judge as part of a consent decree, enacted in order to bring the notoriously dangerous jail into constitutional compliance. In 2016, the judge sidelined Gusman, ordering that an appointed official, called a compliance director, handle the day-to-day operations of the jail. However, Gusman, as the elected head of the Sheriff’s Office, led its budget presentation on Thursday. 

After Gusman’s presentation, Sean Bruno, the Chief Financial Officer for the Sheriff’s office, said that the agency and the city were “on the same page” about the budget increase. He said the disparity between the budget book and the Sheriff’s Office’s presentation occurred because the office didn’t submit its proposal to Mayor LaToya Cantrell on time. 

But according to Cantrell’s Chief Administrative Officer Gilbert Montaño, the $66 million figure isn’t final just yet. Montaño told The Lens that there were “still unknowns” he was looking at, and that he still needed to understand the sheriff’s method for projecting costs such as overtime pay. 

“I’m very nervous about it,” he said. “The Sheriff’s Office is a big one.”

Credit by - The LENS

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