Mayor Mitch Landrieu outlined dire circumstances on the horizon in an emergency meeting of the New Orleans City Council Thursday morning, warning that the city will be forced to drastically cut services and furlough public safety employees if they adhere to the U.S. Department of Justice's consent decree mandating changes at the Orleans Parish jail complex.
A federal judge has granted preliminary approval of an agreement between the Justice Department and the city of New Orleans that's designed to clean up the city-funded jail.
The consent decree with Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman calls for him to provide adequate medical and mental health care and overhaul policies on use of force and rape prevention, among other reforms. U.S. District Judge Lance Africk's approval Tuesday is a step towards implementing some of those reforms.
Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig where 11 men died in April 2010, has agreed to pay $1.4 billion in criminal and civil penalties to resolve Justice Department allegations over its role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.