The Latest: Ex-jail administrator charged

AP News
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Posted: Jun 21, 2016 11:55 AM

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Latest on the battle over who will run troubled New Orleans jail (all times local):

10:55 a.m.

A former administrator at the troubled New Orleans jail is charged in federal court with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

The charge against former Orleans Parish Chief Deputy Jerry Ursin was announced by the U.S. Attorney's Office on Tuesday. It came on the same day as an announcement in a federal court case where inmate advocates, the Justice Department and the city of New Orleans were seeking to have Sheriff Marlin Gusman stripped of his authority to run the jail.

Under a compromise, Gusman remains in charge of the jail, but cedes broad authority to new court-approved "compliance director."

The charge against Ursin arises from his role in a private security business that sometimes hired off-duty deputies for security details. Ursin resigned in April. Court documents did not contain information on his attorney.

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9:25 a.m.

A judge has approved a compromise to avoid a federal takeover of New Orleans' violent jail from Sheriff Marlin Gusman.

The agreement, however, calls for Gusman to appoint a new compliance director at the jail who will have broad authority over staffing, management and the jail budget. That director will be chosen from nominees made by the Justice Department, lawyers for inmate advocates and the New Orleans city government. Those are the entities that had been urging U.S. District Judge Lance Africk to appoint a federal "receiver" to run the jail. They had been highly critical of Gusman's lack of progress in implementing a 2012 reform agreement.

Africk announced the compromise Tuesday morning.

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8:45 a.m.

A compromise has been announced in federal court in New Orleans that will keep the local sheriff in charge of the city's long-troubled jail.

The judge in the case made the announcement Tuesday morning.

In April, lawyers for the U.S. Justice Department and inmate advocates asked U.S. District Judge Lance Africk to appoint a federal "receiver" to run the lockup. They cited Sheriff Marlin Gusman's slow progress in implementing reforms required in a 2012 lawsuit settlement. Gusman blamed the problems on a lack of funding from the city.

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4:40 a.m.

The battle over control of the troubled New Orleans jail may be coming to an end.

Tuesday morning testimony has been canceled in the federal court case over whether Sheriff Marlin Gusman should continue to run the jail. Gusman has scheduled a morning news conference and a congressional supporter of the sheriff says a compromise has been reached that will avoid a federal takeover.

Details may be forthcoming at a status conference set for the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Lance Africk. In April, lawyers for the U.S. Justice Department and inmate advocates asked Africk to appoint a federal "receiver" to run the lockup. They cited Gusman's slow progress in implementing reforms required in a 2012 lawsuit settlement. Gusman blamed the problems on a lack of funding from the city.