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Racist New Orleans D.A. loses $3 million lawsuit, wants broke city to pay

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Guest JMT

Jordan: N.O. needs to bail out DA

The Times-Picayune, October 23, 2007 9:50PM

Only the city of New Orleans can pay off District Attorney Eddie Jordan's $3.7 million debt to the employees he wrongly fired in 2003, his office says in documents filed at federal court.

Having exhausted -- and lost -- a series of appeals over the federal civil rights case that originated in 2003, Jordan says his budget can't handle the verdict and that his only option is to persuade Mayor Ray Nagin to ask the City Council for the money owed to 36 workers who successfully sued him for employment discrimination.


A federal judge this week ruled that the award could come from assets of the district attorney's office, refusing to place any more delays on the judgment. Interest on the award grows by $20,000 a month.

Plaintiffs are through waiting, their attorneys said Tuesday, warning once again that they will seek to seize assets of the district attorney's office -- from payroll accounts to cars -- if Jordan's office does not pay up.

New Orleans, which since Hurricane Katrina has balanced its budget only by securing federal loans, will have to decide to pay Jordan's legal tab or risk watching the prosecutors' office shut down for financial reasons.

Jordan, the city's first African-American district attorney, violated employment discrimination laws when after taking office he ordered the wholesale firing of white employees and replaced almost all of them with black workers, a jury found more than two years ago.

Jordan wanted U.S. District Court Judge Stanwood Duval to freeze the $3.7 million award until the city has a chance to approve a new budget that includes enough money to pay off the legal debt, but that didn't happen.

The district attorney has submitted a request to the City Council to provide the office with the money to pay the award, attorneys for Jordan said, and an approval by next month is "highly likely."

FULL STORY: http://blog.nola.com/updates/2007/10/jordan_no_needs_to_bail_out_da.html

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