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New Orleans Attorney Profiles 2015
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A map listing homicides or suspected homicides in EBR Parish.
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Current gas prices in BR area.

Kenner City Council to reconsider four-year auditing contract in special meeting on Thursday

The Kenner City Council will hold a special meeting Thursday evening to reconsider a four-year auditing contract it awarded last month. The issue arose after it became evident that not all council members used the same methodology when they scored the five firms that submitted proposals before they voted on June 18. Councilwoman… Continue reading →

HUD audit criticizes New Orleans spending of federal money after Hurricane Isaac in 2012

New Orleans did not adequately monitor its procurement process or consistently follow proper federal guidelines and regulations when awarding contracts for disaster recovery work following Hurricane Isaac, the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said in a report released this week. The findings come as… Continue reading →

Attempt to block Westwego from awarding $1.3 million water storage tank contract fails

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --   The Westwego water plant.  Westwego has scrapped a plan to replace its  water treatment facility behind City Hall, deciding instead to repair and modernize the facility.

A construction company’s attempt to block Westwego officials from awarding a $1.3 million contract to replace the municipal water storage tank to a rival bidder failed on Wednesday. Command Construction’s request for a preliminary injunction in the case was denied by Jefferson Parish Judge Stephen Enright, court records show. Command then dropped its lawsuit… Continue reading →

New Orleans City Council members praise plan for job opportunities on Louis Armstrong International Airport terminal contract

New Orleans City Council members on Tuesday lauded a strategy for recruiting, training and employing the city’s residents, especially minority and disadvantaged people, on the crews that will build a new terminal for Louis Armstrong International Airport, even as one council member raised concerns that certain bidders may have gotten preferential treatment in winning subcontracts. The… Continue reading →

Louisiana gay couples not rushing to get married

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide sent celebrants pouring into the streets Friday in Louisiana and beyond, but the ruling so far has produced only a trickle of couples at clerks’ offices around the state actually seeking licenses to be married. In New Orleans, just three couples showed up on Friday. Most… Continue reading →

St. Tammany leaders planning behavioral health center at old hospital site

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD  -- St. Tammany Parish is looking to put to use some 60,000-square-feet of office space, in a group of buildings called the Quad Complex, at the old Southeast Louisiana Hospital, photographed Monday, June 29, 2015.

The buildings of the old Southeast Louisiana Hospital in Mandeville don’t look like much — just a series of low-slung yellow brick structures connected by some covered walkways. But for St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister and other parish leaders worried about mental health options in the parish, they looked like an opportunity. So once the… Continue reading →

Federal appeals court upholds ruling that gives new trial to BP engineer in Deepwater Horizon disaster

Associated Press file photo by GERALD HERBERT -- Kurt Mix, left leaves federal court with an unidentified member of his defense team in New Orleans during his obstruction of justice trial in December.  A federal judge has since thrown out the conviction and ordered a new trial.

A former BP engineer who was convicted of obstructing the federal government’s criminal investigation into the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster deserves a new trial because of juror misconduct, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s ruling granting a new trial for Kurt Mix, who… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish fires off cease-and-desist letter to Uber

FILE - In this photo taken Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014, a man leaves the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco. A ruling filed Tuesday, June 16, 2015 in the case of a single Uber driver could have much broader implications for the popular ride-hailing service and for companies like it that rely on part-time workers for on-demand services. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

The ride-hailing service Uber offered its services in Jefferson Parish for just three days before it attracted a cease-and-desist letter from the Parish Attorney’s Office. The letter from Parish Attorney Deborah Foshee threatens the company with fines, litigation and even criminal prosecution if it does not stop operating without permission from the parish.… Continue reading →

First same-sex couples get marriage licenses in Louisiana despite continuing confusion

For 72 hours after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Friday that same-sex couples could not be denied the right to marry, it seemed that ruling might apply everywhere in the country but Louisiana. With waters muddied by Gov. Bobby Jindal, Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and a state association representing clerks of court — all of whom… Continue reading →

New Orleans men become first same-sex couple to wed in Louisiana, each thankful for 'making me the man that I am today'

ADVOCATE STAFF PHOTO BY JOHN MCCUSKER -- Michael Robinson and Earl Benjamin are the first same-sex couple to wed in New Orleans since Friday's historic Supreme Court decision.

The legal battle. The delays. The disappointment. It was all behind them Monday afternoon. Before them was the life they’d waited years to claim, the one where Michael Robinson and Earl Benjamin could hold hands, gaze into each other’s eyes and promise to love forever. “You are my best friend,” Robinson told Benjamin… Continue reading →

St. Tammany welcomes start of Uber operations in parish

Uber is going suburban. The popular ride-hailing service announced Friday that it would move its area operations beyond Orleans Parish into Jefferson and St. Tammany parishes. But unlike in Jefferson, where the parish attorney on Saturday announced an investigation into whether the company is operating there illegally, St. Tammany Parish President Pat… Continue reading →

Same-sex marriage licenses now available in New Orleans

Turns out same-sex couples looking to get a marriage license in New Orleans won’t have to wait until Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration allows state departments to begin recognizing the unions. Instead, they can just go to the West Bank. Since last week, officials had indicated that the only way for same-sex couples to get a marriage license… Continue reading →

Association reverses course, urges all court clerks to issue same-sex marriage licenses

The Louisiana Clerks of Court Association, which had warned its members against granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples, reversed course Monday afternoon and said all clerks across the state should comply with last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage nationwide. In an email to the group’s members, Executive Director Debbie Hudnall argued… Continue reading →

St. Charles joins Jefferson in issuing same-sex marriage licenses

Days after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide, St. Charles Parish joined neighboring Jefferson Parish as one of the first jurisdictions in Louisiana to begin issuing the licenses. Clerk of Court Lance Marino said the couple — men in their early 50s — “appeared in my office requesting the license with the knowledge… Continue reading →

Ironically, liberal New Orleans could be among last places in Louisiana to issue same-sex marriage licenses

Though it’s widely regarded as the most liberal city in the state, New Orleans will almost certainly be among the last places in Louisiana where same-sex couples will be able to obtain a marriage license. Orleans Parish is the only parish in the state where marriage licenses are handled directly by the vital records office of the… Continue reading →

'It’s overwhelming': Jefferson Parish issues first same-sex marriage license in Louisiana to clerk office employees

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  Celeste Autin and Alesia LeBoeuf were the first to get a marriage license at the Jefferson Parish Courthouse on Monday, June 29, 2015.

Jefferson Parish began issuing same-sex marriage licenses to anyone who applied for them on Monday, Clerk of Court Jon Gegenheimer said. Gegenheimer’s office made the decision about 10 a.m. after speaking with his agency’s legal counsel, attorney John Litchfield. Litchfield spent the weekend reviewing the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision on Friday to legalize same-sex… Continue reading →

New cap on Louisiana's generous film tax credits seen as botched, 'short-term solution,' but change may be coming again

Advocate file photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Crews work to film 'Pitch Perfect 2' in June at BREC's Highland Road Community Park in Baton Rouge.

Jan Moller is one of the leading critics of Louisiana’s generous incentives for the film industry, so he’s thrilled that the Legislature this year put limits on the expensive program for the first time. But he thinks lawmakers botched the job, putting him in the rare position of agreeing with film boosters and saying the reforms… Continue reading →

New Airbnb plan would allow short-term rentals but not of entire properties in New Orleans

Advocate file photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Bonnie Rabe of Grand Victorian switches on a light in one of the rooms in her St. Charles Avenue bed and breakfast July 18, 2014. Her business, which is regulated and taxed, is facing competition from companies like Airbnb that often offer properties that are not being similarly regulated.

New Orleans residents would be able to continue renting out rooms on Airbnb but would be barred from using entire houses and apartments solely for short-term stays by tourists under a proposal being crafted by City Councilwoman Stacy Head. The plan would crack down on a practice that has been at the center of debates over… Continue reading →

Is Uber operating illegally in Jefferson? Parish Attorney's Office probes allegations

FILE - In this photo taken Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014, a man leaves the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco. A ruling filed Tuesday, June 16, 2015 in the case of a single Uber driver could have much broader implications for the popular ride-hailing service and for companies like it that rely on part-time workers for on-demand services. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

Jefferson Parish Attorney Deborah Foshee’s office is investigating allegations that the ride-hailing service Uber is operating in the parish illegally. In an email to Parish Council members on Saturday, Foshee said Uber would be violating the law and could be subject to civil and criminal penalties if the allegations are true. The company’s Louisiana website… Continue reading →

Judge overrules city’s order stopping work on new jail

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman gives a tour on how the construction of the new jail is progressing  in New Orleans, La. Thursday, April 9, 2015. Sheriff Gusman points out some of the features of one of the cell housing units as Sgt. Gregory Rickson opens all the cell doors from his deputies station.

Crews will get back to work on building the new $145 million Orleans Parish Prison, at least temporarily, after a Civil District Court judge on Friday suspended a stop-work order the city had issued this week in its long-running feud with Sheriff Marlin Gusman over the design of the new building. The order means construction can… Continue reading →

Mandeville council reduces general fund millage by 65 percent

Mandeville is not like other Louisiana cities. Just ask any of the city’s leaders, who will happily point to the picturesque lakefront, low crime rate and good schools as factors that make it distinctive. But the city also differs from other municipalities in one other, perhaps more important, respect: It has money. Lots of it.… Continue reading →

Harahan council finally passes 2015 budget

 Harahan Mayor Tina Miceli

It took until late June, but Harahan finally has a 2015 budget. The City Council on Thursday unanimously approved a $5.9 million spending plan that gives the police and fire departments almost all of what they requested. The Harahan Police Department got $1.74 million of a requested $1.8 million, and the Fire… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish takes wait-and-see approach after same-sex marriages are legalized

A man takes a photo of a large rainbow flag hanging at City Hall in San Francisco, Friday, June 26, 2015, following a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court  that  same-sex couples have the right to marry nationwide.  (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Though the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriages nationwide on Friday morning, Jefferson Parish Clerk of Court Jon Gegenheimer said his office would not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples until he got the go-ahead from his in-house legal counsel. John Litchfield, the attorney for the parish clerk of court, said he understands there could… Continue reading →

Officials probing decline in proceeds from St. Bernard Parish scrap metal sales

State and local authorities are investigating whether theft is to blame for a sharp decline in St. Bernard Parish’s proceeds from scrap metal sales in recent years. St. Bernard officials, including Chief Administrative Officer Michael Gorbaty and Finance Director Ross Gonzales, met with detectives from the Sheriff’s Office this month and reported that the parish’s proceeds… Continue reading →

New Orleans to have online auction next week for properties with unpaid taxes

The first batch of nearly 1,800 properties taken over by the city for unpaid taxes will be offered for purchase in an online auction next week, New Orleans officials said Thursday. About 90 “tax-adjudicated” properties, mostly vacant lots in neighborhoods across the city, will hit the virtual auction block Wednesday for a 12-hour period beginning at… Continue reading →