Gusman-Sens Connection Probed by Grand Jury!!!
June 12, 2012 update-
Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman announced Monday that he has reassigned a top deputy pending a federal probe into contracts related to a temporary jail facility. John Sens, the brother of Municipal Court Judge Paul Sens, has been reassigned to “security and administrative duties,” according to a news release.
The Grand Jury is probing how work was parceled out during the construction of the Sheriff’s temporary jail project. The brothers Sens are both mixed up in the investigation. John Sens is director of purchasing for Gusman and Municipal Court Judge Paul Sens is a very close friend of Marlin Gusman.
DRC, Inc. a disaster recovery contractor out of Mobile, AL, run by former FBI agent Robert Isakson, was the general contractor for the temporary jail, which cost much more than expected and was finished far later than planned. The sheriff began building 400 jail beds before the city’s Criminal Justice Working Group – established in mid September, 2011 by the mayor to examine the jail expansion – holds its first official meeting.
The construction was paid for by FEMA, and is basically complete and the building is being used. However, because of some continuing difficulties with the building, Gusman is trying to hold back the last $500,000 owed DRC.
DRC’s original design/build contract was for $8.4 million but ended up costing FEMA almost $1.2 million more. There were 11 change orders, according to records provided by Gusman’s office.
The project manager, the Ozanne Construction Company of Cleveland, OH, determined that all were necessary due to unforeseen ground conditions such as underground obstructions, contaminated soil, and hidden poisonous substances like asbestos. I’m curious to see if the Ozanne name shows up in the investigation.
Isakson and his company are already federal grand jury parties of interest for allegedly providing former Plaquemines Parish Sheriff Jeff Hingle with all sorts of goodies, such as free tickets, loans, even BP oil spill clean-up payments!!
Gusman’s office hired Paul Sens’ wife, Ann, to conduct appraisals for his office. She is one of seven appraisers the Sheriff hired and she was paid almost $73,000 last year.
Gusman’s wife, Renee, was hired as a counselor at Municipal Court, where Paul Sens is chief judge. She consulted with first time marijuana arrestees. She claimed she was doing the work as a favor to Sens.