Who Should New Orleans’ Next Jailer Be??
Time to elect a new jailer, and two of the candidates running for the office leave a whole lot to be desired.
First we have the current jailer, Marlin Gusman. Though he’s doing a little better recently, his track record is terrible! I’ve written this guy up many times, and I’m surprised he hasn’t been indicted yet. I still think he will be. Under his watch, videos quickly went viral showing inmates unloading a gun in jail, slamming down beers, snorting and injecting drugs, and carousing on Bourbon Street.
The federal and state governments have withdrawn their prisoners from Gusman’s jail because of the unconstitutional practices within. Just the last few weeks, numerous serious incidents have occurred at the jail. Days before early voting began on Jan. 18, problems with the jail, its employees and leader made headlines. Two deputies were arrested in domestic disputes, guards found a hole to the outside, an OPP inmate was able to walk free after a jailer’s error, another inmate showed up to court too doped up to stand and Gusman himself was hauled a judge who was upset over the release of a prosecutor who had been sentenced to 24 hours for contempt of court.
A couple of days ago, one of the local newspapers backed Gusman for jailer. Hard to understand that choice, he’s proven he’s a pretty awful jailer.
76 year old Charles Foti has thrown his hat in the ring. Foti ran the jail for 30 years, and I think that is enough for him. The jail was huge under Foti, with 6,000 prisoners not being uncommon. As with Gusman, Foti was accused of running an unconstitutional jail. He is a former Democratic Attorney General of the U.S. state of Louisiana.
Ira Thomas, the president of the Orleans Parish School Board, is the third candidate in the contest. I believe Thomas is a good man. There’s a fourth man with his hat in the ring, landscaper Quentin Brown. He’s figuring in the very low single digits in all polls, so he’s not going to figure into this story very much.
Thomas is a retired New Orleans Police Lieutenant with 28 years of service. He served as Executive Administrator of Security and Investigations for New Orleans Public Schools from 2003-5. He’s president of the New Orleans School Board. Thomas is a stable family man with two grown children. His background qualifies him for the jailer position. He’s actually a fairly strong candidate whom I’m happy to support.
Please vote on Saturday, February 1, and vote for Ira Thomas for jailer!!