New Orleans Jail Director Wants Protection From Lawsuits


NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The head of the troubled New Orleans jail has asked a federal judge for protection from lawsuits.

The New Orleans Advocate reports that Compliance Director Darnley Hodge Sr. requested Friday that a judge declare that he's acting as an officer of the court and cannot be sued.

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Hodge was appointed to lead the jail's operations in February. The compliance director is in charge of implementing a federal court consent decree mandating reforms, and essentially runs the jail in lieu of the sidelined Orleans Parish sheriff.

Hodge says lawsuits serve as distractions, but plaintiffs' attorneys say shielding him would eliminate a way to hold leadership accountable for problems at the jail.

U.S. District Judge Lance Africk oversees the consent decree and has yet to rule on Hodge's motion.

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