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Tue March 19, 2013

Labor Secretary Nominee Linked To NOPD Consent Decree

A Justice Department official pivotal to the New Orleans Police Department consent decree is now the Obama Administration’s nominee to head the Labor Department.

The president announced the nomination Monday, and Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez accepted.  He had been in charge of the civil rights division when he worked with city and federal officials on the consent decree.

As Perez stood with New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Attorney General Eric Holder last year, he spoke about the goal of the decree. Here’s some of what he said on July 24 of last year:

“In the years since Hurricane Katrina devastated this great city New Orleans has undergone a dramatic rebirth. Much of the focus has necessarily been and continues to be on bricks and mortar reconstruction; literally putting this city back together, rebuilding its infrastructure and its community. Today is about rebuilding a core part of the fundamental infrastructure of democracy: an effective accountable police department that reduces crime, ensures respect for the Constitution and earns the trust of the public it is charged with protecting.”

Since then, relations between the city and Justice Department have soured over the cost of implementing the plan. The mayor had no comment on Perez’ nomination.

U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu issued a statement saying she’ll review Perez’ qualifications for the job, and his plans for the Labor Department.

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