Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 5:32 pm
Update at 11:30 a.m. ET: Oil giant BP has agreed to plead guilty to criminal misconduct related to the 2010 Gulf Oil spill and will pay a record $4 billion in criminal penalties, the company just confirmed. And it will pay $525 million in civil penalties in a resolution with the Securities and Exchanges Commission. BP will make the payments over six years.
The U.S. Justice Department is asking to join a class action lawsuit that accuses Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman of overseeing a jail that routinely subjects prisoners to brutal, inhumane conditions.
The federal agency filed a request Monday in federal court, asking to be included as a plaintiff in the lawsuit filed in April by the Southern Poverty Law Center contending the jail's conditions violate the U.S. Constitution.
Attorney General Eric Holder on Tuesday will announce a federal consent decree to require sweeping reform of the long-troubled New Orleans Police Department.
A person with direct knowledge of the plan, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement had not yet been made public, says Mayor Mitch Landrieu will join Holder for the announcement Tuesday afternoon in New Orleans.
The reforms — with oversight of a federal judge — are expected to be some of the broadest and strictest ever imposed on a police department.
New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas is defending a department policy that has led to more than 70,000 people having their names and personal information fed into an electronic database following traffic and pedestrian stops even if they weren't arrested.
Serpas tells The Times-Picayune that officers are "utilizing judgment in accordance with law and professional practice" in filling out "field interview cards" after stopping and questioning people.
But the newspaper reports that it's unclear how many names may have been improperly entered into the database.
Two Louisiana congressmen are calling on the Justice Department to respond to a complaint that one of its attorneys tried to bar a newspaper reporter from quoting or recording her comments at a public hearing in New Iberia.
The Daily Iberian contends Justice Department attorney Rachel Hranitzky became "belligerent and threatening" after the reporter, Matthew Beaton, questioned why he couldn't quote her comments during a June 12 public hearing about the New Iberia Fire Department's hiring and promotion practices.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Justice Department is urging a federal judge to set a new trial date for this summer for government claims against BP over the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP has asked the judge to set a January 2013 trial date.