NEW ORLEANS, LA--Mayor Mitch Landrieu issued the following statement today following the selection of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton as the New Orleans Police Department Consent Decree Monitor. Sheppard Mullin’s contract is capped at $8.5 million. The competing firm’s cost was $7.1 million, approximately 1.4 million less than Sheppard Mullin.
“We are very concerned about the taxpayers of New Orleans paying the high cost of Washington, DC lawyers’ billing of up to $491 an hour, plus their travel expenses and incidentals.
“Every dollar we pay a high-priced monitor is a dollar we cannot spend on more police, NORD or fixing our streets. If this firm had met the more competitive cost of the other proposal, the City would have saved $1.4 million. That’s $1.4 million that could have instead fully funded a new NOPD recruit class of 30 for a year, or an entire 12 week NORD summer swimming program, or the repair of more than 75,000 potholes. That’s why we are fighting so hard to negotiate the best value for the taxpayers.
“We are particularly leery of this firm’s history of overcharging municipalities. In a separate case, a judge called Sheppard Mullin’s billing ‘excessive and unreasonable … transcending beyond the stratosphere into deep outer space.’”