Sheriff and Mayor fight over GOHSEP
BATON ROUGE- There's still no agreement between Mayor Kip Holden and Sheriff Sid Gautreaux over money from the Governor's Office of Homeland Security.
Wednesday morning on WJBO, the sheriff said the process couldn't be easier. He believes the mayor should let him see the GOHSEP grant, check the law enforcement fund allotment, and sign off on it, just as the new GOHSEP rules required. But so far the mayor has not let the sheriff see the grant.
At Wednesday night's meeting, the Metro Council wanted a review of all $27 million the parish has gotten from GOHSEP.
Councilman Chandler Loup questioned who's getting the law enforcement portion of the money. He pointed out that in 2008, the Baton Rouge Police Department received $800,00 from the GOHSEP grant, while the sheriff's office only got $59,000.
But the Mayor defended the delay in having the sheriff sign the grant, telling the council "New Orleans right now does not abide by this and the question is are the rules they are putting in right now, are they rules that apply to every parish."
The state could step in and mediate the issue and come to a resolution.
In a statement to News 2, GOHSEP Director Mark Cooper said, "As in other states, Louisiana is given the authority to establish requirements to ensure grants meet federal guidelines as well as the needs of each parish. The goal is to have the parish leaders work together, and a resolution will be reached when both sides meet the requirements."
The council also decided to study the idea of combining the sheriff's department and police department under one parish wide force. Councilman Chandler Loupe added the proposed study to the metro-council agenda at the last minute. The item asked the council to set up a committee to study the idea of a joint force. Implementing the idea would ultimately be up to the voters.