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City Council Releases Open Letter to District Attorney Requesting Data and Transparency

October 23, 2017

NEW ORLEANS - City Council President Jason Williams and District "A" Councilmember Susan Guidry have transmitted a letter to District Attorney, Leon Cannizzaro, signed and supported by the entire New Orleans City Council. The letter echoes requests made by the Council during the past several years of budget hearings and Criminal Justice Committee meetings. Among the information requested is data on juvenile transfers, diversion, felony and misdemeanor acceptance rates and definitions of the DA's policy regarding screening and training.

The letter states, "Increased data collection and sharing will represent a good faith effort toward more efficient and effective administration of the law as well as fiscally sound budget allocations. Quantitative measurements of who is coming through our courts, how they are getting there and what ultimately brings them back or keeps them out are invaluable to addressing associated needs." The New Orleans City Council requests a response from District Attorney Cannizzaro by November 20, 2017.

"This City Council's priority is a safer city for all residents, which cannot happen without the cooperation of District Attorney Cannizzaro and his implementation of moral, sound national best practices," said Councilmember Williams. "Our efforts at data collection and transparency have always been rooted in a desire to see that his office function as best it can. We want to see him win, but not at the cost of victim's rights and with the use of fake subpoenas."

"Understanding that City funds are limited, we need accurate and reliable data from all departments and agencies requesting funding, including from the District Attorney, to make sound decisions regarding resource allocation," said District "D" Councilmember Jared C. Brossett.

"It goes without saying that the Council needs accurate information from all agencies that seek funding from the general budget, which is comprised of the taxpayers' money," said Councilmember Guidry. "We need to assess the efficiency of each agency and the effectiveness of its policies, practices and programs. We have requested and received data from other agencies in the past. Historically, the Council has not received adequate information from the District Attorney, and this first formal request for data is, frankly, past due."

To view the letter in its entirety, click here.


Media Contact:
Katie Hunter-Lowry
Communications Director
Office of Councilmember-At-Large Jason Williams
Cell: 504-658-1075

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