U.S. District Court Judge Susie Morgan yesterday gave the city and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) the go-ahead to begin seeking bids on a contract to monitor implementation of the proposed New Orleans Police Department's (NOPD) consent decree.
The decision came after several weeks of wrangling between the city and the federal government regarding city government's Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program. New Orleans officials asked that only those DBE contractors or subcontractors certified uder the city's process be counted toward meeting its 35 percent DBE participation goal. The city's process was created pursuant to a 2010 executive order by Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
But DOJ argued that would limit the applicant pool primarily to companies either located in or with an established presence in Louisiana. The federal government asked that the city expedite its DBE certification process for firms that apply by the end of September. Yesterday, Morgan ruled for DOJ, finding that the DOJ's proposal would not violate the law, as "the City’s DBE certification process is not found in the City Code or the City’s Home Rule Charter. Rather, it is set out by Executive Order of the Mayor as a policy..."
Included in yesterday's court filings was a list of firms to which the city will distribute a request for proposals for the monitor contract, expected to be worth $10 million over the expected run of the consent decree.
(A footnote in the document reads "This list reflects entities to whom the Parties will send a copy of the RFP because the listed entity or its members/affiliates may be interested in applying for this project. This list is in no way intended to limit or discourage application by any individual or entity not listed here.")
The list includes companies with consent decree monitoring experience — such as Altegrity, Inc./Kroll and Police Performance Solutions, LLC — as well as former offshore drilling regulator Michael Bromwich's newly opened consulting firm.
(More after the jump)
As then-Times Picayune writer Brendan McCarthy reported last year, Altegrity/Kroll's law enforcement consultation division is headed by former New York and Los Angeles police chief William Bratton.
Bratton was LAPD chief from 2002 to 2009, during which time the department was under a consent decree monitored by Kroll Associates. He left to take a job as head of Altegrity Risk International. Then in 2010, Altegrity purchased Kroll, and Bratton became Kroll's chairman.
Kroll served as the Detroit Police Department's consent decree monitoring firm from 2003 to 2007, led by Sheryl Robinson Wood.
Police Performance Solutions, another prospective NOPD monitor, took over the Detroit monitoring contract in 2009. The company also handles monitoring duties for the Oakland Police Department's consent decree. Both monitoring teams are led by Robert Warshaw, who has had some recent trouble with Oakland officials.
(Context: Critics of the Oakland Police Department have called the timing of the allegations against Warshaw "suspicious" because they come just a few months after he did this and right before he may do this.)
Update (by way of Joshua Chanin of San Diego State University, who pointed out my oversight): The (Michael) Bromwich Group, a consulting firm Bromwich launched earlier this year, appears on the list. From 2002-2008, Bromwich served as the independent monitor for the Memorandum of Agreement between DC's Metropolitan Police Department and the DOJ.
Then there's the Police Assessment Resource Center, headed by Merrick Bobb. Bobb, a national law enforcement expert, is the longtime civilian monitor/special counsel overseeing the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Other notable names on the list: police officers' association and/or union the National Fraternal Order of Police; military think tank RAND Corporation's Center on Quality Policing; the NAACP; and the Vera Institute of Justice.
Read the full list: Monitor_Contractors.pdf