New Orleans: Marlin Gusman, Mitch Landrieu in the middle of a political brawl over jail

Sheriff suggests race is becoming an issue

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A political brawl has broken out between the mayor and the sheriff who runs the jail in New Orleans.

The jail has come under scrutiny recently for a video showing inmates using drugs, drinking beer and one prisoner with a handgun in 2009.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu asked a judge last week to take the extraordinary step of placing the jail under federal oversight.

The jail is run by Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman but funded by the city. Landrieu is upset over an agreement Gusman reached with the U.S. Justice Department to reform the jail, saying the city can't afford the potential fixes. The sheriff says the city has consistently underfunded the jail and suggested race may be behind the attacks.

Gusman is black. Landrieu is white.
 

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