Contempt motion dropped over New Orleans jail


NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a contempt motion against the sheriff who runs the New Orleans jail and has called off a Monday hearing about fire safety issues at the lockup.

Lawyers for inmates and the Justice Department had called this week for a contempt finding against Sheriff Marlin Gusman. They cited problems with fire safety conditions in parts of the jail complex, which includes buildings that are more than 80 years old.

Gusman had reached an agreement with the Justice Department to make improvements at the jail.

On Friday, however, the lawyers said they are pleased with responses from Gusman and city officials that indicate efforts are underway to deal with the problems.

U.S. District Judge Lance Africk set a May 16 meeting with attorneys to discuss the issues.

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