Covering Louisiana

Oct 9, 2012 4:53 PM by AP

Orleans criminal court clerk sues city

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Orleans Parish Criminal Court Clerk Arthur Morrell has filed a lawsuit against the city because Mayor Mitch Landrieu's administration is withholding 3.8 percent of Morrell's $3.7 million budget.

The lawsuit asks a state district judge to stop what it calls an abuse of discretion in allegedly refusing to fully fund Morrell's office. The suit says state law holds the city responsible for funding operations of the clerk's office.

The budget cuts for Morrell's office were among cuts ordered to almost all city departments by the Landrieu administration and Chief Administrative Officer Andy Kopplin to keep the 2012 budget in balance.

Landrieu spokesman Ryan Berni said the cuts were within Kopplin's authority and that it was Kopplin's responsibility to make cuts when revenue declines. No hearing date has been set.

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