After nearly five years in office, Orleans Parish District Attorney Eddie Jordan announced his resignation on October 31st. Jordan leaving is great news for the city suffering from high crime and a poor image. Jordan's depature is the most positive news I have heard in many, many years. This could have a positive impact on the city.
A federal judge ruled that the district attorney’s office assets may be seized to pay off a $3.65 million judgment pending from a 2005 case in which dozens of qualified white office workers successfully sued District Attorney Eddie Jordan for replacing them with inexperienced black workers.
Jordan ruled over this inexperienced, horribly disorganized office that rarely prosecuted criminals and consistently released them from jail to commit more crimes on the streets of New Orleans.
U.S. Rep. William "Bill" Jefferson is a man who knows what its like to be accused of criminal behavior. He was alledgedly caught with $90k of marked bills in his freezer during an FBI sting. Mr. Jefferson issued this statement:
I deeply regret that District Attorney Eddie Jordan was unable to complete his term in office successfully. I and many others had prayed for his success in that position. Like every other person of goodwill in this community, I do not condone the hiring or firing of any person based on race. It is Mr. Jordan's contention that this did not happen, however, the court has decided otherwise.Why did Jordan stay in office for nearly five years? Where is the outrage from the people of New Orleans? Why was Jordan such a horrible DA?
Much has been made about the assistance given by a member of my staff who took leave to provide administrative support at the D.A.'s office during transition. Of course, she had no decision-making power with respect to the persons who would be hired or fired in the D.A.'s office, and I personally made no recommendation as to who should be employed or retained. It is important to note that every white Assistant District Attorney was retained by Mr. Jordan and the persons replaced by Mr. Jordan's hires were non-legal personnel.
As the first African American District Attorney, Mr. Jordan was overwhelmingly supported by the African American community. The staff of the out-going D.A. was overwhelmingly white. Mr. Jordan's effort to hire qualified people whom he knew or who were supportive of his campaign naturally meant that the pool of such applicants would overwhelmingly be African Americans. Every D.A. has been accorded the right to let go the prior D.A.'s personnel and hire his own. It is unfortunate that in this case Mr. Jordan's effort to follow this well-established practice ended with the appearance that he was discriminating against a segment of the population. I did not believe then, and I do not believe now that this was ever his intention.
Jordan was not qualified for the position of District Attorney – his buddies lied to voters who thought they were electing a tough as nails prosecutor, the man who convicted former Governor Edwin Edwards. Actually, Jordan was nothing more than a face man for the real team of federal prosecutors, led by Jim Letten who worked under him in the U.S. Attorney’s office and actually prosecuted Edwards.
In 2007, over 190 people have been murdered, bypassing the previous year and setting the stage for New Orleans becoming the murder capital of the nation, once again. The murder rate is encroaching pre-Katrina numbers when 175,000 more people were living in New Orleans, so by percentages, this current crime crisis is unfathomable.
Good luck everyone.