NEW ORLEANS – A recent ruling by the Louisiana Supreme Court demands the City of New Orleans pay the fire department’s retirement and relief fund $17.5 million.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration stopped paying into the fund in 2012 alleging neglect by the firefighter’s pension board.
“In these tough times, it is particularly offensive that the city’s taxpayers are on the hook for this extraordinary sum, largely because of the Firefighter Pension Board’s reckless investments and management,” said Andy Kopplin, Landrieu’s chief deputy. “This ruling, combined with the impending costs related to the sheriff’s consent decree, will be devastating to the city’s budget and could potentially lead to cutting critical city services and employee furloughs.”
Nick Felton, president of the New Orleans Fire Fighter’s Association, also released a statement.
“While the trustees will make the final determination, the firefighters union will continue to bargain in good faith on this and all pending issues that are currently before us,” Felton said. “Firefighters know that this is in the best interest of the citizens of New Orleans and its firefighters.”
The two sides are expected to meet soon and negotiate a deal.