A top Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office official, whose job was mandated by the consent decree governing changes at the city jail, has left his post after a little more than a year on the job.
Sheriff Marlin Gusman announced the departure of Chief Corrections Deputy Michael Tidwell on Friday evening.
Tidwell joined the Sheriff’s Office in September 2013 after spending six years as chief of corrections in Orange County, Florida.
A statement from Gusman’s office said Tidwell is leaving for a position in Escambia County, Florida. The post is similar to what he did while in New Orleans, Gusman said.
“I want to thank Mike Tidwell for his service to the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office and congratulate him on his new appointment,” the sheriff said in a brief prepared statement.
He offered no reason for the departure.
Tidwell is leaving shortly before the Sheriff’s Office is scheduled to open a long-awaited new 1,438-bed jail in early 2015.
Tidwell’s job in New Orleans was a required provision in the court-enforced jail reform agreement that was accepted by Gusman, inmate advocates and the U.S. Department of Justice in late 2013.
While in New Orleans, he was in charge of providing analysis and review of the operations of the jail, which some experts have described as one of the worst in the nation.
He began his law enforcement career in 1971 as a deputy marshal with the U.S. Marshals Service.
Gusman said a search for Tidwell’s interim and permanent replacement has begun.
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