Update, 4:55 p.m.: Supreme Court stays Mitch Landrieu's house arrest at last minute
At 5 p.m. Friday, the clock runs out for Mayor Mitch Landrieu to come up with a plan to pay New Orleans firefighters $75 million in back pay, plus tens of millions more in interest. If the mayor doesn’t have a plan that will satisfy a Civil District Court judge, he is supposed to be put under house arrest for the weekend.
It’s unclear whether there will be any last-minute legal filings or negotiations that might avert Civil District Judge Kern Reese’s order from taking effect.
Reese set the Friday deadline last week after holding the city in contempt of court for failing to come up with a plan after a month of mediation.
Exactly how things will play out Friday remains unclear. As of Thursday evening, Reese had not entered any documents spelling out exactly how the house arrest would work, though city officials said they are proceeding on the understanding that Landrieu has to be at home once the deadline passes.
Based on Reese’s comments from the bench last week, Landrieu will have to stay home from 5 p.m. Friday to 5 p.m. Sunday every weekend until the matter is resolved.
The city has filed motions asking for Reese’s permission to appeal the decision and seeking to stay the mayor’s punishment until those appeals are resolved. Reese has not acted on those motions either.
There were no hearings on the matter scheduled as of Thursday.
Chief Administrative Officer Andy Kopplin said the city is waiting on the firefighters to respond to an offer the city put forward last week. That deal would pay the firefighters $75 million over about 30 years, including an up-front payment of $15 million and decades of smaller payments financed through a new property tax.
The proposal would require firefighters to drop their demand for $67 million in interest payments and also make concessions the administration has sought to put their essentially insolvent pension system back on track.
Follow Jeff Adelson on Twitter, @jadelson.