New Orleans voters gave overwhelming support Tuesday to finalizing a split between the offices of Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux and Susan Hutson, the city's independent police monitor.
The City Charter change formally breaking up the two offices passed easily, with about 71 percent of voters in favor.
"The voters of New Orleans have corrected a crippling structural flaw in the original charter amendment establishing the Office of Police Monitor, Ethics Review Board and Office of Inspector General by approving this charter amendment allowing for independent operational and financial structures for each ethics entity," according to a release sent out Wednesday from Hutson's office.
The division of the offices comes after years of bitter disputes between Quatrevaux and Hutson.
Few breakups play out as publicly — or as bitterly — as that between Ed Quatrevaux, the New …
Quatrevaux has been the city's inspector general since 2009, overseeing an office that is responsible for serving as a watchdog over dozens of city agencies, providing reports and analyses aimed at ferreting out waste and abuse in the city's government.
Hutson, who was hired by Quatrevaux in 2010, is charged specifically with monitoring internal investigations within the New Orleans Police Department and serving as a liaison between the department and residents in case of disputes.
But the two have clashed over their roles, particularly as they fought over how much authority Quatrevaux had over Hutson's operations as well as over budgetary issues.
Those fights reached a peak last year, when Quatrevaux asked the Ethics Review Board to fire Hutson for several alleged offenses, including releasing a video of a police officer hitting a 16-year-old in custody.
Civil rights advocates, who had previously sought to prevent Quatrevaux from being reappointed over the dispute, and other community members came to Hutson's defense, as did a majority of the City Council.
The request to split the offices stemmed from that final fight. For the past year, the two offices have been separated through an agreement that moved Hutson into separate office space and provided her with more autonomy and funding. The charter change approved by voters Tuesday formally separates the offices.
Under the terms of the charter change, the 0.75 percent of the city's annual operating budget that now goes to the Office of Inspector General will be split up. The inspector general will get 0.55 percent, the police monitor will get 0.16 percent and 0.04 percent will go to the Ethics Review Board, which oversees both offices.