Good afternoon. After careful and prayerful consideration, I have determined that it is in the best interests of the citizens of New Orleans, the prosecutors and staff members of the DA's office, and my family, that I resign my position as DA of Orleans Parish. I hope my departure from the DA's office will facilitate, induce and encourage the resolution and satisfaction of the federal judgment imposed against the DA's office.
I am resigning not because I am a quitter, but because I honestly think that this painful act will help prevent further disruption of the DA's office, the criminal justice system, and our city's fight against crime. I hope my departure from the DA's office will remove the threat of the imminent seizure of the office's assets including the office's payroll accounts. The resolution of that judgment will permit the hardworking employees of the DA's office to maintain their focus on putting violent criminals behind bars, assisting the victims and witnesses of crime, securing restitution for homeowners who have been defrauded, and collecting child support for single parents and their children.
He then introduced Keva Landrum, who has been serving as his first assistant during Gaynell Williams leave of absence to run for former judge Charles Elloie's vacated chair. Elloie, if you remember, was the worst of the revolving door judges in the Orleans Parish court system, repeatedly giving defendants in his court innumerable second chances to repeat their crimes, some say for compensation. Landrum served as first assistant DA under both Jordan and his predecessor Harry Connick, Sr. The decision to elevate her to Interim DA is said to be motivated by the fact that she is not, nor does she plan to be, a candidate for the office in next years election.
Jordan then expressed his desire to spend time with family before returning to the private sector. It's funny how many public servants make this statement, but it does make sense. The people whose trust was broken want nothing to do with them, and those few cronies of theirs who haven't been caught yet are certainly going to keep their distance. That doesn't leave many other people to spend time with, does it? Jordan also stated that he has signed no agreements with private sector firms as yet. Anyone want to lay odds on him hooking up with one of Bill Jefferson's shady operations?
Keva Landrum addressed the throng of the Big News Media and assured them she would assess the financial state of the office. She also alluded to plans to restructure the office to emulate the best DAs' offices in the nation. She assured citizens that she would work more closely with the NOPD to ensure the safety of our city along the lines of agreements made earlier this year, and promised the community an open and accessible style that would allow them to see that the DA's office was run fairly and honestly.
Mayor C Ray Nagin then addressed the crowd, thanking Jordan for making this decision to ease tensions of all concerned parties. He also called citizens to task to move forward and not harp on the mistakes of the past. Really? So he's going to stop bitching at Governor Blanco, President Bush and the United States Congress for the total mess they have made of the Hurricane Katrina recovery? I didn't think so. He also assured the plaintiffs of the lawsuit that he will continue to work for a win-win-win situation for them, the city and the state.
When asked if the plaintiffs were unwilling to work with him in resolving the settlement, Jordan simply stated his belief that it would be in the best interests of everyone for him to stay out of the picture, hence his decision to resign. He also maintains that race was not a factor in his decision to fire anyone. When pressed on any aspect of the case his reply became a standard loop of, "I believe that this decision is in the best interest of the DA's office."
Nagin remains steadfast that the city is not in a position to help pay off the settlement, citing that the DA's office is a state run office which receives only 1/3 of its operating budget directly from the city. Secretary of State Jim Donelon disputes this saying that the City of New Orleans is the primary source of the office's income. Also according to Nagin, the Governor can call for a special election to replace Jordan during next years congressional election to fill the seat vacated by Governor-elect Bobby Jindal.
When questioned about the ineffectiveness of the DA's office, Nagin stated that "The problems... didn't start with Eddie Jordan, it's something that's built up over a number of years." An interesting statement in the fact that Nagin is basically saying that things did not improve and existing problems were compounded in the years since Jordan took office.
Jordans resignation will take effect at the close of the DA's office tomorrow, October 31st.