NEW ORLEANS – New Orleans District Attorney Eddie Jordan will resign Wednesday amid mounting troubles that include a $3.7 million discrimination judgment against his office and an increasing murder rate dogging the city's recovery from Hurricane Katrina.
Jordan's spokesman, Dalton Savwoir, confirmed that Jordan made the announcement to his staff Tuesday afternoon.
Jordan lost the discrimination lawsuit against dozens of his former employees in 2005. The white former employees said they were fired by Jordan, who is black, because of their race.
Jordan has consistently lost the appeals in that case and earlier this week, a federal judge refused to delay payment of the judgment. That opened the door to possible seizure of district attorney's office assets to meet the debt, and led to renewed calls for Jordan's ouster.
Mayor Ray Nagin on Tuesday reiterated that the city would not pay the judgment, saying it could not afford it and that it would set a bad precedent.
Jordan also has been among city officials criticized for the city's growing violent crime problem. New Orleans has had 178 murders so far this year, compared to 162 in all of last year, and a backlog of criminal cases moving slowly through the courts.
Criticism of Jordan became particularly heated earlier this year after he dropped charges in two high-profile cases: One involved Michael Anderson, the suspect in five murders, another involved David Bonds, accused of killing Hot 8 Brass Band drummer Dineral Shavers.
Both cases have since been revived, but shortly after the charges were dismissed, New Orleans City Council member Shelley Midura sent a letter asking Jordan to resign. "Recall Eddie Jordan" signs began appearing around the city, and lawmakers talked of impeaching him on more than one occasion.
A personal embarrassment was added to Jordan's troubles earlier this month when it was revealed that an armed robbery suspect had briefly taken shelter in Jordan's house. The suspect was a family friend of Jordan's girlfriend.
Jordan said he did not learn until after the man left that he was a criminal suspect. It was also revealed that police investigators were unable to talk to Jordan for three days following the incident.