Records: Orleans criminal court judges spent thousands on life insurance


NEW ORLEANS – The judges of Orleans Parish Criminal Court racked up five-figure monthly bills for multiple, overlapping life insurance policies, according to records released by the court Tuesday in response to a long-standing public records request by WWL-TV.
The records reveal at six separate life insurance policies purchased on behalf of nearly all of the 13 elected criminal court judges who were in office in 2010, using money derived from fines and fees paid by defendants. All of the judges at the time participated, and nearly all of them held all six policies simultaneously, according to the records.
The Eyewitness Investigates stories prompted the state Legislative Auditor to review the decades-old practice, in which judges used money paid to the Judicial Expense Fund to pay for policies, including health, dental, cancer, critical illness and vision, as well as the life coverage.