Sheriff-Elect Susan Hutson Prepares for Inauguration

David Marcello, Jane Johnson, Sheriff-elect Susan Hutson, and Deborah Chapman (Photo credit: Danae Columbus)

It’s been a whirlwind few months for former Independent Police Monitor Susan Hutson who was elected the first Black woman sheriff in Orleans Parish in December 2021. Highly knowledgeable in criminal justice, Hutson formed several task forces and took the time to confer with key leaders to study best practices and hear community-based suggestions for improving the services of the Orleans Justice Center.

Photo credit: Danae Columbus

With less than three weeks to go before her investiture, friends of Hutson held a fundraiser Tuesday, April 12 at the Maisonclub on Frenchman Street to help fund her transition expenses. Among those on hand were Deborah Chapman, Hutson’s trusted campaign manager who undoubtedly will continue to provide the new sheriff whatever support she needs,and Chapman’s son, Timothy David Ray. Also present was staunch Hutson stalwart Sade Dumas who formerly headed the Orleans Parish Prison Reform Coalition.

Kevin Griffin Clark and Troy Glover

Among the elected officials who attended were District Attorney Jason Williams and Criminal Court Judge Karen Herman who is campaigning for an open appeals court seat. Herman is being feted at an April 27 fundraiser at Trep’s Restaurant in Mid-City. Former appeals court judge Regina Bartholomew- Woods, now an attorney with Entergy, was joined by her close friend Diane Alexander who previously ran for Civil District Court and intends to run again. Two former City Council District D candidates Kevin Griffin Clark and Troy Glover also came to show their support. Glover no longer sports his famous dreadlocks saying it was “time for a change.”

Others in the large crowd were Tulane Law School professor David Marcello who directs The Public Law Center and attorney-wife Jane Johnson, former City Councilmember James Carter, attorney and Pelican Institute leader Stephen Gele, engineer Donald Lambert Jr., attorney David Capasso, pianist Ron Jones, entrepreneur Wayne Clark, attorneys Daniel Davillier and his law partner Charlene Gipson, criminal court official David Flemings, attorney Sundiata Haley, bed and breakfast owner Margaret Walker, realtor Ann Garvey, former Metropolitan Crime Commission staffer Tony Ranatza, banker Matt Sims and attorney Greg Swofford.

Former Sheriff Charles Foti, who has become a resource for Hutson, was seen with friends Tangipahoa Constable Don Marshall and a trio of brothers Gary, Dickie and former assessor Ronnie Burke. Several former NOPD officials including Captain Edwin Hoskins also joined the festivities.

Ronnie Burke, Dickie Burke, Don Marshall, former Sheriff Charles Foti and Gary Burke
Ronnie Burke, Dickie Burke, Don Marshall, former Sheriff Charles Foti and Gary Burke

Hutson served as Independent Police Monitor from June 2010 until she resigned to run for sheriff. She previously worked at the Los Angeles Police Commission Office of the Inspector General and as Assistant and later Acting Police Monitor in Austin, Texas. A native of East Texas, Hutson was also Chief Prosecutor of Corpus Christi City’s Municipal Court before her involvement in law enforcement. Hutson is immediate past president of the National Association of Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement.

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