LaToya Cantrell, New Orleans mayor, is like many other politicians we know. This makes her the worst enemy. We reported that Cantrell was subject to a recall petition in August after months of violence, a shrinking police force, and a taxpayer-funded upgrade for her trip to France. What’s Cantrell to do?
Cantrell made matters worse.
The New York Post reported Sunday that the mayor of New Orleans is refusing to pay back nearly $30,000 in taxpayer money she spent on upgrading first and business class flights. This is despite clear city policy. She claimed the upgrades were necessary for her safety and health as a black woman.
Since January 2021 Cantrell has charged more than $29,000 for first-class and business-class travel to the city. The Post noted that Cantrell’s flight cost nine times as much as the price of an aide who flew with her but cost more than Cantrell’s. An $18,000 first-class flight was included in the trip to France.
Yet, Cantrell remains defiant.
According to CBS affiliate 4WWL, the mayor stated that “all expenses incurred doing business for the city of New Orleans will not be reimbursed”
One thing is certain: I do my job and will continue to do so with distinction and integrity. This is what I have to add.
Yeah, no. Cantrell did not say all that was necessary.
She told The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate that her safety and health are often neglected and she was left alone to navigate, in August. Cantrell went full-metal-Joy Reid:
As the mother to a young child I love, I will protect myself using all reasonable means to make sure she grows into the strong woman that I have raised her to be. Whoever wants to ask me how I protect myself doesn’t know the world Black women live in.
Cantrell didn’t clearly explain the “health- and safety” risks that “the world black woman walk-in” poses to their health.
However, the New Orleans travel policy is based in part on WWL:
Employees must purchase the lowest possible airfare. Employees who upgrade to coach, economy, or business class are responsible for any difference in airfare. The City will require that an employee who has overpaid for travel expenses reimburse it within twenty days.
“The city policy says that employees who fly first-class instead of the lower fare must reimburse the city,” Tim Meche, an attorney and legal analyst from New Orleans, said.
According to my research, she’s not. This is a traditional issue: how have mayors of municipalities been considered? In almost all cases, they are not employees.
Helena Moreno, City Council President, is seeking legal opinions from the city attorney as well as the council’s lawyer to determine if the travel policy applies to Mayor Cantrell. If it does, then she will need to reimburse the city for any fares that were higher than “the lowest fare possible,” as the policy states. Cantrell is not allowed to be in the fight because I don’t own a dog. If she is determined to become an employee
Here’s the deal. Is New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell playing the race cards or not? But there’s another thing. How would left-leaning media outlets and Democrats react to this story if a white Republican woman was elected mayor of a major American town in the same situation?
Of course, the last question was rhetorical.