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New Orleans Mayor Gets Backlash For Spending Almost $30,000 on Flights

New Orleans Mayor Gets Backlash For Spending Almost $30,000 on Flights

New Orleans Mayor Gets Backlash For Spending Almost $30,000 on Flights

Source: Dailymail

New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell is facing major backlash after spending nearly $29,000 of the state’s money on first-class flight upgrades.

As expected, council members and the public are not taking matters lightly and are seeking justice.

Mayor Cantrell's Costly Flight Upgrades

Source: Pinterest

The New Orleans Mayor, Latoya Cantrell, is again on the hot seat. This time, she faces scrutiny as the Louisiana Board of Ethics charges her for violating ethics laws for accepting nearly $29,000 of first-class flight upgrades over two years. 

Furthermore, the charges allege that the upgrades violated state law prohibiting public officials from receiving anything of value for their public duties.

The Mayor's Lavish Upgrade for France Visit

Source: Pinterest

An example of the Mayor’s lavish spending was a $12,988 first-class upgrade for a trip to Nice, France. There, she attended a jazz festival and a French National Day celebration. 

However, this upgrade was fully funded by the Mayor’s office, which directly violates the ethics of the position. The costly expense adds to the overall controversy surrounding her travel choices.

Mayor's Domestic First-Class Upgrade

Source: Dailymail

Cantrell did not only spend extravagantly on international flights but also on domestic ones. She currently faces extra criticism for spending $2,352 of state money on a first-class upgrade for a domestic flight. 

Moreover, the flight was a five-hour journey from New Orleans to San Francisco. As this is a relatively short flight, the public has intensified its scrutiny of the Mayor.

The Mayor's Justification for Luxury Travel

Source: Dailymail

Cantrell believes these flight upgrades were essential. She said, “Anyone who wants to question how I protect myself just doesn’t understand the world black women walk in. As the mother of a young child, whom I live for, I am going to protect myself by any reasonable means in order to ensure I am there to see her grow into the strong woman I am raising her to be.”

Cantrell's Argument for First-Class Travel Amid Pandemic

Source: Pinterest

The Mayor also cites the threat of COVID as a significant factor in her decision to upgrade to first-class travel. She claims that these extra costs were a way to protect her health and safety amid the pandemic. 

However, this argument only holds a little weight because enhanced safety methods are in place for all kinds of air travel during the pandemic.

Council Backlash

Source: Dailymail

The council members were not impressed with Cantrell’s many excuses. They expressed their skepticism over her justifications and are taking legal action against the Mayor. 

In addition, the council is threatening to deduct funds from her pay in the 2023 budget to recover the costs of the flight upgrades. Without a doubt, they also have the backing of the public to do this.

Potential Legal Proceedings for the Mayor

Source: Pinterest

The state’s council members are not the only ones seeking to take legal action against the Mayor. The Louisiana Board of Ethics is also filing charges against her to the Ethics Adjudicatory Board. 

Therefore, Cantrell has not one but two legal boards breathing down her neck. Due to these boards’ power, the outcome of these proceedings could carry significant consequences for the Mayor.

Cantrell's Potential Monetary Consequences

Source: Dailymail

In a possible legal battle, Mayor Cantrell faces the prospect of a $10,000 fine for using state money to fund luxurious travel arrangements. Therefore, not only are there legal repercussions, but there are also financial consequences to her lavish spending. 

In addition, the public agrees with the boards’ decisions to take things up legally.

Mayor Repays City After Ethical Backlash

Source: Dailymail

Amid the backlash and controversy, Mayor Cantrell reimbursed the city a check of $28,856. According to her, this reimbursement covers 13 dominating flights and two international trips. 

This reimbursement follows threats by council members to dock her pay in the 2023 budget. However, Cantrell still stands her ground, arguing that the upgrades were for health and safety due to COVID concerns.

The Mayor's Living Arrangements in Focus

Source: Pinterest

The flight controversy gave way to several other scandals to be put to light. According to reports, Mayor Cantrell lives rent-free in a city-owned apartment in the French Quarter.

This massive violation is made worse because it is located three miles from her $500,000 Broadmoor home. So the question on everyone’s mind is, “Why is she living off the government?”

Mayor Cantrell's Behavior toward Staff 

Source: Dailymail

Another scandal brought to light is Cantrell’s misuse and maltreatment of her public staff. According to several reports, Cantrell is a fiery, demanding boss who was overly familiar with her security detail, expecting them to act as her servants.

What’s more, a past staff member also corroborated this story. She said Cantrell usually asks them to pick her daughter up from school, take her credit card to buy gifts from the department store, and water her plants.

Cantrell's Political Image and Future Challenges 

Source: Dailymail

As these scandals unfold, there is equal damage to Cantrell’s political image and future political prospects. Therefore, it may be hard for her to secure another office in the near future due to all these allegations against her. 

No one knows what the future holds for her, but it is clear that she has lost the public’s trust over the years.