NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The head of the New Orleans firefighters union confirmed Wednesday that firefighters were used to help dismantle and remove the Liberty monument early Monday.
New Orleans Firefighters Association President Nick Felton confirmed that New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu used five or six firefighters to dismantle the Iberville Street monument early Monday morning.
Felton said firemen are not trained for that kind of work and he says it pulls them away from other duties.
Felton met with city officials today in an effort to convince them to stop the practice.
This comes after social media speculation about the involvement of city employees reached a fever pitch.
Landrieu has denied any city resources would be used in removing the four Confederate Era monuments from city property.
Landrieu has repeatedly said the city has obtained private funding to cover the cost of the monument removal. The mayor has also repeatedly refused to disclose the source of the private funding.
Tyronne Walker, Director of Communications for the City of New Orleans issued the following statement in response to Felton's remarks:
"As should be expected with any event involving security risks, the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness developed an Incident Action Plan to address the security, logistics, and planning for the operation. The emergency response agencies and essential City personnel, who are always engaged in the logistics and planning of major emergencies and events, were involved in the process to ensure a safe removal of the Battle of Liberty Place statue. The City's public safety agencies took part in this lawful operation, and we commend them for safely executing the plan while protecting the lives of all involved.
"Any threats made to first responders are reprehensible. This is precisely what made the Liberty Place statue so egregious."