Nungesser disappointed after monument meeting with Landrieu

Nungesser leaves meeting with mayor disappointed over monuments

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser said he is disappointed after a Monday morning meeting with New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

The two met to discuss the fate of the Confederate era monuments taken down by the city over the past month.

Nungesser said he received no commitment from Landrieu to keep the statues in the state of Louisiana.

Instead, Landrieu said the city may hold a bidding process for the monuments.

Coming just days after the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee was plucked from his perch where he stood for more than 130 years, Nungesser was looking for assurances from Landrieu that the Lee statue and the other monuments to Confederate leaders remain in Louisiana.

Nungesser met with Landrieu for 30 minutes at City Hall hoping that the mayor would turn over the statues to the state.

Instead, Nungesser says the mayor told him he couldn't do that because he was about to begin taking bids to sell the statues of Robert E. Lee, PGT Beaureguard and Jefferson Davis which were removed over the past several weeks.

Nungesser says his office has been hurt by state budget cuts and he's not sure he'll be able to come up with the money to put together a competitive bid. But he indicated he will try.

Landrieu's office released the following statement on the meeting with Nungesser.

"This morning, I had a good meeting with Lieutenant Governor Nungesser at City Hall to hear his ideas about the future of the four Confederate monuments that were moved. The Lieutenant Governor asked that we simply give him the monuments to run a process of his own. I welcomed the Lieutenant Governor to be a part of the RFP (Request for Proposal) process we have outlined and look forward to getting formal ideas the State has to share about how to place the Confederate statues in proper historical context. We will release additional details on the RFP this week."

Nungesser was a vocal opponent of the removal process and even wrote a letter to President Donald Trump asking him to step in to declare the statues federal monuments.

Last month, however, he conceded the state could do nothing to stop the process.

Nungesser says the monuments are an important part of Louisiana's history and argues they help contribute to the state's tourism industry.

"It's obviously driven a wedge in the community and hopefully we can salvage something by putting these monuments in a historical place for people who want to see them," Nungesser said.

Nungesser says the monuments could potentially end up at a state battlefield.

On Friday, Landrieu said the monuments represented a fictional sanitization of the Confederacy and likened them to burning a cross in someone's yard.

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