State asks for detailed records on City Council credit card use

State asks for detailed records on City Council credit card use

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The Louisiana Legislative Auditor has requested a list of information from the city about credit cards issued to the City Council.

This comes after New Orleans Councilwoman Latoya Cantrell said she reimbursed the City of New Orleans nearly $8,000 for purchases made with her city-issued credit card.

Many of the reimbursements came years after the charges were made.

Cantrell had this to say when we asked the mayoral candidate what she thought about the Legislative Auditor's request, "I think it's great, you know, I think it's great, you know I've always been consistent with transparency and documentation so, I don't see any problem with it at all," said Cantrell.

Cantrell's opponent Desiree Charbonnet also responded. "I'm not the only person looking at this and brought this to anyone's attention, let the Legislative Auditor do their investigation and see where that leads us," said mayoral candidate Charbonnet.

State law does not allow politicians to donate or give away items purchased with public money, but there are exemptions to the law, including funds used to support the needy.

Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera asked Mayor Mitch Landrieu to provide:

  • A list of credit cards assigned to Council Members;
  • Monthly statements for all credit cards issued to Council Members;
  • General ledger records showing all transactions made using Council Member credit cards and chart of accounts;
  • Detailed receipts for all credit card transactions made by Council Members, front and back; Payments made by the City for Council Member credit cards, including images of canceled checks;
  • Any reimbursements received from Council Members and documentation substantiating such reimbursements;
  • Internal investigations, audits or other documentation related to Council Members' credit card transactions;
  • City policies regarding use of Council Member credit cards; and
  • Any agreement between the City and Council Members regarding Council Members' use of City credit cards.

His office asked for the information to be returned by Nov. 17.

"As you aware, the Landrieu Administration has a stellar record when it comes transparency and ethics reform. Some of the first things Mayor Landrieu tackled when coming into office was completely reforming the procurement and contracting process and cleaning up the city credit card policies, city director of communications Tyronne Walker said. "The administration intends to fully comply with the request by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor for records related to the City Council's credit card usage."

Cantrell said she has not had "any personal gain" from the use of the credit card.