Cantrell will not add controversial former NOPD chief into admin - FOX 8, WVUE,, weather, app, news, saints

Cantrell will not add controversial former NOPD chief into administration

Former Police Chief Warren Riley takes questions during a news conference in April 2010. Source: Former Police Chief Warren Riley takes questions during a news conference in April 2010. Source:

The Mayor of New Orleans has announced that she will not hire a controversial former New Orleans Police Chief for the role of the city's Director of Homeland Security. 

Mayor LaToya Cantrell said she would not be adding Warren Riley to her new administration:

Cantrell issued the following statement regarding her decision: 
“While I believe that Warren Riley is uniquely qualified for a role as our City’s Director of Homeland Security & Public Safety --- with a resume that includes serving as the Federal Coordinating Officer overseeing seven federally declared disasters in just over four years--- I have listened to the people of New Orleans on both sides, and I have decided not to move forward with his employment," Cantrell said in an issued statement. 

Mr. Riley’s qualifications are undeniable. As one of a select team of Federal Coordinating Officers who serve as the president’s representative on federally declared disasters, he has been a leader in crisis response and emergency preparedness on the national level.

But here in New Orleans: the pain is too great. The untreated and lingering trauma so many of our residents still struggle with, the post-traumatic stress that still informs how we all look back to that flash point, makes it untenable to move forward with Mr. Riley as part of our new administration.

Addressing the trauma still lingering from Hurricane Katrina will be a priority for my administration. We will be sensitive to the struggles of our residents and neighbors that endured, and that stayed through the storm. In many instances, in those days, government was part of what they had to struggle against. In closing the door on this hire, I want to send a clear message that under my administration—the City government is not going to be part of the problem. We are going to move forward, together.”

Riley was the acting police chief after Hurricane Katrina, and dealt predominately with the Danziger Bridge case where several unarmed evacuees were gunned down by police. Two people died, and the officers covered up the shooting.  

Wednesday afternoon, Riley released a statement talking about his disappointment in Mayor Cantrell's decision. 

The statement reads in part: 

Regrettably, I learned this morning in a telephone conversation with Mayor La Toya Cantrell that she has rescinded her official appointment of me (letter attached), as City of New Orleans Director of Homeland Security and Public Safety. After six-weeks of rigorous interviews and vetting, it was determined that I was the most qualified candidate for the position. I am deeply disappointed and the Mayor's reversal comes as a complete surprise.

He would go on to say that he was ready to step into his new role before learning of the Mayor's decision.  

Prior to the scheduled May 1, 2018 Cantrell Administration Cabinet Appointments News Conference Announcement, I was preparing to return to City Government, having undergone employment administration processes, including security and background checks and a drug test.?

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