Mayor sends scathing letter to City Council about special hearing on Hard Rock Hotel collapse

Published: Jan. 29, 2020 at 11:50 AM CST
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Mayor Latoya Cantrell sent a scathing letter to the New Orleans City Council Tuesday night adamantly opposing a special council meeting on the Hard Rock Hotel collapse. That meeting is planned for Wednesday afternoon.

“Your decision to move forward with a Special Council Hearing, in an effort to provide a forum for the public to air its frustration with the Hard Rock Hotel collapse, is ill-advised at this time and puts the timely demolition and the ongoing investigation of the site at risk. Given these concerns, my staff will not be present at the hearing,” Cantrell said in her letter.

On October 12, part of the hotel collapsed while it was under construction. The collapse killed three workers.

“To politicize the collapse at this time risks undermining the most recent progress and could further delay demolition of the site and inhibit the ability to conduct an appropriate investigation,” Cantrell said.

The New Orleans Inspector General also sent a letter to the City Council Tuesday asking them to “defer any review of the specific circumstances surrounding the Hard Rock collapse in favor of the investigations presently underway,” said Inspector General Derry Harper.

Harper says that investigation into the City’s Department of Safety and Permits involves multiple law enforcement and regulatory agencies at the State and Federal level. And, has already resulted in one federal indictment. In his letter, Harper adds “any separate investigation by the City Council will interfere with the long-standing law enforcement procedures this office and its state and federal investigative partners routinely take in long-term investigations.”


In a news release about Wednesday’s special hearing, Council President Helena Moreno said, “there are many topics regarding this terrible tragedy that need further review. We know that one meeting is certainly not enough, and that’s why it’s important to create a transparent process to have ongoing comprehensive dialogue.”

The public meeting about the Hard Rock Hotel collapse will start Wednesday afternoon at 3.

See the letter below:

Mayor LaToya Cantrell sent the following letter to City Council President Helena Moreno and City Council Vice President...

Posted by Mayor LaToya Cantrell on Tuesday, January 28, 2020

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