City of New Orleans to determine if Mayor Cantrell owes $30,000 from travel expenses

Published: Aug. 31, 2022 at 10:37 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The city of New Orleans is trying to determine if Mayor Cantrell owes nearly $30,000 after her travel expenses.

A city policy states traveling government employees are required to seek the lowest fares available. It also says employees who choose an upgrade from coach, economy of business class flights are solely responsible for the difference in cost.

The mayor’s chief administrative officer says he’s evaluating the city’s travel policies with the city’s law department.

The mayor’s first-class tickets to places like France and Switzerland have cost the city nearly $30,000. Mayor Cantrell issued a statement on her travel.

“My travel accommodations are a matter of safety, not of luxury. As all women know, our health and safety are often disregarded and we are left to navigate alone. As the mother of a young child whom I live for, I am going to protect myself by any reasonable means in order to ensure I am there to see her grow into the strong woman I am raising her to be. Anyone who wants to question how I protect myself just doesn’t understand the world black women walk in.”

While the mayor sat in first class, her team including security sat in coach.

MORE: Will Mayor Cantrell reimburse city coffers for first-class travel upgrades?

FOX 8 tried to ask the mayor about her travel expenses and the current recall effort against her. She refused to answer any questions from the media after an event Wednesday afternoon.

This was her first public appearance in New Orleans since returning from Florida where she traveled to watch the Artemis One rocket launch that was postponed.

RELATED STORY: Mayor Cantrell spent $40k for four days in French Riviera to sign ‘sister cities’ agreement, records show

Her communications director Gregory Joseph says the mayor is focused on working for the people of New Orleans.

“She’s flying first class, there’s a recall possibly for her seat...she has to be accountable for this. the mayor is out working on behalf of the people of New Orleans 24 hours a day, seven days a week, whether it’s graduating EMS class of people we will be seeing later today. That’s what she’s doing, that’s what she’s focused on. That’s what she was elected for and that’s what she’s going to do.”

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