ZURIK: Report reveals no evidence found after Mayor accused deputy of following & photographing her

Published: Nov. 4, 2022 at 6:52 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A new report details that Mayor Cantrell falsely accused a deputy of following her and taking pictures. That report also raises questions about if there was ever any evidence behind the allegation that got Deputy Greg Malveaux temporarily reassigned.

Malveaux is the longtime security detail for City Council President Helena Moreno.

“I think it’s all been just a complete waste of time and really hurt a good officer’s reputation,” said Moreno.

On Friday, October 7, 2022, the City’s Chief Administrative Officer, Gilbert Montaño sent an email to Orleans Sheriff Susan Hutson. The email is brief, just two sentences. Montaño says Mayor Cantrell is requesting that Malveaux be reassigned. Montaño also copied NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson, telling Hutson he could help if necessary.

The email does not disclose the reason for the request, provide evidence of wrongdoing, or request an investigation.

“I think it also shows what we have constantly been stating that this was all just very much rumor based, that it was really you know, politics at its worst and that it was retaliatory in nature. And then finally, it showed and confirmed that it was the mayor who requested for my deputy to be reassigned. The request was not to have this situation investigated. It was to have my deputy reassigned. So, you know, obviously disappointing to see all this,” said Moreno.

Moreno believes the reassignment and allegations were an attempt at political retaliation against her after she and other council members recently raised questions about some of Mayor Cantrell’s actions.

Dillard University political analyst Robert Collins also questions why the city’s C.A.O. was the one who sent the email.

“That’s not really his job,” said Collins. “He shouldn’t be involved in that. You know, it appears the mayor just made the request to the CAO, then CAO made the request to the sheriff’s office. But they never introduced, even in the initial request, why they needed this officer to be moved off that detail.”

Moreno says if the Mayor truly believed she was being surveilled, she would have also asked for an investigation.

“Look, I think the email speaks for itself. I think it’s really unbelievable. I’ve been in politics for a really long time, and this is absolutely politics at its worst. And this is from the CAO. It’s not from our Chief of Staff. It’s not from the head of security. I think what’s also troubling is, remember that the CAO is really kind of in charge of setting the sheriff’s budget as well. So, it’s all a mess and I really don’t even want to waste any more time on this. We’ve got important issues dealing with the budget, and this has all just been a tremendous, huge waste of time and really impacted a man’s reputation,” said Moreno.

Following the request on October 7, 2022, the sheriff’s office temporarily reassigned Malveaux and launched an investigation.

The results of that investigation are summed up in a six-page Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office report. The report shows the lack of evidence behind the allegations. Agent Kevin Talley with the Internal Affairs Division of the sheriff’s office conducted the investigation.

He interviewed 13 people about the allegations, but not Mayor Cantrell. Collins believes that since Cantrell asked for the reassignment she should have been the first person interviewed.

“Well, it’s a very strange investigation, because it seems like they talk to everyone except the mayor. I mean, they didn’t talk to the person that made the primary accusation. And so that’s really not a complete investigation,” said Collins. “Instead of answering questions, it raises additional questions. All the officers said they have no knowledge of this activity, that Sergeant Malveaux was accused of doing. But my question is, why didn’t you start your investigation by talking to the mayor?”

Montaño sent the email asking for a reassignment at 11:47 a.m. on October 7. But it wasn’t until that afternoon that an Orleans Sheriff got a phone call detailing the complaint against Malveaux. According to the investigation, Chief Melvin Howard got a call at 1:00 p.m., from NOPD officer Louis Martinez, who is part of Cantrell’s executive security team.


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Martinez reportedly told Howard that the mayor believed Malveaux was following her around taking pictures, adding that Cantrell was “livid” about it and wanted to make sure Sheriff Hutson was aware.

Among the 13 people interviewed by Talley were all eight members of the City Council Executive Protection Division, including Malveaux, as well as Mayor Cantrell’s driver. Two NOPD members who reported having knowledge of the source of the allegations were also interviewed.

In the end, Talley found none of the individuals had knowledge of misconduct by Malveaux or knew anyone with direct knowledge of any misconduct. Talley closed the investigation and marked it unfounded.

“Our entire system of jurisprudence, our entire system of due process is based on the introduction of evidence. So, I think what should have happened first is that somebody along the way should have asked for concrete evidence of the accusations. They didn’t produce any video recordings of Sergeant Malveaux, they don’t even have any eyewitnesses, which is really strange. We don’t really know what the request was based on because nobody has produced any evidence,” said Collins.

Mayor Cantrell’s office released the following statement regarding the investigation today:

“After receiving information from the NOPD that raised concerns about her personal safety, the Mayor directed the CAO to take the steps necessary to address these valid safety concerns. As the report highlights, several public safety officials interviewed by Sheriff Hutson’s office attest to hearing “similar allegations involving Sergeant Malveaux,” with one deputy stating he heard allegations about Malveaux taking photos of the Mayor two or three weeks ago. Throughout Sheriff Hutson’s report, numerous public safety officials detail several additional allegations against Malveaux which offers further justification that an investigation was reasonable and warranted. Even though the Sheriff’s Office conclusion failed to consider these well-documented patterns of allegations, the Mayor, who takes her personal security and the safety and wellbeing of the public very seriously, implores anyone who feels that a threat to their personal safety exists to immediately notify the proper authorities.”

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