Mayor’s office responds after Zurik investigation showed her security on clock while nowhere near her

Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 10:22 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Mayor Latoya Cantrell’s office responds after a Lee Zurik investigation showed members of her security team were on the clock while they were nowhere near the mayor, sometimes not even in the same state.

Lee’s latest “Outside the Office Investigation” found on Monday, Aug. 22, 2022, the mayor spent the entire day in Washington, D.C. Officer Jeffrey Vappie was the only security listed on her schedule that day and accompanied her on that trip.


ZURIK: Mayor Cantrell’s security officers clocked time while nowhere near her

New Orleans mayor denies having affair with member of security team

ZURIK: Divorce filing alleges Mayor Cantrell had extramarital affair with NOPD officer

Back in New Orleans, the city still paid two others to protect the mayor, despite the fact she was more than one thousand miles away.

Officer Robert Monlyn clocked that he worked 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., and Deputy Charles Ellis logged his hours as 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. Together they billed taxpayers for 24 hours of work while the person they were paid to protect was out of town.

Concerns over the timesheets led NOPD watchdog Skip Gallagher to file a complaint against the three NOPD officers on Cantrell’s security team.

Rafael Goyeneche of the metropolitan crime commission has also questioned the hours logged by her team.

The mayor’s office of communications issued the following statement:

“Those who purport themselves to be in law enforcement but who rather score cheap and meaningless political points at the expense of the safety and well-being of the people of the City of New Orleans should exercise their right to remain silent,” said Gregory Joseph, Director of Communications. “It is deplorable and simply disgusting that in the day and age of heightened and realized political violence, that so-called public safety leadership would place the lives of Executive Protection, the Mayor, her family, and the people of the City of New Orleans at risk. By fabricating lies and half-truths they expose the fact that they know next to nothing about New Orleans Police Department procedures or the roles and functions of Executive Protection.

The duties assigned to the Executive Protection team are at the discretion of the Mayor, and the Mayor and the Executive Protection team are not subject to provide reasoning on changes to itinerary, hours of operation, or safety needs. Officers within the Executive Protection team are subject to the same operating guidelines outlined by the NOPD, and all operations of the NOPD are at the discretion of the Superintendent. Ultimately, Executive Protection is responsible for protecting the Mayor from all threats to her safety and well-being, regardless of where those threats may exist. This is a duty and responsibility that every member of the Mayor’s Executive Protection team performs admirably.

No one, whether a public official or otherwise, deserves to feel unsafe and uncomfortable in their home, their community or doing their job.”

See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Click Here to report it. Please include the headline.