Citing employee safety, major business leaving New Orleans

Mayor Cantrell’s administration responds
Published: May. 4, 2023 at 8:01 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The head of a major company says he is moving his corporate office out of New Orleans because of the crime problem.

Shane Guidry is CAEO of Harvey Gulf International Marine and its downtown office is located in the Hancock Whitney Center. He says one of the employees was almost a victim of crime in the CBD.

“A little over a year ago I had one of my female employees standing on the corner of Poydras and Carondelet and the car pulled up,” said Guidry.

He said men inside the vehicle tried to grab his staffer.

“Tried to wrestle her into the car, luckily bystanders assisted her and they got in the car at 7:30 AM in the morning and they drove off and they were unable to make off with her, of course, since then she’s left my business just because she was in fear for her life and it was traumatic. Look yeah, I’ve got to do what’s best to protect our employees and that’s what I’m going to do,” he said.

Landry says other workers are afraid to leave the office to get lunch, so the company is providing food for employees. So he plans to move the corporate office to neighboring Metairie in Jefferson Parish.

“My guys and girls just don’t feel safe and it’s my job to protect them, so we bring in lunch every day now, we have done that for the last six months and we’ve been on the hunt for property which we were fortunate enough to make a deal with the Texas Motel to sell us that property, so we can tear it down and move to a place where judges will put people in jail and judges will impose large bails on juveniles and a D.A. that will prosecute and a sheriff that will arrest.”

Mayor Latoya Cantrell’s director of communications, Gregory Joseph issued the following statement to FOX 8:

“The City was obviously disappointed to learn that Harvey Gulf will be leaving New Orleans. As with all our businesses, our Office of Economic Development and Downtown Development District consistently and actively work with businesses to ensure the City of New Orleans remains a vibrant place to do business.

We are keenly aware that public safety is a top concern for our stakeholders. To that end, there is 24-hour security presence within the downtown community with civilian public safety rangers, as well as 24-hour NOPD patrols and two private security patrols. The City is also providing funding to expand public lighting throughout downtown and install exterior lighting on private properties through grants administered by the DDD.

DDD has partnered with the New Orleans Police & Justice Foundation to provide funding to private property owners to install security cameras that tie into the NOPD’s Real Time Crime Center (RTCC). The City remains open for business and will continue actively working with DDD and all businesses on providing enhanced supportive services to ensure a safe, healthy and thriving city.”

FOX 8 requested comment from the D.A.’s office and criminal court due to Guidry’s criticism of the criminal justice system in New Orleans but no response was given.

The hotel is located on Airline Drive near Causeway Boulevard and Guidry said demolition could begin next. Week.

Guidry says Harvey Gulf has been in downtown New Orleans for nearly 20 years. And he says leaving the city was not an easy decision.

“It’s a really tough call, it was a tough call for me because Shell is my largest client and they’re in my building. It’s much easier when we’re working on projects together,” said Guidry.

But he is excited about the new development his decision will spark on Airline Drive. “It’s nice to have open arms welcoming you into the business community there.”

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