New Orleans Inspector General again asks council to put Pontalba into commerce

Published: Jul. 20, 2023 at 4:13 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - For the second time, the New Orleans Office of Inspector General is recommending the city council revoke the mayor’s access to the Upper Pontalba apartment and put it back into commerce.

Inspector General Ed Michel released the letter on Thurs., July 20, after video obtained by Fox 8 highlighted numerous times during the Essence Fest weekend when Mayor LaToya Cantrell appeared to ignore a newly-passed ordinance prohibiting overnight stays at the city-owned apartment.

“As written, the ordinance does not appear to ensure that the City receives fair market value from the usage of the Mayor’s Apartment. Additionally, the ordinance lacks an enforceable definition of what qualifies as an ‘overnight stay,” Michel’s letter reads.

The OIG says relinquishing the apartment to collect rent would net the city an additional $36,000 in income.

Council President JP Morrell is now planning to introduce a new ordinance to once again try to take the apartment away from the mayor, which Vice President Helena Moreno says will likely get the votes needed to pass. The council will vote on Morrell’s proposal on Aug. 10.


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