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New Orleans Mayor Agrees To Repay Travel Expenses
The New Orleans mayor announced Tuesday she would repay expenses linked to upgrades she made in her recent travels.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell confirmed to WDSU Tuesday that she would repay her expenses. Cantrell stated on Tuesday she would pay back the expenses she made on upgrades to her recent travels. This turn of events comes after the chief administrative officer mentioned he would impose stricter travel allowances due to Cantrell’s recent spending habits.
A ruling was passed by the city attorney stating that the mayor is considered to be a city employee and policy says upgrades to flights should be paid by city employees, not the local government.
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“As I mentioned in previous interviews, I was waiting on the city attorney’s opinion on this topic, and now it is clear,” said Chief Administrative Officer Gilbert Montaño. Montaño, is second in command to the mayor and could only be terminated by Cantrell.
” I will fulfill my duties as the CAO, and it’s important that I follow through on all the rules and policies that I have to all other employees,” Montaño said.
According to records obtained by WDSU, the mayor spent 17,000 on a flight to France in July. Cantrell believed she had every right to upgrade her travels on the city’s dime due to her health and taking preventative measures against Covid-19. She was not expecting to reimburse the city.
“I don’t know anybody that works harder or loves the city of New Orleans more than the mayor,” Montaño said. “I know her personally, and I know her publicly. And I can speak in earnest where her heart is.”
Montaño expressed that the matter of the funds being reimbursed will be handled with Cantrell and he’s positive that they will come up with the right solution.
“I empathize, and I can understand the distraction this has caused,” Montaño said. “We are at an inflection point where vital and important initiatives are moving forward from infrastructure improvements, operational efficiencies and crucial public safety investments.”
“We need to move things forward together. It’s vital we keep our eye on the ball, and that’s the city of New Orleans moving forward to a better day.”
Council President Helena Moreno released the following statement on the reimbursement:
“I commend the City Attorney and the CAO for their professionalism related to this issue. It’s important that everyone plays by the same rules and that reimbursements are made to the City when required. With this issue settled, we will continue to focus our full efforts on improving public safety, fixing infrastructure projects, and getting City services back on track.”