New Orleans Mayor Cantrell says she will pay city back $30k in flight upgrades

Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 12:02 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - After weeks of criticism and legal reviews, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell says she will pay the city back nearly $30,000 in first-class flight upgrades.

After a city attorney was brought in to determine that Mayor Cantrell is in fact a city employee, Gilbert Montano last Friday said he would fulfill his duties as New Orleans’ chief administrative officer and enforce a city policy requiring all city employees to seek the lowest fares available or reimburse the city for deluxe accommodations.

At a groundbreaking for a new YWCA state-of-the-art facility, Mayor Cantrell said she would be moving forward with reimbursing the city.

“Based on the policy review, however, I will have to reimburse,” she says. “So I’m moving forward to do that.”


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The mayor originally pushed back, saying she had no intentions of paying back taxpayer money spent on first-class flight tickets overseas, claiming the upgrades were not for luxury, but for her health and safety.

Council members threatened to dock Mayor Cantrell’s pay in 2023.

“I’m glad that we can put this behind us,” Council President Helena Moreno says. “We have so many bigger issues to deal with. Obviously with public safety. We’ve got the budget coming up and that’s really what we’d like to be focused on.”

The mayor did not give a timeline for when the money will be paid back.

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