New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, who has been at the center of a controversy over city finances, agreed Tuesday to repay the city nearly $30,000 she spent on luxury flights.
Cantrell, a Democrat, told reporters at a groundbreaking for the new YWCA that he would reimburse the city for upgrading first-class flights after reviewing city policy.
“Based on the policy review, I will still have to make the reimbursement,” he said. “So I’m moving forward to do that.”
Cantrell’s decision came after the city attorney determined he was a city employee, FOX8 New Orleans reported. City policy requires all city employees to use the lowest rates available or reimburse the city for luxury accommodations.
NEW ORLEANS MAYOR LATOYA CANTRELL ALLEGEDLY LIVES IN POST CITY OWNED APARTMENT, PAYS NO RENT
Cantrell is also accused of living rent-free in a posh city-owned apartment. (Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
In January, Cantrell flew first class to Washington DC for $2,300, in March first class to Miami for $2,800, and in June he traveled first class to Switzerland for $9,800.
All this was followed by a first-class trip to France in July for $17,000.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell is facing a recall campaign as rising crime affects the city. (Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Essence)
Cantrell initially defended his travel expenses, saying last month that “my travel accommodations are a matter of safety, not luxury. … Doing business on behalf of the city of New Orleans, I have to be safe.”
Cantrell is also under fire for allegedly living rent-free in a city-owned apartment in the French Market Corporation’s Upper Pontalba building in Jackson Square.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell has come under fire for spending $30,000 over the summer to upgrade first-class international flights. (Fox News)
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When FOX8 asked the mayor Tuesday about the unit’s use, Cantrell said his apartment use is consistent with previous mayors’ use.