New Orleans’ Democratic mayor now says she WILL pay back nearly $30,000 in city cash she blew on first-class flights – days after it’s revealed she is living rent-free in luxury $3,000-a-month taxpayer-funded apartment

  • Mayor LaToya Cantrell to repay $30k in city money spent on first-class flights 
  • She had justified it by saying flying economy was ‘unsafe’ for black women 
  • City policy requires her to find cheapest fare or reimburse the expenses  
  • Cantrell also admitted living rent-free in the apartment located in the city’s Upper Pontalba building on Jackson Square 
  • The apartment, which is owned by the city and managed by the French Market Corp., a city-affiliated agency, has a market rate of $2,991 per month 
  • The city’s Metropolitan Crime Commission sent a report to the city council Thursday asking for an investigation into Cantrell’s use of the apartment 
  • The MCC report included images of the mayor entering and leaving the apartment and presented witness testimony that she’s been spending nights 
  • Both Cantrell and a councilmember who sits on the FMC board for the company managing the apartment say she’s done nothing wrong

LaToya Cantrell, the controversial Democratic mayor of New Orleans, has said she will repay the city for $30,000 she claimed in city cash for first class flights.

The mayor was forced into the U-turn after a city attorney was brought in who determined that Cantrell, as a city employee, was obliged by policy to seek the cheapest fares or reimburse the city for deluxe expenses.

New Orleans’ chief administrative officer Gilbert Montano indicated that he would enforce the policy, prompting Mayor Cantrell to say she would reimburse the city.

‘Based on the policy review, however, I will have to reimburse,’ she said. ‘So I’m moving forward to do that,’ without specifying when she would do so.

Cantrell had previously caused outrage when she spent taxpayer money on first class air travel to France and Switzerland and excused it by saying economy class was ‘unsafe’ for black women, adding she had done nothing illegal.

The under fire mayor is already in hot water after admitting to living in a city-owned apartment in the city’s French Quarter rent free.

At first she repeatedly refused to repay the cost of a luxury American Airlines flight from Washington Dulles Airport to Switzerland for herself in July, despite a city ban on luxury air travel.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell has said she will repay the city for $30,000 she claimed in city cash for first class flights from Washington Dulles Airport to Switzerland and France for herself in July

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell has said she will repay the city for $30,000 she claimed in city cash for first class flights from Washington Dulles Airport to Switzerland and France for herself in July

At the same time she has admitted staying for free in a city-owned apartment in the city's Upper Pontalba building on Jackson Square in the famous district. It has a market rate of $2,991 per month

At the same time she has admitted staying for free in a city-owned apartment in the city’s Upper Pontalba building on Jackson Square in the famous district. It has a market rate of $2,991 per month

The city's Metropolitan Crime Commission showed photographs of New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell entering and leaving the apartment and presented witness testimony that she's been spending nights there, putting up privacy screens and receiving packages

The city’s Metropolitan Crime Commission showed photographs of New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell entering and leaving the apartment and presented witness testimony that she’s been spending nights there, putting up privacy screens and receiving packages

SEE VIDEO: 
Complaint alleges NOLA Mayor living in city-owned apartment

‘My travel accommodations are a matter of safety, not of luxury,’ Cantrell said last  Thursday at a press conference.

‘As all women know, our health and safety are often disregarded and we are left to navigate alone.

‘As the mother of a young child whom I live for, I am going to protect myself by any reasonable means in order to ensure I am there to see her grow into the strong woman I am raising her to be.

‘Anyone who wants to question how I protect myself just doesn’t understand the world black women walk in.’

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