Cantrell, a Democrat, lives in a $3,000-per-month apartment in the Jackson Square section on the taxpayer’s dime, according to a WWLTV report. The mayor admitted that she lives on the city’s dime, but argued it is not illegal for her to do so.
“The mayor’s usage of the city-owned apartment at the Pontalba is consistent with the usage of previous majors,” claimed communications director Gregory Joseph.
“In the 2013 franchise agreement there are no rules governing how that unit should be used and the FMC believes the mayor has no obligation to pay rent on that apartment because she’s using it in the same manner that previous mayors have enjoyed.”
However, Cantrell might be violating a city employee policy that reads, “Use of city property is for work-related purposes, and not personal benefit.”
Cantrell has been living in the luxury space for months, even tapping a city employee to act as the apartment’s superintendent, according to the Metropolitan Crime Commission. No rent has been paid for the unit between Sept. 1, 2021 and July 21, 2021. She receives packages at the address and put up privacy screens on the apartment’s balcony.
“That’s an additional benefit tax-free that she’s been receiving. She doesn’t need to be residing there or using that. And I think that it’s a misuse and abuse of her authority. But I’m waiting to see what the city council’s position is,” MMC president Rafael Goyeneche said.
The report comes weeks after it was revealed Cantrell also used city funds on luxury travel expenses, including $29,000 first-class plane tickets to France and Switzerland.
Cantrell also defended those expenses, suggesting that anyone who questions her is racist.
“Anyone who wants to question how I protect myself just doesn’t understand the world black women walk in,” she said, claiming “travel accommodations are a matter of safety, not luxury.”