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New Orleans Mayor Refuses to Refund Taxpayer Dollars She Spent On Luxury Travel

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

(Headline USA) Democrat New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said she will not apologize or refund the city and its taxpayers after it was revealed she used taxpayer dollars on luxury travel accommodations.

Cantrell has spent nearly $29,000 on first class and business class flights since January 2021, including an $18,000 trip to France over the summer, according to the New Orleans Advocate. The city has a travel policy requiring employees to reimburse higher-end travel expenses, but Cantrell’s chief administrative officer Gilbert Montano argued it’s not clear whether this policy applies to her.

For her part, Cantrell has said she does not plan on reimbursing any of the costs.

“All expenses incurred doing business on behalf of the city of New Orleans will not be reimbursed to the city of New Orleans,” she said this weekend. “One thing is clear: I do my job, and I will continue to do it with distinction and integrity every step of the way. That’s what I have to say on that.”

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Cantrell has also argued the expenses were necessary for her “safety” and suggested that anyone who questions this defense is racist.

“My travel accommodations are a matter of safety, not of luxury. 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,” she said last month. 

“Anyone who wants to question how I protect myself just doesn’t understand the world black women walk in,” she added.

Cantrell is facing a recall petition, launched by former city employees who argue she has failed “to put New Orleans first and execute the responsibilities of the position.”

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“The mayor, she should put the city of New Orleans first,” former mayoral candidate Belden Batiste said last month.

“She has neglected her duties, and there’s a number of issues going on. For instance, look at crime, look at infrastructure. I don’t hate the mayor, but at the end, do your job.”

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