NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell is facing charges for allegedly violating state ethics law related to her use of first-class flights.
The Louisiana Board of Ethics charged Cantrell under a state law that prohibits public officials from receiving anything of value for their official duties. The board alleges Cantrell improperly received nearly $29,000 worth of first-class upgrades for 15 flights — 13 domestic and two international trips — over two years, The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reported.
The City of New Orleans Travel Policy states all traveling city employees are required to seek the lowest fares available or reimburse the city for deluxe accommodations. After weeks of controversy, Cantrell ultimately reimbursed the city $28,856 about a year ago.
“We believe both the mayor and the administration have appropriately addressed the travel issue and will respond to the ethics complaint in due course,” Cantrell’s spokesperson John Lawson said Thursday.
The board voted in early October and published the charges at the end of the month. The case will likely go before the Ethics Adjudicatory Board, which could censure or fine Cantrell up to $10,000.
The Ethics Board recently charged Gov.-elect Jeff Landry with a similar violation of state law for taking a trip on the private plane of a major political donor. That case is pending.
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