WDSU investigates: New documents provide insight into how much money was spent on Cantrell’s trip to Switzerland

New documents obtained by WDSU Investigates provide insight into how much money New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell spent on his recent trip to Switzerland. According to the documents, on the plane tickets alone, Cantrell spent nearly $10,000. Documents also show that Cantrell took three employees to Switzerland with her, including a social media manager, her director of internal relations and executive protection. The nearly $10,000 figure for airfare was for Cantrell only, details of the cost of airfare for its employees were not provided. Some documents were not provided to WDSU investigators, including accommodation, food and entertainment expenses. The trip was funded by taxpayers. Cantrell was in Switzerland to reinforce a sister city agreement. However, this was not Cantrell’s only overseas trip. WDSU Investigates is awaiting documents on his trip to France. It comes after New Orleans City Council leaders moved to limit Cantrell’s travel after two recent trips to Europe drew widespread criticism from community leaders and members. His spending on trips to Switzerland and France sparked complaints and concerns that Cantrell was leaving town, amid a disarray between stalled projects and rising crime. These critics say his time and money should be spent cleaning up the city. WDSU Investigates pressed Cantrell on the timing of her travels, asking her why she chose to leave the country when the city was facing the worst crime rate since Hurricane Katrina. “There’s always a good time to do business in the city, especially to expand our cultural footprint which boosts the local economy,” Cantrell said. “Making sure we make those connections that just cross our cultural barriers.” Some community members at a recent council meeting were critical, saying Cantrell’s priorities should be locally focused on crime and the city’s economy. “It’s a shame that our mayor is taking a lavish vacation with taxpayers’ money while people are dying in crime town,” a community member said during a town council meeting on Tuesday. It’s not just community members who are worried about how the money is spent.City Council President Helena Moreno and Vice President J.P. Morrell have tabled legislation capping non-essential travel expenses for city elected officials. city ​​at $1,000 per trip Non-essential travel would essentially halt trips like the ones Cantrell recently made to Switzerland and the French Riviera to bolster sister city agreements Before WDSU Investigates received the documents on the expenses, Cantrell was asked how much the trips cost taxpayers, she said she didn’t know. us just mentioned. It’s full on business, but I’m doing it on behalf of the city. So no, I don’t know out of the blue looking through the tunnel, I’m looking at the whole thing,” Cantrell said. When WDSU Investigates pressed her to see if she understood the community’s concerns, she said she didn’t understand the question. This is not the first time Cantrell’s expenses have been questioned, in 2019 the city spent thousands of dollars for Cantrell and her staff to travel to Ghana for a vital event and when she was a council member. municipal, she was investigated for abusing her municipal credit card charging $9,000 for food and various Walmart groceries. If passed, it would impact more people than the mayor, it would also be placed on council members. The ordinance would require quarterly declarations of travel by elected officials. The ordinance will be discussed on Tuesday August 4th.

New documents obtained by WDSU Investigates provide insight into how much money New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell spent on his recent trip to Switzerland.

According to the documents, on the plane tickets alone, Cantrell spent nearly $10,000.

Documents also show that Cantrell took three employees to Switzerland with her, including a social media manager, her director of internal relations and executive protection.

The nearly $10,000 figure for airfare was for Cantrell only, details of the cost of airfare for its employees were not provided.

Some documents were not provided to WDSU investigators, including accommodation, food and entertainment expenses.

The trip was funded by taxpayers. Cantrell was in Switzerland to reinforce a sister city agreement.

However, this was not Cantrell’s only overseas trip. WDSU Investigates is awaiting documents on his trip to France.

It comes after New Orleans City Council leaders moved to limit Cantrell’s travel after two recent trips to Europe drew widespread criticism from community leaders and members.

His spending on trips to Switzerland and France sparked complaints and concerns that Cantrell was leaving town, amid a disarray between stalled projects and rising crime.

These critics say his time and money should be spent cleaning up the city.

WDSU Investigates pressed Cantrell on the timing of her travels, asking her why she chose to leave the country when the city was facing the worst crime rate since Hurricane Katrina.

“There’s always a good time to do business in the city, especially to expand our cultural footprint which boosts the local economy,” Cantrell said. “Making sure we create those connections that just embrace our cultural barriers.

At a recent council meeting, some community members voiced criticism, saying Cantrell’s priorities should be locally focused on crime and the city’s economy.

“It’s a shame that our mayor is taking a lavish vacation with taxpayers’ money while people are dying in crime town,” a community member said at a city council meeting on Tuesday.

It’s not just community members who worry about how the money is being spent.

City Council President Helena Moreno and Vice President JP Morrell have tabled legislation capping non-essential travel expenses for elected city officials at $1,000 per trip.

Non-essential travel would essentially halt trips like the ones Cantrell recently made to Switzerland and the French Riviera to bolster sister city agreements.

Before WDSU Investigates received the expense documents, Cantrell was asked how much the trips cost taxpayers. She said she didn’t know.

“I do business on behalf of the city, not just a sister city isolation you just mentioned. It’s full on business, but I’m doing it on behalf of the city. So no, I don’t know just looking through the tunnel, I’m looking at the whole thing,” Cantrell said.

When WDSU Investigates pressed her to see if she understood the community’s concerns, she said she didn’t understand the question.

“I don’t know what you are asking me”, and he left.

This is not the first time Cantrell’s expenses have been called into question, in 2019 the city spent thousands of dollars for Cantrell and his staff to travel to Ghana for a vital event and when she was on the council. municipal, she was investigated for abusing her municipal credit card. $9,000 for food and various Walmart groceries.

If voted on, it would impact more people than the mayor, it would also be placed on council members. The order would require quarterly travel reports for elected officials.

The ordinance will be discussed on Tuesday August 4th.

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