Democrat Mayor of New Orleans LaToya Cantrell says that it was “necessary” to spend taxpayer money on first class airline tickets during a European trip because as a black woman, she would have been unsafe flying coach.
Mayor Cantrell made the extraordinary claims in response to criticism over the $30,000 she spent on first class tickets traveling to France and Switzerland, The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reported.
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The Mayor is refusing to refund the money, claiming that her “travel accommodations are a matter of safety, not luxury,” despite the fact that her security entourage traveled in coach while she was quaffing champagne in first class during the trips.
“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,” Cantrell bizarrely argued, according to WWL.
“Anyone who wants to question how I protect myself just doesn’t understand the world black women walk in,” she added. Summit report:
Yes, I’m sure the struggle of being a wealthy, powerful and privileged politician is real and that Cantrell’s very life might be in danger if she isn’t lounging in luxury while eating caviar in first class at taxpayer expense.
Claiming that she was “doing business on behalf of the city” when she took the luxury trips to Switzerland in July and France earlier this year, the Mayor violated city policy which states that officials “are required to purchase the lowest airfare available” and can only upgrade at their own expense.
However, Cantrell is refusing to pay up.
“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.
Cantrell also spent over $2,800 dollars in March on a first-class trip to Miami for a US Conference of Mayors in addition to $2,300 on a luxury flight to a Conference of Mayors meeting in Washington.
On both occasions, her staff spent significantly less on the flights, meaning Cantrell was enjoying herself in first while they were all packed together in coach.
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