New Orleans mayor spent $250,000 on travel expenses, taxpayers foot the bill

New Orleans mayor LaToya Cantrell has racked up an impressive $250,000 bill over the last year, aides have justified her spending as necessary for "accomplish[ing] political and business goals".

The mayor first came under fire for her lavish travel expenses in 2022, when public records requests revealed that she charged flight and room upgrades to city accounts. Cantrell had to reimburse $30,000 of those upgrades, as the action was in violation of city codes. $30,000 though? Inflation really has made the cost of stale room service croissants and pay-per-view skyrocket.

Cantrell has taken 23 trips since January 2023, taking up 107 days through the end of May.

Records show that between May 23 and June 18 of 2023, a period of 25 days, Cantrell took five trips totaling 19 days. She recently wrapped up four trips in three weeks, ending with her return from Qatar on May 16.

The taxpayer bill for travel by Cantrell and staffers who have joined her includes more than $20,000 in conference registration fees and $24,000 in per diem reimbursements. Cantrell has personally racked up nearly $150,000 in expenses, although more than half that amount was paid by nonprofit associations and other outside groups. Staff expenses have totaled more than $200,000, almost all of that paid by the city.

The most expensive trip was a five-day jaunt to Las Vegas to attend the Super Bowl as part of a handoff ceremony to New Orleans, which is hosting the 2025 game.

The total cost was $33,000, and among the flights and other expenses, the city paid $16,000 for drivers and a Sprinter van to get the mayor and four other city employees around the city.

Ben Myers,

That scandalous $250,000 pricetag on airfare, travel expenses and a sprinter van reflect poorly on Cantrell and her administration, especially when compared to the overall poverty of the state and general lack of resources for the average New Orleanian. Just fly Spirit like the rest of us, Cantrell.