New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, who has earned a lot of negative attention for an expensive trip to Paris on the taxpayers’ dime and for appearing to come to the defense a carjacker in court, is the subject of a recall petition filed at the Secretary of State’s office Friday.
Cantrell, a Democrat currently presiding over a major crime wave in the city as well as a dwindling police force, did not issue any comment herself but her office released a statement Friday evening.
“The mayor is working 24 hours a day, seven days a week to solve the problems of the city,” director of the Mayor’s Office of Communications, Gregory Joseph, said in a statement to local media.
State recall rules are that a recall petition must collect the signatures of at least 20 percent of the eligible voting population, which will then be verified by the registrar of voters. In New Orleans, that means the petition needs at least 53,000 valid signatures, according to WDSU in New Orleans. Once the signatures are validated, Cantrell will have an opportunity to appeal before the recall election is put on the ballot.
The petition was filed by community activist Belden Batiste, a longtime candidate for office. Eileen Carter, a former city hall staffer joined Batiste in filing the petition.
Carter’s sister is disgraced former state Senator Karen Carter Peterson, who recently resigned from office for illegally using state Democratic Party funds. During that time, she was the state party’s chair and was suffering from gambling addiction. She is currently under federal investigation.
Cantrell, meanwhile, was the subject of a lengthy Tucker Carlson monologue regarding the city’s crime wave and her appearance in court to defend a carjacker.
So, the mayor of the city, Latoya Cantrell, showed up to the sentencing, but here’s the twist in the story. Mayor Cantrell didn’t show up to support the victims, the women who’d been terrorized by this predator. No, the mayor showed up to support the carjacker and to let the entire city know that she was doing it, to let everyone know whose side she was on.
The mayor is an encourager of violence and she is destroying an already wounded city. We reached out to Mayor Cantrell’s office to ask why she is doing all of this. Why did she pressure a judge to release a convicted armed carjacker with no prison time? But of course, she didn’t reply to us. It turns out the mayor of New Orleans had a connection to this carjacker. Cantrell had enrolled this person in one of her administration’s welfare programs called “Pathways Youth Internship Program.” Using taxpayer money, the program says it provides young people who commit crimes with a reward, paid internships and a stipend.
Cantrell first won the mayor’s seat in 2017, and her time in office has been filled with controversy. Many New Orleans residents were placed under stricter COVID-19 restrictions than the rest of the state, while she was holding unmasked parties. She is also responsible for placing restrictive rules on Superdome attendance during the pandemic.
She also tried to get Grammy-winning Christian singer Lauren Daigle, who is originally from Lafayette, Louisiana, kicked of the annual New Year’s Rockin Eve Celebration hosted by Dick Clark Productions. Why? Because Daigle sang at a public event during the pandemic, and Cantrell threw a fit about how much the event “endangered lives,” according to her.
“While this was under the guise of a religious activity or event,” she said at the time, “we know it put our people in danger.”
Cantrell originally won office with 60 percent of the city’s vote, and there is skepticism among political observers in the state as to whether or not the recall election would be successful. The petition has 180 days to collect the necessary signatures in order to make it to the ballot.