Recall Leaders Ask Inspector General To Investigate Mayor’s Questionable Expenditure


Recall campaign co-chairs Belden Batiste and Eileen Carter sent a request to New Orleans Inspector General Edward Michel on Friday, February 3, 2023 that he open an investigation on what they believe was an “illegal act by Mayor LaToya Cantrell or someone in her administration.”

A four-color glossy brochure entitled “City of New Orleans 2020 Recap” was delivered by mailed to thousands of New Orleans voters. The brochure did not include information on who paid for it. It did however include 1300 Perdido as the return address which of course is where City Hall and Mayor Cantrell’s office are located. Belden and Carter believe that the brochure was paid for by city funds (taxpayer dollars) and sent to only a select number of registered voters instead of the entirety of the city.

“Since this is the very first and only brochure of this type that the Cantrell Administration has sent out, it leaves us to further believe that this is a self-promoting political mailer touting the mayor’s alleged accomplishments for the year 2022,’ the co-chairs wrote to Michel.  The pair suggested that during Cantrell’s previous five years in office a brochure like this was never produced and distributed. “Why now?” they asked.

Leaders surmise that the brochure’s timing was a response to the aggressive recall campaign currently underway. The letter requested that Michel found out where, when, why and by whom the piece was prepared along with how the recipients were selected. It also asked if all state and local laws were adhered to in the preparation and mailing of the brochure.

Late Friday afternoon, February 3, Cantrell’s Office of Communication issued a statement that the brochure was a part of Cantrell’s effort to “consistently communicate with the public” regarding results and progress. The brochure was mailed to 106,633 “of our fellow New Orleanians who actively participate in our local democracy” at a cost of approximately $51,000.  According to the Louisiana Secretary of State, there are currently 264,481 registered voters in Orleans Parish. Less than half of them received the recent mailing.

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