Legislative Auditor releases report on New Orleans City Council credit card spending

IN THE CBD, WITH THE SPENDING LAID OUT IN THIS REPORT JENNIFER: THIS ALL STARTED AS A PROBE INTO MAYOR LATOYA CANTRELL’S USE OF HER CITY CREDIT CARD WHEN SHE WAS ON THE COUNCIL

BUT THE LEGISLATIVE AUDITOR EXPANDED THE SCOPE AND FOUND CANTRELL’S BAD PRACTICES WERE IN GOOD COMPANY MONDAY, THE LEGISLATIVE AUDITOR RELEASED ITS FINDINGS INTO NEARLY $400,000 IN CREDIT CARD CHARGES IT’S TAX-PAYER MONEY, SPENT BY MEMBERS OF THE NEW ORLEANES CITY COUNCIL AND THEIR STAFF FROM 2014 TO 2017 THE AUDIT FINDING INADEQUATE OVERSIGHT, AND SAYING SOME PURCHASES MAY VIOLATE STATE LAW, AND THE LOUISIANA CONSTITUTION >> IT’S MORE SYSTEMIC THAN WE REALIZED

JENNIFER: THE AUDITOR FOUND THAT COUNCIL MEMBERS PAID FOR PARTIES, GIFTS, FOOD, FURNITURE, WITHOUT PREVIOUS APPROVAL AND SOMETIMES WITH NO RECEIPT >> THEY ARE THE STEWARDS OF OUR TAXPAYER MONEY AND SO WE WANT THEM TO BE SPENDING THE MONEY APPROPRIATELY AND NOT FOR PERSONAL GAIN JENNIFER: QUESTIONS ABOUT CREDIT CARD SPENDING CAME UP LAST YEAR DURING THE MAYOR’S RACE 11 MONTHS AGO WDSU INVESTIGATES , UNCOVERED IN REIMBURSEMENTS $9,000 THAT CANTRELL MADE TO THE CITY, TO PAY BACK MONEY SHE SPENT ON HER CITY COUNCIL CREDIT CARD THE REIMBURSEMENTS COMING JUST DAYS AHEAD OF QUALIFYING AS A MAYORAL CANDIDATE

THE LEGISLATIVE AUDITOR FOUND MONDAY THAT CANTRELL’S SPENDING WAS NOT ANY WORSE THAN THE REST OF THE COUNCIL, AT THE TIME >> IT’S OUT OF THE LEGISLATIVE AUDITOR’S HANDS AND TOSSED TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL RIGHT NOW JENNIFER: CANTRELL, NOT COMMENTING ON THE AG’S ONGOING INVESTIGATION, BUT IN HER RESPONSE TO THE AUDITORS REPORT, CANTRELL WRITES, I WAS SINGULARLY ACCUSED OF WRONGDOING HOWEVER, ONCE THE INVESTIGATION BEGAN IT WAS DETERMINED THAT AN , AUDIT OF THE ENTIRE COUNCIL’S USE OF THE CITY CREDIT CARD, ITS POLICIES, PROCEDURES AND RECORDKEEPING WAS NECESSARY I SUPPORTED THAT DECISION RIGHT NOW THERE ARE ONLY TWO , MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL THAT ARE SERVING CURRENTLY THAT ALSO SERVED ON THAT COUNCIL WITH LATOYA CANTRELL

THOSE MEMBERS, ALONG WITH THE CURRENT CITY COUNCILS NOW OPERATE UNDER NEW PROTOCOLS PASSED IN REPORTING LIVE IN NEW MAY ORLEANS, J