Eileen Carter, the Vice Chair of the No LaToya recall campaign, has told the media in new reports out Monday that the effort to recall embattled Democrat New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell now has the signatures necessary to oust her.
Carter told Fox News, “Right now our mayor doesn’t love New Orleans so the citizens and the residents stood up. We’re taking our city back, and we’re gonna save New Orleans.”
Chair of the campaign Belden Batiste and Carter began the petition to oust Cantrell in August and handed in the petition complete with signatures to the Orleans Parish Registrar of Voters office Wednesday. The organizers have said they exceeded the 50,000 signature requirement by Louisiana’s Feb. 22nd deadline.
Batiste told Fox News,
“Mayor LaToya, it ain’t that we hate you. You didn’t do your job, and you’re about to be fired.”
The New Orleans Mayor has since been mired in several scandals regarding her travel expenses, flipping the middle finger at a Mardi Gras float and even a potential affair with a city employee, a member of her protective detail.
.@mayorcantrell 🖕 flipping off a 🧻 Tucks float. I do not know what preceding events occurred to make her do that, but Damm. This video was sent anonymously.
— 🄽🄾🄻🄰 ⚜️ 🄽🄴🅄🅆🅂 (@NGN504) February 19, 2023
The crime rate in New Orleans has also skyrocketed in recent years, with a 141 percent increase in homicides since 2019 and a 78 percent increase since 2021 as previously reported by DC Enquirer. New Orleans had 52 homicides per 100,000 residents, according to Metropolitan Crime Commission data. This has left many critics asking what, if anything, Cantrell has done to stem the growing tide of violence.
New York City Police Department Patrol Chief Fausto Pichardo when tapped to review policing in New Orleans wrote in a statement,
“Action must be taken now if there is ever a chance to save the city and bring the reputation of being a city where tourists can come to party and celebrate and not become victims.”
Carter noted to Fox that she previously worked in Cantrell’s social media department for three years, describing it as difficult to watch the mayor “quiet quit” after being reelected.
According to WVUE-TV, a local Fox affiliate found that Cantrell spends many hours of the workday out of her office.
Here’s an excerpt of the WVUE investigation,
“On Sept. 6 at 7:33 a.m., Mayor LaToya Cantrell arrived at the city’s Upper Pontalba apartment in the French Quarter. Just after 8 a.m., she left for a walk toward the river. She returned about 45 minutes later. At 10:15 a.m., a public security camera shows she watered plants on the balcony of the apartment. She left dressed for work a little after 11 a.m.”
The mayor’s schedule reportedly shows that many days have only a few meetings or events, and some days on her working schedule are completely blank.
Dillard University political analyst Robert Collins told the outlet, “People are wondering what the gaps in her schedule are, and what she’s doing during those gaps in her public schedule.” The gaps referenced did not include vacation days which the mayor can take.
Fox News reported that Cantrell would have regular meetings with department heads during her first term, but did not have a single one on her schedule in over a year as of November 2022.
“It’s like a tale of two mayors,” Carter told Fox News. “I don’t think she’s making very good judgment decisions for the city at all, to the point of arrogance.”
Louisiana state law sets out that the Orleans Parish Registrar of Voters has twenty days to verify the signatures, which will then become public record, before announcing the next action. The organizers are reportedly confident that Governor John Bel Edwards will approve a special election.