New Orleans Mayor Faces FBI Investigation Over Alleged Relationship with Bodyguard, Misuse of Taxpayer-funded Vacation

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LaToya Cantrell, the Democratic mayor of New Orleans, is currently being investigated by the FBI for allegations of an ongoing adulterous affair with Jeffrey Vappie, her former police detail chief.

The investigation also includes potential misuse of taxpayer funds. The Daily Mail reported this information.

The FBI is closely examining Mayor Cantrell’s activities, particularly her interactions with Vappie on city premises and during personal trips funded by government resources.

Security footage reportedly shows Mayor Cantrell and Vappie spending significant amounts of time together in an apartment owned by the city during work hours.

These observations have raised concerns regarding the nature of their relationship.

Photo: fox8live

Amid an investigation into Vappie’s work hours and activities, a revelation has come to light. Last year, Vappie faced accusations of discrepancies in his timesheets while serving on Mayor Cantrell’s security detail.

These accusations were partly fueled by reports from WVUE-TV regarding the mayor’s use of an Upper Pontalba apartment. As a result, the City Council prohibited the mayor from using the apartment as her personal residence.

According to the New Orleans Advocate, the investigation conducted by the New Orleans Police Department found that Vappie had violated departmental regulations by logging 18 hours of work in a single day.

Additionally, he was cited for spending excessive time with Mayor Cantrell beyond his scheduled duty hours and for participating in two board meetings as her appointee on the Board of Housing Authority of New Orleans.

The allegations have been amplified by Danielle Vappie’s divorce filings, which suggest an affair between her husband and Mayor Cantrell dating back to May 2021 when Vappie started working on Cantrell’s security detail.

Local media outlets have identified “Mrs. L.C.” mentioned in these filings as Mayor LaToya Cantrell, who became New Orleans’ first female mayor in 2018. During her tenure, the city witnessed a significant increase in its murder rate.

Rafael Goyeneche from the anti-corruption Metropolitan Crime Commission drew parallels between this scandal and the one involving former Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, who faced charges along with her bodyguard for misusing city funds and eventually resigned.

Similar to Barry’s case, Cantrell is accused of misusing city resources for personal gain, including trips and spending time with her bodyguard. The involvement of the FBI suggests that these allegations may extend to federal offenses. In previous instances, Cantrell faced scrutiny over $29,000 worth of first-class flights unrelated to the ongoing investigation.

The AP reported that “The Louisiana Board of Ethics charged Cantrell under a state law that prohibits public officials from receiving anything of value for their official duties. The board alleges Cantrell improperly received nearly $29,000 worth of first-class upgrades for 15 flights – 13 domestic and two international trips – over two years.”

While Cantrell has reimbursed the city for some of these expenses, she maintains that the upgrades were necessary for health and safety reasons.

Cantrell herself vehemently denies the allegations of an affair, emphasizing her dedication to her role as Mayor.

In a press conference held in January 2023, she expressed frustration with the rumors surrounding her personal life and attributed these claims to sexism and racism.

“As I’ve stated, you know, based on the false allegations that come my way, by the time I finish this job, literally, you know, accused of sleeping with half the city of New Orleans, both genders and all pronouns,” she said during the press conference.

In a text to a Times-Picayune reporter, Cantrell wrote, “By the time I complete my tenure as mayor, I would have slept with half of the city of New Orleans based on false accusations that come my way sometimes daily. This is only one of them. If I were a MAN, you would NOT be texting me about this bullshit.”

The controversy grew more heated after it became known that Mayor Cantrell brought Vappie along to a climate action event in Dubai last December.

Although most of Cantrell’s costs, totaling $24,000, were covered by a mayoral organization, Louisiana taxpayers were still responsible for around $14,000 which covered Vappie’s airfare, accommodation and other expenses.

The New York Post reported on this issue and now there are questions being raised about the appropriateness of this expenditure considering the close relationship between Cantrell and Vappie as well as the small size of the delegation.

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