New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell was charged with ethics violations regarding her use of first-class seats on flights paid by the city.
The Louisiana Board of Ethics on Oct. 31 accused Cantrell of upgrading to first-class on city-funded flight tickets, which violates state law and city travel policy.
According to New Orleans city policy, government employees are required to purchase the lowest airfare possible or reimburse the city for accommodations considered deluxe. The charges aren’t criminal.
In total, the cost difference between Cantrell’s flight upgrades and rates permitted under city policy was $28,856.99.
Cantrell once flew first class on a July 2022 flight to Nice, France, for a total of $17,654.57, when the cheapest ticket was $4,666.17, according to the filing.
All 15 flight upgrades took place between Feb. 11, 2021 and Aug. 23, 2022.
According to FOX 8, Cantrell said on Sept. 6, 2022, that she didn’t intend to pay the money back and claimed the upgrades were for her own health and safety.
“All expenses incurred doing business on behalf of the City of New Orleans will not be reimbursed to the City of New Orleans,” Cantrell said. “I do my job and I will continue to do it with distinction and integrity every step of the way.”
She argued the COVID-19 threat caused her to fly first-class in some instances and also cited security concerns.
“Anyone who wants to question how I protect myself just doesn’t understand the world Black women walk in,” Cantrell said previously.
Cantrell eventually reimbursed the city after council members threatened to dock her pay.
Fox News Digital reached out to Cantrell’s office for comment.