Democrat mayor under fire for racking up $30K in first class travel for 'safety' purposes

Bayou Mama Bears founder Laura Cannizzaro Rodrigue said mayor's expenses could be 'criminal' on 'Fox & Friends First'

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell (D) is facing scrutiny over her demand for luxury travel in the name of safety, all at the cost of taxpayers. 

Bayou Mama Bears founder Laura Cannizzaro Rodrigue joined "Fox & Friends First" Monday to discuss Cantrell's sky-high flight costs and her refusal to pay back constituents for the steep price tag. 

"You compare the fact that $30,000 is just the difference in cost from a coach seat versus a first class, and the starting salary of our New Orleans Police Department is $40,000," Rodrigue told co-host Todd Piro. 

"So you have to take that into consideration when we are the murder capital of the country right now with… one of the lowest police department employment rates, we just cannot keep police officers."

NEW ORLEANS HOMICIDE RATE REACHES 14-YEAR HIGH FOLLOWING FATAL SHOOTING NEAR HOTEL

Police vehicles block access to Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana, Feb. 16, 2021.

Police vehicles block access to Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana, Feb. 16, 2021. (Bryan Tarnowski/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

"It's no wonder that the city has become the laughingstock of the country," she continued.

In January, Cantrell flew first class to Washington, D.C., for $2,300, in March she flew first class to Miami for $2,800, and in June she traveled to Switzerland first class for $9,800. 

This was all followed by a first-class trip to France for $17,000 in July. 

Democrat LaToya Cantrell listens to campaign donors, Sept. 22, 2017.

Democrat LaToya Cantrell listens to campaign donors, Sept. 22, 2017. (Sophia Germer/The Advocate via Associated Press)

"The lack of shame, unfortunately, we've sort of become accustomed to here," Rodrigue said. "There is a complete disregard for the intelligence level of the citizens of Orleans Parish to think that any of us believe this… Women in New Orleans are most afraid to stop at a red light right now…you're going to get carjacked."

Cantrell defended her sky-high travel costs, releasing a statement saying, "My travel accommodations are a matter of safety, not of luxury. As all women know, our health and safety are often disregarded, and we are left to navigate alone."

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"Anyone who wants to question how I protect myself just doesn't understand the world Black women walk in," she continued. 

"It's simply just her living off of the dime of the citizens of Orleans Parish and now boldly stating, I refuse to repay it," Rodrigue said. "And there are several issues here that she could face down the line. There is a policy in place requiring her to repay that. 

"There's also the fact that it could be criminal in nature," she continued. "It is technically a theft, the taking of something of value with the intent to permanently deprive it."