NEW ORLEANS-- An assistant New Orleans city attorney working on a private case was issued a citation Monday in court after a marijuana joint allegedly fell out of his pocket.
Jason Cantrell, 43, was issued a summons this afternoon for simple possession of marijuana.
A New Orleans police officer was in magistrate this court talking to Cantrell this afternoon when a “marijuana cigarette flew out of his pocket,” said NOPD Officer Garry Flot.
Cantrell is a full-time employee of the city, working in the city attorney’s office, but is allowed to work outside court cases, according to mayoral spokesman Ryan Berni. Cantrell was working on a private matter when the incident occurred Monday.
Berni said Cantrell was immediately suspended without pay. Because the city attorney’s office typically prosecutes such cases, the office will recuse itself in this matter.
Cantrell could not be reached for comment Monday evening. Cantrell, a former teacher, ran unsuccessfully in 2009 for a Juvenile Court Judge. He previously worked as a public defender. Also, he is the son of Magistrate Commissioner Harry Cantrell.
Cantrell's wife, LaToya, the president of the Broadmoor Improvement Association, is currently running for the City Council District B seat.
"He has resigned his position with the City Attorney’s Office, and he will accept the legal consequences as the judicial process takes its course,” LaToya Cantrell’s statement read.
The city recently made possession of a small amounts of marijuana a municipal offense. This allows police to issue offenders a municipal summons, rather than arresting them on a state charge.