NEW ORLEANS -- Mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell has reached an agreement with Attorney General Jeff Landry’s office that will let prosecutors review her personal bank records.
In a joint motion filed Tuesday, both sides said the AG’s office will no longer seek a subpoena for the records because Cantrell will allow investigators to review the documents at the office of Billy Gibbens, her attorney. Cantrell also has agreed to dismiss her motion to challenge the subpoena.
“Mayor-elect Cantrell and the Attorney General’s office have agreed on a procedure to review the Cantrells’ personal banking records, and we look forward to the conclusion of this matter,” Gibbens said in a prepared statement.
Landry’s office declined to comment beyond what was included in the joint motion.
WWL-TV legal analyst Pauline Hardin said the sudden cooperation indicates that the case against Cantrell could be thin.
“I think it means there’s nothing in the documents and the case will be resolved,” Hardin said.
She described the latest move as one that is “amicable” between two parties whose horns had been locked for months.
“Once they see them (the bank records), that will be the end of the case,” Hardin said.
The AG’s office sought the records as part of a probe into charges Cantrell made to her city credit card.
During last October’s mayoral runoff campaign, news broke that Cantrell had used her city credit card to pay for personal expenses and more than 30 trips. Cantrell reimbursed the City Council about $9,000 for expenses she considered “gray areas,” including more than $4,400 she paid back just days before she qualified to run for mayor.
Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro, who backed Charbonnet, referred the case to state Attorney General Jeff Landry just before Cantrell was elected mayor last November.
Landry’s office requested subpoenas for Cantrell’s personal bank records and her city credit card, but Orleans Parish Criminal District Court Judge Laurie White did not immediately rule on that while both sides argued about whether a local judge or one from elsewhere should oversee the request.
Landry objected to Orleans Parish judges overseeing the case because the court has financial ties to the city.
According to the joint motion, the requested bank records were given to the court but had not yet been handed over to the AG’s office.
Cantrell is set to be sworn in on May 7. The next hearing on the subpoenas is scheduled for May 8.
New Orleans Advocate staff writer Matt Sledge contributed to this report.