NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Orleans Parish Sheriff Huston is responding to criticism about her decision to reserve hotel rooms for her top staff during the Mardi Gras parades.

Hutson says the rooms were reserved for command staff who were providing parade security along the routes until as late as two in the morning– returning to those duties as early as two hours later.

Sheriff Huston released a statement saying that she is “proud of our Mardi Gras Command & Supervisory Team, the hundreds of deputies who worked the parade security assignments and the many other supporting OPSO staff members who had a hand in achieving this assignment to support our city, NOPD and the Carnival Krewes.”

Two donors, Paul Leblanc & Lance Broussard of LAK9 ultimately paid for the rooms.

And at least two city council members agreed that Huston made the right decision.

Councilmember Freddie King released a statement that read in part, “I applaud Sheriff Huston’s decision to do what was necessary to show care an concern for this community.”

Councilmember Lesli Harris also put out a statement in support of the sheriff, saying, “We should not overlook the countless hours worked, the short time frame, and the logistics that had to be managed all while the agency continued to oversee the Orleans Justice Center.”

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