NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The communication director for New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, one of her closest aides, is still employed for now.
During Tuesday’s special meeting, the New Orleans City Council voted to give Gregory Joseph another two weeks to secure an attorney.
The extension that was granted will prolong the process of the council potentially firing Joseph for his role in sending out the mailers detailing Cantrell’s achievements during the mayoral recall effort.
Joseph did not attend the meeting, but city attorney Donesia Turner was there to ask the council to give Joseph more time.
“I am simply here today on behalf of the mayor and Mr. Joseph, which is a very ministerial proceeding, and ask to request a continuance of two weeks to give Mr. Joseph an opportunity to secure counsel,” Turner said.
Council leaders argued Joseph could have relayed the message himself and accused him of not taking the hearing seriously because of his recent social media activity.
While questioning Turner, Council President JP Morrell said, “As you’re sitting here, saying he takes the process seriously, he’s posted on Instagram, saying, ‘I’m going to have my hearing on the third.’ Explain to me how that works.” Turner responded, “I cannot explain a post that Mr. Joseph posted and that I have not seen.”
Ultimately, the council granted the recess.
Despite the council’s attorney saying Turner acted in accordance with the home rule charter, Morrell says he found Turner’s presence at the meeting to be problematic.
“For her to come down here and ask for a boon from the council to please, you know, give us two more weeks while there’s no indication that Mr. Joseph wants two more weeks,” Morrell said.
A reliable source close to Joseph tells WGNO he did not seek a continuance and that he has “no interest or desire to participate in yet another waste of time.” The source also said Joseph has no plans to hire an attorney.
The next hearing is scheduled for Oct. 17.
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