Jason Cantrell, assistant city attorney of New Orleans was arrested on Monday after a marijuana cigarette fell from his pocket in the court of the Orleans Parish magistrate, apparently in front of the police. He was issued a summons for single possession of marijuana.
Ryan Berni, a spokesman for New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said on Wednesday, “Jason Cantrell is suspended without pay pending further investigation … He was not acting in his capacity as assistant city attorney when the incident occurred.”
The timing for the marijuana cigarette walking out of the pocket of Cantrell to fall to floor just in front of police, and in court, seems to be convenient for some, as Cantrell’s wife is a candidate for New Orleans City Council, her first run for public office, and the race is on.
Cantrell’s wife remarked on her Facebook page that she was “angry, embarrassed and disappointed” with her husband’s action. LaToya Cantrell wrote, “I absolutely do not condone his actions … He will accept the legal consequences as the judicial process takes its course.” LaToya said she will remain in the race for the city council.
LaToya, who is popular in Broadmoor for her civic activities and helping people after the hurricane Katrina ravaged Louisiana, wrote “I love my husband unconditionally and am very concerned for his health and well-being, and for that of our family … I hope that this incident will encourage Jason to seek the professional help he needs and ask that the public respect our privacy in this very personal family matter.”
Jason Cantrell has been practicing law in Louisiana form more than 16 years according to the Louisiana State Bar Association. He had also contended unsuccessfully in 2009 for the post of juvenile court judge. Since 2009, Cantrell has been an associate city attorney.
It is not known why Cantrell was in that particular court room when he was not acting in his capacity as the assistant city associate attorney. It is also not known how the police instantly recognized a cigarette to be containing marijuana, just because it fell from someone’s pocket. Or, why, the police had reason to pick up from the floor and inspect a cigarette falling from an attorney’s pocket.
But it is known, the suspended and arrested attorney’s wife is running for her first public office on New Orleans City Council.