Criminal Justice

Oops. Nearby Cops Say Joint Fell from City Attorney's Pocket, in Court; He Resigns After Suspension

An assistant New Orleans city attorney received a municipal summons charging him with simple marijuana possession after, police say, a joint dropped out of his pocket as he was chatting with a city police officer Monday in Orleans Parish Magistrate Court while working as private defense counsel.

Jason Cantrell, 43, was then suspended from his part-time job with the city, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune and WDSU. The Times-Picayune and New York Post subsequently reported that Cantrell resigned from his job late Monday.

Relying on unidentified sources, the initial Times-Picayune article said two cops looked at the marijuana cigarette on the floor, looked at each other, then led Cantrell out of the courtroom about 4:15 p.m. in what news reports throughout the country are calling one of the easiest collars ever made in police work. The low-level offense with which Cantrell is charged is an isolated incident, according to authorities, and appears very unlikely to result in any significant criminal penalty.

However, Cantrell, who apparently has not publicly commented, faced stinging public criticism from his wife, LaToya Cantrell, who is running for a seat on the city council. In a written statement, she said she loves her husband but “I absolutely do not condone his actions.”

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