Joint Falls Out of Lawyer's Pocket in Court
Oops! New Orleans prosecutor 'drops a JOINT in court...in front of police officers'
- Jason Cantrell, 43, was issued a summons and released under a city policy for marijuana cases
- His wife is currently vying for a seat on the City Council
[/*]Worked as a drug court attorney[/*]In 2009, Cantrell unsuccessfully ran a race to become a Juvenile Court judge[/*]
Snejana Farberov Mail Online
16:51 EST, 2 October 2012
16:59 EST, 2 October 2012
A New Orleans lawyer would have saved himself a lot of trouble if only he checked his pockets before heading to court on Monday.
Assistant city attorney Jason Cantrell was issued a summons after he dropped a joint while talking to a police officer in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court.
43, was cited for simple drug possession and released under a city
policy for low-level marijuana cases, according to police. According
to the New Orleans Police Department spokesperson Garry Flot, Cantrell
was talking to one of the officers waiting to testify in court when the
rolled up joint tumbled out of his pocket and landed on the floor.People
who witnessed the comical scene said that two officers glanced at the
joint, and then exchanged a bemused look before making arguably the
world's easiest drug bust. The pair were spotted chuckling as their colleagues led Cantrell out of the courtroom at around 4.15pm to issue him a summons.
Ryan Berni, a spokesman for Mayor Mitch Landrieu's office, told the New Orleans Times-Picayune
that at the time of the incident, Cantrell was not working on behalf of
the city. He was suspended without pay pending an investigation.According to a statement issued by Cantrell's wife, LaToya Cantrell, her husband resigned his city post late Monday.
handing traffic court cases in his capacity as an assistant city
attorney, Cantrell also has a private practice. Calls to Cantrell's
office were not immediately returned.Cantrell
has practiced civil and criminal law in New Orleans for 17 years,
including six as a public defender in Juvenile Court. In an ironic
twist, the 43-year-old also worked as a drug court attorney.
In 2009, he lost in a race for a Juvenile Court judgeship. His wife is currently vying for a seat on the City Council.
In an apparent attempt to minimize
the fallout from the embarrassing incident, LaToya Cantrell issued a
statement apologizing for her husband’s actions and saying that she is
‘angry, embarrassed, and disappointed’ with the 43-year-old’s ‘lack of
judgment.’‘I love my husband unconditionally
and am very concerned for his health and well-being, and for that of our
family,’ Cantrell said. ‘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.’The
City Council in late 2010 made marijuana possession a municipal
offense, allowing police to issue a summons rather than arrest and book
an offender on state charges in an effort to reduce the case load. This is not the first time a member of the legal community has been caught with drugs. According to the blog Above the Law, a Texas judge was arrested in February when he was busted with 20 grams of marijuana in his hotel room.
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