One reason so many people were talking about Derrick Shepherd's presence at a recent meeting with New Orleans Mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell and the city's current legislators resonated is that, in the month-plus since her landslide victory, Cantrell hasn't announced any major appointments.
Cantrell's grassroots-focused campaign left few hints of who she'd bring into City Hall, and the unexplained presence of a former lawmaker with a record of domestic violence arrests and a money laundering conviction understandably sparked rumors.
Compounding the controversy was that Cantrell waited way too long to stifle them. It wasn't until more than 24 hours after the Advocate first reported on the meeting that Cantrell finally said in no uncertain terms that Shepherd would play no part in her transition or administration.
Even given the distraction of a politically tinged investigation into her credit card spending by Attorney General Jeff Landry, Cantrell's transition has been downright leisurely. About the only recognizable name she's hired so far is a criminal defense lawyer, Billy Gibbens.
Cantrell's got all the time in the world, relatively speaking. Because of a change in the electoral calendar, the transition period runs nearly six months, which is way longer than unusual. Still, she'd do herself a favor if she came back from New Year's weekend and got the ball rolling.
Inquiring minds are eager to learn just who's going to be in the new mayor's inner circle, or at the least on her transition team. One way to head off rumors, well-founded or not, is for Cantrell to tell them.