New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, who is defending herself after reports indicated that she’s having an affair with a police officer, described the accusations against her as sexist. Cantrell expressed her statement in a text message to

“By the time I complete my tenure as mayor I would have slept with half of the City of New Orleans based on false accusations that come my way sometimes daily,” Cantrell told Nola. “This is only one of them.”

The mayor continued to express her frustration, saying “If I were a MAN you would NOT be texting me about this bull***t.”

The accusations against Cantrell surfaced after news outlets reported on the divorce petition recently filed by the wife of New Orleans Police Officer Jeffrey Vappie.

The petition alleges that the mayor began an “ongoing sexual relationship” with Vappie in May 2021. According to the document, Vappie admitted to his wife that he was having an affair with the mayor, who is referred to as “Mrs. L.C” in the paper.

The petition states that Cantrell and Vappie had at least 10 dates together in August and September of 2022. The officer, according to the document, still went to work on seven of those days. Some of his shifts began as early as 7 a.m. and ran as late as 10 p.m.

The city’s policy does not explicitly ban sexual relationships between supervisors and subordinates. However, the policy statesthat “quid pro quo” sexual harassment occurs “when the rejection of sexual advances would result in adverse decisions affecting an employee’s job status.”

Chief Administrative Officer Gilbert Montaño didn’t clarify whether Cantrell or Vappie violated any laws.

Rafael Goyeneche, president of the watchdog Metropolitan Crime Commission, said Vappie would likely violate policies of professionalism if he had an affair while on the clock. Goyeneche told Nola that Vappie could also face criminal charges if he reported hours for time he didn’t actually spend working security.