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New Orleans prosecutor arrested after joint falls from his pocket in court

By Rebecca Catalanello

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - A New Orleans city attorney was arrested for possession of marijuana and suspended from his job after a joint tumbled from his pocket in front of police in court.

Jason Cantrell, 43, assistant city attorney, was issued a summons for simple possession of marijuana on Monday afternoon after a marijuana cigarette fell to the floor in Orleans Parish magistrate court, New Orleans Police spokesman Frank Robertson said.

"Jason Cantrell is suspended without pay pending further investigation," Ryan Berni, a spokesman for New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, said on Wednesday. "He was not acting in his capacity as assistant city attorney when the incident occurred."

Cantrell's wife, a candidate for New Orleans City Council, said on her Facebook page that she was "angry, embarrassed and disappointed," with her husband's actions.

"I absolutely do not condone his actions," LaToya Cantrell wrote. "He will accept the legal consequences as the judicial process takes its course."

She said Jason Cantrell had submitted his resignation, but Berni said no resignation letter had been received.

Cantrell has practiced law in Louisiana for more than 16 years, according to Louisiana State Bar Association. He ran unsuccessfully for juvenile court judge in 2009. He has been with the city since 2009.

Jason Cantrell could not be reached for comment on Wednesday. LaToya Cantrell said she will remain in the race for city council.

(Editing by Greg McCune and Mohammad Zargham)

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