Irvin Mayfield Used New Orleans' Library Foundation's Money for $18,000 Hotel Stay in New York, $1,400 On a Single Breakfast

00:00 January 01, 1970
By: Noah Stokes-Raab

Ever spent $1,400 on a breakfast before?  Irvin Mayfield, beloved Jazz trumpeter and New Orleans music icon in general has.  And guess who actually ended up picking up the tab.  The New Orleans Public Library Foundation, of which Mayfield was the President until 2015.


Back in the Summer of 2012, Mayfield took a trip to New York City and between his room costs, mini-bar purchases, and of course, that single, $1,400 breakfast, managed to rack up a bill of over $18,000 at the Ritz-Carlton hotel.  All of this money was charged to New Orleans’ public library charity.  According to the current Library Foundation President, Bob Brown, that trip was not tied in any way to the Library Foundation, and should not have been charged to them.


This expensive visit to New York was only the tip of the iceberg in terms of Mayfield’s apparent exploitation of funds from the Library Foundation.  Bob Brown took over as President of the foundation in 2015, after it was discovered that over $1 million in library donations was “donated” from the Library Foundation to Mayfield’s New Orleans Jazz Orchestra.  Mayfield’s band finally agreed to pay back that money gradually over the next five years.  Less than half of that money, however, will be paid back in cash.  The rest will be reimbursed to the foundation in the form of things like benefit concerts and other charitable events for the foundation.


To make matters worse for Mayfield, this month, it was discovered that $150,000 was paid from the Library Foundation to a nonprofit where he sat on the board: Youth Rescue Initiative.  Mr. Brown said that the Library Foundation is demanding for the money to be paid back as well, but Mayfield’s Orchestra is denying any involvement.  This makes it seem as if Mayfield himself will have to pay out of pocket or from the pocket of his Youth Rescue Initiative nonprofit.


Bob Brown, in regards to charging the Library Foundation for alcohol at a hotel, could “think of no case in which that would be appropriate.”  All of these recent discoveries that have been finding multiple instances of Mayfield spending extravagant amounts of money all on the Library Foundation’s tab have been exposing his apparent exploitation of his connections to these nonprofit, charitable foundations for his own personal, luxurious benefit.


Maybe Mayfield should just buy some corn flakes in bulk and leave the Ritz-Carlton’s room service breakfast and expensive mini-bars alone.

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