Baton Rouge ‘Key to the City’ stripped from R. Kelly after conviction

FILE - C. Denise Marcelle, then an EBR Metro Council member, gives R. Kelly a "key to the...
FILE - C. Denise Marcelle, then an EBR Metro Council member, gives R. Kelly a "key to the city" of Baton Rouge in February 2013.(WAFB)
Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 1:41 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Former East Baton Rouge Metro Council member, turned Louisiana State Representative, C. Denise Marcelle has rescinded a “key to the city” given to performer R. Kelly.

R. Kelly, known for his R&B ballads, was convicted Monday in a sex trafficking trial.

When confirming news about the rescinded honor to WAFB, an associate in Marcelle’s office said, “Rep. Marcelle further emphasizes that the focus should be on the victims.”

The “key to the city” was the subject of a report by the 9News Investigators when it was presented to R. Kelly nearly a decade ago.

RELATED: R&B superstar R. Kelly convicted in sex trafficking trial

Records revealed, Marcelle spent more than $100 for the plaque and made the presentation at R. Kelly’s 2013 Valentine’s Day concert in Baton Rouge.

WAFB anchor Greg Meriwether asked her about the decision.

“That’s the best use of tax payer’s money to go there and recognize R. Kelly at his Valentine’s Day concert?” Greg asked.

“Again, the reason I chose to do that is because he’s a great artist,” Marcelle answered.

“Do you see how people see that you’re personally invested in it, so you spend tax payers’ money to get it done?” Greg followed up.

“Ah, no I don’t see that because it’s an allowable expense of who you want to recognize. And, I don’t think anybody should handle me any differently or any other councilmember for whatever they choose to do,” she said.

“You don’t see where an R. Kelly concert presentation would kind of throw people off?” Greg asked.

“No... I don’t. Again, I see it as economic development,” Marcelle responded.

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