Saturday, February 28, 2009

Welfare for the rich: top California officials bill taxpayers for nonessential travel

Report: Top Schwarzenegger staff traveled on taxpayer's dime
Channel 6, San Diego
Feb. 28, 2009

SACRAMENTO (AP) - A news report says in the midst of a budget crisis, top officials in Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration charged taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars for airfare, hotels and meals despite a ban on nonessential travel.

The Los Angeles Times says 10 high-ranking staff members who live in Southern California billed the state for routine trips from their homes to Sacramento.

And Carrie Lopez, the director of the state Department of Consumer Affairs, billed the state for transportation costs to attend a Justin Timberlake concert with her daughter. Lopez said the transportation cost was for a meeting with an energy company executive but the company denies it.

The Times says expense reports and calendars show many of the expenses submitted by top staff were incurred after the governor issued an executive order a year ago requiring state agencies to reduce travel costs because of the budget crisis.

The governor's office says the travel expenses will be reviewed.

No comments: