Port execs eat well, fly first class
Amid cuts, travel budget is $713,400, up from $416,100 a year ago
March 24, 2012
Chairman Lou Smith flies first class when he travels on port business. Last March, at a top steakhouse in Washington, D.C., he ordered a $49 roast prime rib for dinner and the Port of San Diego picked up the tab.
Commissioners Dan Malcolm, Ann Moore and Robert “Dukie” Valderrama also took first-class flights last year - to Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Costa Rica, respectively. Valderrama visited Hawaii each of the past two years.
Commissioner Bob Nelson traveled first class from San Diego to San Francisco on his way to Europe in May and switched to business class on the ensuing flights to Frankfurt, Germany and Bilbao, Spain.
Nelson, a board member of the San Diego Middle Class Taxpayers Association, billed the port more than $18,400 for the two-week trade mission to Europe, including $308 for international phone calls and text messages and $126 for laundry...