Monday, July 07, 2014

Montgomery County School Board Members Questioned about Credit Card Use

Montgomery County School Board Members' Credit Card Use Called Into Question

Saturday - 7/5/2014, 3:41am 
Andrew Mollenbeck

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Reading, writing and arithmetic have temporarily become overshadowed by lobster tail, hotel room service and credit card misuse.  Credit card purchases by Montgomery County Board of Education members and their staff have set off a new round of criticism and an effort to overhaul spending practices.  There was the restaurant meal at Fager's Island during a conference in Ocean City. The final tab, which included orders of the surf and turf, lobster tail and sea bass, was $509.  In another eyebrow-raising charge, a round trip taxi fare to St. Mary's County cost $457. The board member, Judy Docca, cannot drive for health reasons, so she takes taxis to meetings, ABC7 reports. Other purchases have been called "accidental," with school district credit cards covering personal expenses.  One of those, by Board member Roland Ikheloa, was a $581.87 purchase at a tire shop. He later repaid the school district.  Board member Chris Barclay told ABC7 his 14 unauthorized purchases with the school credit card were accidents.  The newly-released documents reveal some lavish indulgences, even while some teachers take it upon themselves to supply their classroom needs.

Read the complete article HERE
I must say I am shocked over the amount of spending.  Before you ask, no Charles County board members do NOT have a credit card.  We currently receive $4,000 per year in salary and $600 per year for all local expenses.  If we attend a conference (such as NSBA), we are entitled to our conference fee, hotel stay (conference member hotels), air travel, and a per diem for food same as all other staff.  No rental cars, tourism, entertainment, etc.  If we go to a fancy restaurant and spend more on food, we certainly permitted, but it comes out of pocket.  We are allowed and encouraged to sight-see while we are there, but it is out of pocket.  If family members attend with us, it is out of our own pocket.

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