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The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

FOI at work: Taxpayer money used to fund trips

While it may be common to question whether politicians really make taxpayer-funded conferences worthwhile, The Journal News uncovered that citizens of White Plains, N.Y., are also funding travel for an unpaid adviser.
An unpaid adviser to the Westchester County board isn't so unpaid - taxpayers were billed for his trips to destinations like Hawaii, Chicago, Kansas City and Scotland.

Herman Geist, an adviser to Board of Legislators Chairman William Ryan, is also equipped with a BlackBerry, bringing his total expenses to $13,270 over four years, according to records obtained under the state Freedom of Information Law.

That money is in addition to nearly $150,000 in travel, cell-phone and transportation costs incurred by the 17-member county board since 2003 - including $54,968 for legislators to attend various conferences and events.
More here.

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