The taxpayers of the City of San Bernardino have been picking up the bill for meals enjoyed by city officials, the San Bernardino County Sun reports.
According to the investigative report:
In the years before the city found itself unable to pay for basic expenses, city officials repeatedly spent hundreds of taxpayer dollars on conferences and meals for a few employees.
In May 2010, for example, the charges on the city credit card assigned to Emil Marzullo, who was then interim director of the city Economic Development Agency, totaled $2,986 – including $1,088 for one outing at Benihana in Las Vegas.
And then-City Manager Charles McNeely spent close to $3,000 in January and February of 2011, much of it on travel and a number of staff meals in the $50 to $100 range, months after warning that severe budget cuts and new taxes were needed to reverse a pattern of deficit spending.
Charles McNeely did not return calls to answer questions by the reporter writing this investigative article.
Other questionable expenses discovered included the purchase of 500 bamboo back scratchers for $700 and a $671 restaurant tab in New York City rung up by Mayor Pat Morris and his wife.
Morris later reimbursed the City $251 for his wife’s meal and the wine that was served.
The full investigative article can be found here.