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Travel Expenses

April 30, 2012 | By Hugo Martín
In Washington, another scandal has broken over excessive spending during a business conference. But travel experts predict the effect this time around will be limited. Four years ago, it was insurance giant American International Group Inc.that was slammed for holding a lavish executive retreat at a Dana Point resort after taking billions of dollars in government bailout money. In the face of harsh criticism of excessive spending amid a recession, corporations dramatically cut back on business travel, dealing a blow to hotels and airlines across the country.
March 5, 2012 | By Richard Simon
With ex-presidents earning hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking fees and book deals, a bipartisan effort is underway in Congress to scale back taxpayer support for well-to-do former occupants of the Oval Office.   The Presidential Allowance Modernization Act seeks to amend a half-century-old law that sought to "maintain the dignity” of the office of the president. The proposal would provide a taxpayer supported pension of $200,000, about the same amount that they now receive.
August 19, 2011 | By Baxter Holmes
Ballpark cost of USC's 10-day exhibition trip to Brazil is somewhere north of $150,000, with the price around $4,500 per person and nearly 35 in USC's travel party. The school didn't pay anywhere near that amount, as spouses and tag-alongs paid their own way, but the trip designed to give USC's young squad experience with four games against Brazilian pro teams ended up costing the Trojans much more than that. With the loss of their most valuable player, senior guard Jio Fontan, who will miss the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee Tuesday, USC has to redesign the up-tempo offense it had planned for this season.
July 25, 2011 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
To save a few bucks on your next business trip, stay clear of cities like Paris, London and New York and instead consider trips to such places as Las Vegas, Dallas and New Orleans. Those are the findings of a study released last week by a major travel website that calculated the cost of visits to the world's top 50 tourist destinations. The report by the website TripAdvisor ranked the cities by calculating some basic traveler expenses: the average cost of one night in a four-star hotel, a 5-mile taxi ride, a large cheese pizza and a dry martini.
June 19, 2011 | By Hector Becerra, Los Angeles Times
Should government agencies pick up the meal costs when spouses of elected officials attend out-of-town meetings and conferences? A Southeast Los Angeles County water district did just that, to the tune of several thousand dollars. In explaining a policy change two years ago, a staffer for the Central Basin Municipal Water District wrote in an internal email that spouses "help bring a different atmosphere to the business discussions between directors and other guests. " The staffer acknowledged that the policy could result in "questioning by reporters and auditors on these types of reimbursements.
June 10, 2011 | By Robin Abcarian
In July 2008, Sarah Palin was upset when a reporter inquired about state payment for family travel. On July 3, Palin's deputy press secretary, Sharon Leighow, emailed Palin a note saying she had spoken "at length" with Anchorage Daily News reporter Kyle Hopkins "about First Family travel. " "He asked about the Barrow trip and why the state should pay for Piper's travel expenses," wrote Leighow, referring to Palin's youngest daughter and a trip to Barrow on the state's remote North Slope.
March 22, 2011 | By Jessica Garrison, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles' housing authority board voted Monday evening to fire the agency's chief executive, Rudolf Montiel. The move comes less than six months after Montiel faced the wrath of city leaders when his agency tried to evict nine tenants who had protested housing authority policies at Montiel's Rancho Cucamonga home. At the time, City Council members called Montiel "childlike" and accused him of acting like "Big Brother. " The eviction notices were later rescinded. Montiel has headed the agency ?
March 18, 2011 | By Jessica Garrison, Los Angeles Times
Several Los Angeles City Housing Authority Board members said Thursday they would welcome an audit by Controller Wendy Greuel of their travel expenses. The move comes after a CBS-TV Channel 2 report last month that board members spent more than $150,000 over the last two years on extravagant hotels and restaurants, and sometimes double dipped, accepting per diems for expenses while also paying for meals with agency credit cards. Agency staff has asked several board members to reimburse hundreds of dollars for such double-dipping charges.
November 12, 2010 | By Scott Glover, Los Angeles Times
Former U.S. Atty. Thomas P. O'Brien stayed at pricey hotels while traveling on business and then sought to justify reimbursement by telling his secretary to falsely state that more affordable rooms were not available, an audit made public this week alleges. O'Brien was one of five U.S. attorneys whose travel expenses were singled out in the report by the Department of Justice's inspector general. The report found that some of O'Brien's claims for reimbursement were "inappropriate and egregious violations" of the travel policies that govern federal prosecutors.
September 9, 2010 | By Sam Allen and Hector Becerra, Los Angeles Times
Top administrators in Vernon, already among the highest-paid local officials in the state, racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in city-paid expenses on first-class flights, luxury hotels like the Ritz Carlton and limousine service, records reviewed by The Times show. The records, which cover 2005-2010, detail lavish travel expenses billed to the city by its top executives, including then-city administrators Donal O'Callaghan and Eric T. Fresch. Some of the trips occurred as recently as this year, when the city laid off employees and canceled the life and health insurance benefits of city workers' spouses and children because of budget problems.
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