Current European vacation a ‘taxpayer-funded vacation’
ATLANTA – An investigative report from Lt. Gov. Burt Jones and Senate President Professional Tem John Kennedy concluded that a latest European trip led by the outgoing lieutenant governor and Senate president professional tem amounted to a taxpayer-funded getaway.
The investigation follows in the wake of studies by the AJC and FOX 5 I-Crew about a 14-particular person delegation to Europe led by outgoing Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and outgoing President Pro Tem Butch Miller final November.
The I-Workforce noted equally adult males left place of work weeks soon after the $110,000 journey to London and Germany was above.
At the heart of the six-web page investigation of the excursion was the discovering that existing Senate guidelines do not allow overseas travel. The investigative summary: “the expenditures for this vacation must not have been approved.”
The I-Staff was viewing final November when Duncan, just weeks ahead of leaving business, returned residence to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport from an 8-working day European vacation.
He was joined in London and Germany by outgoing President Pro Tem Sen. Butch Miller who was also leaving workplace in just the 7 days. Some 12 others joined in including Republican point out Sen. Clint Dixon, Democratic Senators Sonya Halpern, Sheikh Rahman, and Emanuel Jones.
When questioned what he realized from the excursion, Sen. Emanuel Jones told the FOX 5 I-Team’s Dale Russell, “Ah, um. It was an remarkable excursion.”
The I-Staff attained unique video clips of the excursion that have been by no means built general public immediately after issues were lifted about who went and why, and how much it price tag.
Russell asked, “is this just a junket?” Jones responded by expressing ” Properly, undoubtedly contemplating those that ended up on the excursion, I can probably see why some would sense that way.”
Primarily based on travel documents from two departments and a resource acquainted with the journey the I-Staff estimates the expense to be all-around $110,000.
Immediately after the trip was made general public by the media, there was adequate cash invested and enough queries elevated for Lt. Gov. Burt Jones and President Professional Tem John Kennedy to open an investigation.
Their report concentrated on the price tag of the excursion from the Senate and Lt. Governor’s budget which added up to $90,194.
The I-Workforce tracked point out patrol expenditures for the European excursion and the Condition Office of Economic Growth as nicely and that arrived to an additional $20,000.
The report proposes to ban overseas vacation by users of the senate, writing: “we think it should be very clear that no matter whether from a Senator’s legislative expenditure account or the 4 Senate’s administrative spending budget, Senate resources really should not be spent on overseas journey by Senators or team.”
The report also vows to publish all out-of-state vacation expenditures compensated for making use of cash appropriated to the Senate and the Workplace of Lieutenant Governor on the Senate’s site at the finish of every thirty day period.
“We believe this is an important move to make sure transparency and accountability for the use of these funds,” concluded Lt. Gov. Jones and President Pro Tem Kennedy.
The proposed improve would go to the Administrative Affairs Committee at its next meeting.