As you know, I submitted a FOIA request for any/all county issued credit card statements for 2014. Here’s what I found out:
- The county has many credit cards:
- Most of the county uses Chase issued credit cards for their purchases
- The Sheriff’s department uses Chemical Bank cards.
- They have gas cards, office supply cards, etc.
- The county was happy to share the Chase statements with me as they already had them on scanned and all the important numbers blacked out. (redacted.)
- The clerked wanted to charge me for the others as they have not yet been gathered, copied, redacted, and scanned. She did however offer to allow me to view the Chemical Bank statements, so I’ll be taking her up on this shorty. If I see anything suspicious I will FOIA those documents.
- Judge Tom Dignan claims that his purchases were accidental. Click here to read the letter that he sent the county about them. Based on the rest of the credit card statements, I believe him.
Feel free to check out the complete 2014 Chase credit card statements with in many cases receipts/justifications:
Here’s a few of the things that I noticed on it. Please look through the statements and let me know what you notice.
Here’s my summary of what you’re going to see:
- The biggest spender in this set of credit card statements was, by far, was T. J. Clark. As the head of the Emergency Management department he spent money like it was going out of style purchasing high end computer gear, TV’s, and everything else that he wanted on the taxpayers dime. This money was more than likely federal emergency management funds, not county funds. (Which is great, except that it’s still your money.)
- The county hired T. J. as the administrator and the spending continued. This time it was just on the counties dime. The folks on the finance committee should have been more closely regulating this spending. They approve paying the bills!
- The county made T. J. pay back most of these purchases. Copies of the checks are included in the statements.
- The county pays for a lot of food and lodging which I would claim is unnecessary. For example, why is it necessary to put up county employees in hotel rooms in Owosso, Lapeer, or Lansing?
A few suggestions for the county:
- Join a purchasing group-There are a lot of things like toner and batteries that you could save money on. Perhaps Memorial Healthcare would let you into theirs.
- Take back the credit cards-There is no reason to have so many out there.
- Implement and enforce a lodging policy-If it’s within 40 miles, you drive.
- Implement a meal reimbursement policy:
- $12.00 max per person for lunch.
- $15.00 max per person for dinner.
- Get rid of your HP printers-They cost too much to operate.
- Eliminate travel for the 2015 budget year-If we can’t have cops, you can’t have seminars.
I’ll let you know when I get a chance to examine the Chemical Bank statements.