The city council will introduce legislation Monday calling for an audit of city-issued credit cards to be referred to the chief state’s attorney’s office.
The audit, completed by the city’s internal audit commission, recommended better oversight and enforcement of spending policies, and urged a ban on use of the cards for dining and entertainment. It also found that the city had more than $30,000 in unaccounted for charges at the end of fiscal year 2011-12.
The council’s legislation, drafted by Democrat David MacDonald, would refer the audit to the chief state’s attorney’s office to determine if any of the purchases or the process for reviewing them were criminal, members of the panel said Wednesday. The legislation also calls for the audit to be referred to the city’s ethics commission — to seek an opinion on whether a New Year’s Eve dinner (attended by the mayor, his chief of staff and six others) violated the city’s ethics code. The dinner — which cost about $700 and was placed on Chief of Staff Jared Kupiec’s city purchasing card — has since been reimbursed by Mayor Pedro Segarra and Kupiec.
The measure would also authorize the hiring of an attorney to pursue reimbursements for the $30,000 in unsubstantiated charges, council members said.
At least one member of the council (who is an attorney) said Wednesday that use of the purchasing cards does not appear to be criminal. But the legislation could still gain the support of council members, who have been critical of city spending practices recently.
Segarra on Monday proposed banning use of the credit cards for business entertainment related purchases.
Update, 12:50 p.m.: Audit Referral Resolution