Coach Bags and Venetian Hotel Stays: How Hartford Officials Spend Your Money

by Categorized: Education, Finance, Politics, Transparency/FOI Date:

The Courant’s Jenna Carlesso has an eye-opening piece today on hotel, restaurant and other expenses charged to purchasing cards by Hartford city and school officials.

Conference and dining expenses are commonplace in any large organization. But at the same time the city is cutting expenses and trying to close a $56 million budget gap, top officials were racking up big bills at tony eating establishments, including Morton’s steakhouse, Salute and Feng Asian Bistro. Hotel bills in the hundreds and even thousands of dollars were also run up, including stays at the Marriott Long Wharf and Nine-Zero hotels in Boston and the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.

Especially curious is a $150 charge at Coach, the fancy handbag store, by Kinsella Magnet School Principal Pamela Totten-Alvarado — who had her city purchasing card revoked last year, and who won’t comment on the Coach shopping spree other than a description that it was a reward for a student at the school.

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10 thoughts on “Coach Bags and Venetian Hotel Stays: How Hartford Officials Spend Your Money

  1. Jungle Johnny

    sure is easy spending someone else’s (ie taxpayers) money…. guess now that we’re on to them, they can retire… and then start receiving funds from the taxpayer’s other coffer

  2. blackhole13

    Believe me I am not defending the expenditures, especially the Coach handbag. But, as “most” Coach lovers know, $150.00 is a Coach Outlet bag price,not “the fancy handbag store”. My point is, maybe she did purchase it for a student, or she restrained herself from the usual $298.00 to $798.00 bag prices Coach charges in their BOUTIQUE stores. In which case Hartford got off easy. I am led to believe that Matthew Kauffman knows little or nothing about purchasing a Coach handbag.

  3. D

    I don’t understand why the charges were approved and now it’s an issue. The charges should have been denied at the time of the first charge and she should have been warned.

  4. Carol Knesek

    Fantastic site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to several friends ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks for your sweat!


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