A retired accountant spent months looking at city council travel expenses and records, discovering discrepancies and inaccuracies in the account.
Her investigation, which she launched not long after retiring from the US Securities and Exchange Commission, led to the city suspending travel for council members as they looked into the discrepancies and created new guidelines for travel.
Lois Maben requested four years of records of council members travel and expenses. She discovered one member who amassed an average of $600 per month in cell phone expenses. The limit for cell services was then dropped to $100. She discovered one member who spent nearly three times as much as another member on the same trip.
Her research has also led to at least one member reimbursing the city for some expenses, and Maben has since been placed on the commission to re-write the travel guidelines.
From the San Gabriel Valley Tribune:
Lois Maben is a self-described bulldog who has made great strides at increasing transparency and accountability at City Hall. She is also no different from many residents, simply concerned about the city management and spending.
Still, she wishes there were more like her. So do even the subjects of her investigations.
Through her own monthslong investigation into City Council travel expenditures, Maben, a retired accountant for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, played a key role in exposing financial inaccuracies in the cash-strapped city and deficient travel policies by council members dating back several years.
Read the full article here.