Taxpayers Association: Mayor’s Trip to France Raises Red Flag for Taxpayers

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Bob Filner says ‘Au revoir’ to accountability, SDCTA Seeks Answers

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SAN DIEGO (July 18, 2013) – Airfare, food, hotel and transportation for Mayor Bob Filner’s personal security detail: $22,000. A trip to Paris with a complete lack of accountability to San Diegans: Priceless.

Ongoing investigative news reports from 10News and U-T San Diego have revealed that Mayor Bob Filner’s recent trip to France in May cost taxpayers at least $22,000. The Mayor’s personal expenses were supposedly covered by a non-profit organization; however, his SDPD two-man security detail was taxpayer- funded and details surrounding the trip remain hazy.

“As a taxpayer watchdog and advocate for transparent, accountable government, we would be remiss if we didn’t challenge the Mayor to explain the cost of his recent trip. Taxpayers have footed the bill, and taxpayers want to know what they’re paying for,” said Felipe Monroig, president of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association.

SDCTA has researched the cost of a five-day trip to Paris, France for two. Based on the current federal per diem rate of $541.00 plus airfare*, a five-day trip for two amounts to $9,114. Based on rates from a popular travel website*, the trip would amount to $7,560. So how did the cost of Mayor’s security personnel for the trip amount to more than $22,000? That’s a lot of croissants.

“SDCTA calls on the Mayor to live up to his promises of open and transparent government and provide a thorough explanation of the costs incurred during his trip,” said Monroig. “Taxpayers ought to have a clear explanation of how their money is being spent by city government. We call on the Mayor to give them the answers they deserve.”

* Expedia.com

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The San Diego County Taxpayers Association is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting accountable, cost-effective and efficient government and opposing unnecessary taxes and fees. Founded in 1945, SDCTA has spent the past six decades saving the region’s taxpayers billions of dollars, as well as generating information to help educate the public.

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