I’ve been on the Mongols beat the past few days so I got behind with blogging. There are a couple of stories I wanted to talk about.
1. Palin’s expenses: No, not the $150,000 shopping spree, but the doctored expense reports.
Gov. Sarah Palin charged the state for her children to travel with her, including to events where they were not invited, and later amended expense reports to specify that they were on official business.
The charges included costs for hotel and commercial flights for three daughters to join Palin to watch their father in a snowmobile race, and a trip to New York, where the governor attended a five-hour conference and stayed with 17-year-old Bristol for five days and four nights in a luxury hotel.
In all, Palin has charged the state $21,012 for her three daughters’ 64 one-way and 12 round-trip commercial flights since she took office in December 2006. In some other cases, she has charged the state for hotel rooms for the girls.
These types of stories have been my bread and butter in the San Gabriel Valley. I wonder what makes this story any different than, say, former water board member Dolores Holguin who racked up a series of personal expenses and charged them to the district. Holguin pleaded guilty last week to a felony misuse of public funds.
2. Only in El Monte. I was always under the impression that traffic lights were a major cash flow, but Rebecca Kimitch reports that’s not the case in El Monte.
EL MONTE – Cameras will no longer capture images of vehicles that race through red lights at two intersections, the City Council decided Tuesday night.
The council voted 5-0 not to renew a contract with Redflex Traffic Systems to operate the cameras at the intersections of Peck Road and Ramona Boulevard and Santa Anita Avenue and Lower Azusa Road.
The cameras do not generate enough revenue to be worth the man hours spent on their operation, city manager James Mussenden told the council.
“But it’s not about revenue, it’s about saving lives,” he added.