Mississippi officials travel the world on taxpayers’ dollars

Biloxi Sun Herald

JACKSON — Mississippi’s Department of Transportation leaders are among the state’s most well-traveled government officials, with two of the four having traveled overseas, at taxpayer expense, nearly as much as the governor over the past four years, including trips to Budapest, Vienna, Brussels, Puerto Rico and Cancun.

They don’t appear to spare expense at home or abroad, submitting bills from such top-drawer hotels as the Ritz-Carlton, L’Enfant Plaza, Washington Court and Beau Rivage, with room rates as high as $457 a night in one instance. While not required by state rules to submit receipts proving meal expenses, the officials usually receive food reimbursement, as much as $90 a day records show, even when attending events whose programs indicate meals are provided.

Records and data obtained by the Sun Herald from MDOT and the state Department of Finance and Administration show that MDOT’s three elected commissioners and appointed director charged taxpayers $207,000 for travel over about four years.

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