MassFiscal calls on Ethics Commission to Act on Speaker’s Credit Card Use

In the wake of news reports concerning House Speaker Bob DeLeo’s use of a secret, taxpayer funded credit card, the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance is calling on the State Ethics Commission to review the case and lay out official guidelines for future use of state issued credit cards by public employees.

The House P-card — or procurement credit card — accrued more than $50,000 in charges last year, which include the $4,745 spent on Chinese food for House lawmakers during budget week.

“In previous years, the Speaker generally used his campaign committee to fund these types of lavish meals for legislators—a use completely allowed under campaign finance rules, as an expenditure made in furtherance of his political career,” said MassFiscal spokesman Paul D. Craney in a letter addressed to State Ethics Commission Director David A. Wilson. “Now, it appears he is attempting to shift the costs of these elaborate meals to the taxpayers through use of the P-Card. One can only assume that the political benefits of the meals remain the same.”

The letter went on to formally request the Ethics Commission investigate the charges made by the Speaker, as well as develop specific guidelines for P-Card use by public employees.

“The Massachusetts taxpayers are always on the table, never at it. Short of the state Auditor auditing these taxpayers funded cards, the taxpayers only relief rests with the State Ethics Commission. We urge them to take a hard look at this matter and report back on their findings,” said Craney.

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