Montgomery County Board of Education to examine members’ credit card use

WASHINGTON — After reports about use of Montgomery County Board of Education-issued credit cards became public, the school board said it would form its own committee to look at policies.

A draft of the changes will be discussed at a meeting Tuesday, and parents are calling for more transparency.

Credit card purchases by Montgomery County Board of Education members and their staff have set off a new round of criticism and an effort to overhaul spending practices.

In one instance, there was a restaurant meal at Fager’s Island during a conference in Ocean City. The final tab — which included orders of the surf and turf, lobster tail and sea bass — was $509.

In another eyebrow-raising charge, a round trip taxi fare to St. Mary’s County cost $457. The board member, Judy Docca, cannot drive for health reasons, so she takes taxis to meetings, ABC7 reports.

Other purchases have been called “accidental,” with school district credit cards covering personal expenses.

One of those, by board member Roland Ikheloa, was a $581.87 purchase at a tire shop. He later repaid the school district.

Under the draft plan of the Montgomery County school board expense reimbursement policy, school board members could be reimbursed for travel outside of a 50-mile radius (but not inside that radius), and they could expense things such as taxis and luggage fees, but they could not put the hotel minibar or other discretionary incidentals on the school board’s tab.

At home, they’d get $30 toward their Internet bills and be given equipment for a home office, including cellphones and computer equipment.

In addition to the internal ad hoc committee, the Montgomery County inspector general will be looking at credit card use by all county agencies and staffers.

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