SANDAG’s ethics questioned after audit finds agency spent taxpayer funds on lavish dining
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A recent investigation by inewsource, a nonprofit newsroom bringing investigative journalism to San Diego County, uncovered that staff at the San Diego Association of Governments used taxpayer funds to lavish in upscale dining.
At least $320,000 of the spending spree was used to pay for high-end dining for SANDAG staff members, most of the meals taking place during non-working hours.
Inewsource found that SANDAG CEO Hasan Ikhrata was one of the organization’s most frequent patronizers of local restaurants, charging $17,000 in meals over about two years.
Bob Ottilie, attorney and author of San Diego’s Ethics Ordinance, joined KUSI’s Logan Byrnes on “Good Evening San Diego” to discuss the recent audit into SANDAG.
“They were spending over a hundred dollars per person on meals and that’s absurd when it’s our money,” summed up Ottilie.
“They have a half-cent sales tax on the ballot this November and they have done tremendous damage to the public’s confidence,” Ottilie added.