The Montgomery County Government is using government travel cards to pay $3,000 to pay off private jets for residents and businesses, according to a county audit.
The county’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) has been investigating the government use of the county’s “Government Travel Card” since the beginning of January, according a news release.
The OIG found that the county was paying more than $1,000 per year in private jet tickets and hotel stays between January 2017 and December 2018.
The OIG concluded that the government did not meet the standards for the card to be used for government purposes and that the cost of the flights were excessive.
In July, the county announced it would be ending its use of government-issued travel cards.
“It was not appropriate to use government travel credits for travel that did not have a valid purpose,” county spokeswoman Kristin Dolan said.
“We are in the process of revoking this credit and issuing a refund to the taxpayer.”
The county is using its “Government Card for Business” to pay about $8,000 in travel expenses for Montgomery County residents and small businesses, the OIG said.
The county said it did not know the taxpayer had a card or if the taxpayer was eligible for a refund.
A county spokesperson said that Montgomery County is not reimbursing the taxpayer for any of the trips.
The department is working with the Oligation Bureau to “address the issues raised in the audit,” Dolan wrote in an email.
The office will review the Oig’s findings and determine whether additional steps are necessary.
The department has been using the county government’s “government credit card” to reimburse the county for hotel, car rental, meal and other expenses since December 2018, according the OPG’s news release from earlier this month.
In July, Montgomery County officials announced they were ending their use of private jet travel, a decision that prompted some residents to wonder why they would be using a taxpayer-issued credit card for a private flight.
The Montgomery County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the county use of a government-issue credit card in January.
The County Council passed the resolution to end the use of such a credit card during the first half of 2019.
Dolan said the county is now in the middle of revising the county-issued “Government Credit Card” to address the OIG’s findings.
“In light of these findings, we are revoking the use and issuing the refund to a taxpayer who was not eligible for reimbursement for the travel,” Dola said.