Albuquerque city councilor pays back travel reimbursement, call for a review of practices

Politics - Government

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque City Councilor has paid the city back more than $4,000 after the state determined a trip to the east coast was a misuse of taxpayer funds. State Auditor Brian Colon looked into the trip taken by Councilor Klarissa Pena last year.

She was attending a conference in Philadelphia but took three family members with her and traveled to New York and Washington, D.C. during that trip as well. The auditor’s report identified a number of overpayments including too much money for the councilor’s per diem as well as accommodations for her family on Amtrak.

Last week, the auditor sent the city a letter calling for corrective action saying the city reimbursed Pena $6,300 for what should have coast $1,900. Monday, Councilor Pena repaid the difference. In a statement on social media, Pena said she is calling for a review of the city’s travel policies saying it is clear there is room for improvement.

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