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Bruce Boland, an airport authority board member, joined me on KPBS’ These Days this morning to talk about our coverage of the authority’s expense reimbursements.
Like Bob Watkins, the authority’s chairman, Boland at once promised to look into some of the issues my reporting has raised, but also said some of the non-allowable expenses — like a lunch he ate with authority President Thella Bowens — weren’t significant. Bryan Enarson, an authority employee, was reimbursed for that $39 lunch at Oggi’s with Boland and Bowens.
Bowens signed off on the expense — Enarson paid for her lunch — even though the authority’s policies strictly prohibit it.
We have policies. If the policies aren’t being abided by, we’ll find out why and correct that. But I do think the fact that our CEO and our development vice president and myself spent $39 over lunch because that was the only time we could get together from our busy schedules is a bit of a stretch, Rob.
I responded to Boland:
To accuse me of exaggerating something or making a stretch, the airport authority says we won’t reimburse you for this expense. And repeatedly, the airport authority is reimbursing people for those expenses. … They are rules. They are policies. And I don’t think the public expects there’s going to be a lot of gray area in them.