City councilman calls for ban on P-cards - WFSB 3 Connecticut

City councilman calls for ban on P-cards

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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

City leaders are looking into the use of city credit cards by employees in Hartford, and now one councilman has called for a ban of these cards.

Eyewitness News has been investigating the charges of city employees of their city-issued credit cards known as P-cards.

There are 185 total city employees, including elected officials and board of education members, who have P-cards.

The spending limits and privileges for the P-cards vary including food and dining options.

Some of the charges that raised some eyebrows with residents including:

• $700 dinner at Max's Downtown on New Year's Eve hosted by Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra for several city employees and a few other invited guests.

Mayor Pedro Segarra says the meal at Max's Downtown was a "working dinner" for which he paid half the cost.

"The 'P Card' usage is governed by clearly defined parameters as set forth by Procurement and all dollars spent are within the adopted budget that is approved by Council. All spending must be documented. Usage is monitored closely by finance staff, and the City of Hartford has received over $100,000 in cash back benefits since September 2012," Segarra said in a statement about the P-cards Monday. "I look forward to the audit, which I fully support."

However, some residents told Eyewitness News they were upset with city employees spending.

"I think it's time to put a stop to it," said Neil Barry, of Hartford, about the P-cards.

Councilman Ken Kennedy agrees and introduced a resolution Monday night proposing to ban the use of P-cards for expenses including food and travel.

"...the reimbursement program probably works best," Kennedy said. "People are reluctant to spend their own money first, if they don't believe it's ever going to be reimbursed, and there's always a trail of what the items were spent for."

Hartford's audit commission is conducting a large scale investigation of P-card purchases at the request of the city council president Shawn T. Wooden.

To view the recent P-card purchases, click the following link.

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