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Gov.ís top aide charged personal purchases to state (NM Martinez)
The Albuquerque Journal ^ | Thomas Cole

Posted on 04/25/2014 8:21:30 AM PDT by CedarDave

From a necktie to heartburn medication, from personal cellphone bills to new tires, Gov. Susana Martinez’s chief of staff used his government-issued credit card to make thousands of dollars in personal purchases in violation of state policy and procedures.

Keith Gardner has reimbursed the state nearly $5,000 since August 2012 for more than 40 card purchases at Walmart, Best Buy, Target and more. And after a Journal inquiry, he has paid $241 in interest required under state policy and procedures when an employee uses a government credit card for personal purchases.

Using a state government credit card for any purpose other than state business is prohibited. The policy and procedures say that if a card is misused, an agency shall follow disciplinary procedures up to termination and take away the card. Gardner, who is paid $136,350 a year, has kept the card and faced no discipline, but future charges must be approved in advance. Further, he said he hadn’t actually misused the card because there was no intent to defraud the state.

Gardner said in a recent interview that his use of the government credit card to make personal purchases didn’t comply with policy and procedures and was “poor practice and sloppy,” but that the reimbursements were evidence he had no intent to enrich himself at taxpayer expense. He typically made reimbursements for purchases between one and three months after the transactions.

“My intentions were always to make sure this was made whole,” he said.

But in a change in practice, he said, the chief financial officer and one of the deputy chiefs of staff in the Governor’s Office must now give prior approval of any planned use by Gardner of his credit card.

(Excerpt) Read more at abqjournal.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; Politics/Elections; US: New Mexico
KEYWORDS: bestbuy; martinez; newmexico; susanamartinez; target; walmart
Front page of today's ABQ Journal. The Martinez administration has been free of scandal compared to Richardson's pay-to-play schemes. But the Mother Jones revelations a couple of weeks ago, the ongoing story of a former campaign aide (under indictment by the feds) and now this does nothing for her in a re-election year in a blue state.

It's frustrating why high Republican elected officials can't hire honest underlings - first Christie now Martinez. Standard practice for the Rat's, but Pubs are held to a higher standard as should all elected who serve the public.

1 posted on 04/25/2014 8:21:30 AM PDT by CedarDave
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To: CedarDave

She needs to can this moron.


2 posted on 04/25/2014 8:23:00 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: CedarDave

ruh-roh!


3 posted on 04/25/2014 8:23:26 AM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: Tijeras_Slim

Not only does she need to”Can Him”;He Needs some JAIL-TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


4 posted on 04/25/2014 8:27:54 AM PDT by bandleader
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; ...
Thanks CedarDave.
Gardner said in a recent interview that his use of the government credit card to make personal purchases didn’t comply with policy and procedures and was “poor practice and sloppy,” but that the reimbursements were evidence he had no intent to enrich himself at taxpayer expense. He typically made reimbursements for purchases between one and three months after the transactions.

5 posted on 04/25/2014 8:28:43 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: CedarDave
And after a Journal inquiry, he has paid $241 in interest required under state policy and procedures when an employee uses a government credit card for personal purchases.
Using a state government credit card for any purpose other than state business is prohibited.

Well, which is it? According to one paragraph there is a state policy for personal purchases, yet in another paragraph is says that personal use is prohibited.

6 posted on 04/25/2014 8:30:11 AM PDT by rjsimmon (The Tree of Liberty Thirsts)
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To: CedarDave

Probably assumed that royalty was never to be questioned. How could anyone be this stupid? This is something you expect of a trainee.


7 posted on 04/25/2014 8:31:22 AM PDT by AppyPappy
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To: rjsimmon
Well, which is it? According to one paragraph there is a state policy for personal purchases, yet in another paragraph is says that personal use is prohibited.

Probably both. Don't use it for personal purchases. But, If you do use it for personal purchases, you are liable for the charge and any interest/penalties that arise. Standard language for any "issued" card, whether it be company or govt...

8 posted on 04/25/2014 8:32:54 AM PDT by IYAS9YAS (Has anyone seen my tagline? It was here yesterday. I seem to have misplaced it.)
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To: Tijeras_Slim
She needs to can this moron.

The fact that she didn't when she found out about this doesn't speak highly of her. Maybe it was because he was doing a good job; maybe friendship. But for whatever reason she didn't act then and is damned now either way - keep him or fire him. It's not likely her excuses for not firing him then will hold water. And neither will any reasons for not firing him now.

9 posted on 04/25/2014 8:38:24 AM PDT by CedarDave (CNN: The "Crisis News Channel" - all Flight 370 hysteria and global warming blather, all the time.)
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To: rjsimmon

I’ve worked with people who have company issued cards (now it was their own company, so a bit different) and sometimes people do use the wrong card by mistake. But this man seems to have made a habit of it and for just ordinary inexpensive stuff.

So, what was his problem? Is he some kind of kleptomaniac? Or just lazy or just stupid?


10 posted on 04/25/2014 8:38:28 AM PDT by jocon307
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To: IYAS9YAS
Standard language for any "issued" card, whether it be company or govt...

Our Gov issued cards allowed personal purchases while on TAD but limited us to a specific dollar amount on the card. The NM Gov card rules say 'prohibited' for personal use. To have a caveat for personal use annuls the prohibition.

11 posted on 04/25/2014 8:40:38 AM PDT by rjsimmon (The Tree of Liberty Thirsts)
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To: IYAS9YAS

If you are on government business, you should use it for government-related purchases only. Travel, hotel, meals, business related essentials. I carried a business card and only made purchases I know I could defend if the IRS came auditing me for my business interest deduction. It’s not hard at all to know which is which, so anything else is fraud.


12 posted on 04/25/2014 8:43:38 AM PDT by CedarDave (CNN: The "Crisis News Channel" - all Flight 370 hysteria and global warming blather, all the time.)
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To: rjsimmon
Yep. It ain't rocket science. You use the company card for company purchases and your own card (or cash) for your own purchases.

Once in awhile, accidents happen. We had a mid-level person in our company who once made a boo-boo and pulled out the company card for a personal purchase and came to me for help. After consulting with accounting, I had him send in a personal check for the purchase to the company's payment address. We photocopied the personal check and the credit copy when the statement came, wrote a brief explanation for the HQ accountants and filed it with the monthly payments. Pain in the butt, but problem solved with nothing more than an admonishment to the user to be more careful next time. He didn't wait until he got caught.

13 posted on 04/25/2014 8:50:22 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Tijeras_Slim

“She needs to can this moron.”

Publicly.


14 posted on 04/25/2014 8:54:36 AM PDT by ScottinVA (Obama is so far in over his head, even his ears are beneath the water level.)
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To: LegendHasIt; leapfrog0202; Santa Fe_Conservative; DesertDreamer; OneWingedShark; CougarGA7; ...

NM list PING!

I may not PING for all New Mexico articles. To see New Mexico articles by topic click here: New Mexico Topics

To see NM articles by keyword, click here: New Mexico Keywords

To see the NM Message Page, click here: New Mexico Messages

(The NM list is available on my FR homepage for anyone to use. Let me know if you wish to be added or removed from the list.)
(For ABQ Journal articles requiring a subscription, scroll down to the bottom of the page to view the article for free after answering a question or watching a short video commercial.)

15 posted on 04/25/2014 8:54:57 AM PDT by CedarDave (CNN: The "Crisis News Channel" - all Flight 370 hysteria and global warming blather, all the time.)
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To: Vigilanteman
More from the Journal - this guy's been at it for years:

Most of the reimbursed purchases were made in the past year, and individual reimbursed charges ranged from less than $1 to more than $1,000. There were at least 10 transactions of more than $100 each. Some purchases were tax-free because of the use of a government credit card.

16 posted on 04/25/2014 8:59:20 AM PDT by CedarDave (CNN: The "Crisis News Channel" - all Flight 370 hysteria and global warming blather, all the time.)
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To: rjsimmon
To have a caveat for personal use annuls the prohibition.

Not really. It basically covers them in stating that you're not supposed to use it for personal purposes, but if you do, you're liable for it and all fees associated with it. In other words, they're not paying for your mis-use.

17 posted on 04/25/2014 9:39:50 AM PDT by IYAS9YAS (Has anyone seen my tagline? It was here yesterday. I seem to have misplaced it.)
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To: CedarDave
It’s not hard at all to know which is which, so anything else is fraud.

Yup. I agree. I just know some places seem to make contradictory statements, but when you view them in the right context, they're not contradictory, but complimentary. I don't see a problem with language stating "Official Use Only" and then following up with "You're liable for all related expenses for personal purchases if you mis-use the card".

18 posted on 04/25/2014 9:42:20 AM PDT by IYAS9YAS (Has anyone seen my tagline? It was here yesterday. I seem to have misplaced it.)
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To: Vigilanteman
Pain in the butt, but problem solved with nothing more than an admonishment to the user to be more careful next time. He didn't wait until he got caught.

Thanksgiving 2012, I had a deal where I got an e-mail from my company stating to call the CC fraud line for my company card. I had purchased ammo the night before at WW, and went into flop-sweat mode, thinking I'd accidentally used my company card instead of my debit (I could swear I remembered entering the PIN for the debit, but was really sweating it anyway).

I called the line and they asked if I was in Minnesota the night prior, and had I tried to purchase more than $400 worth of stuff at a K-Mart. I stated that no, I was in Albuquerque, and hadn't been to Minnesota since 1991.

They said that they figured as much and didn't allow the charge through, but wanted confirmation just in case.

19 posted on 04/25/2014 9:48:14 AM PDT by IYAS9YAS (Has anyone seen my tagline? It was here yesterday. I seem to have misplaced it.)
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To: CedarDave

Used to travel all the time on business. No one in our company at any level had a business credit card. Employees could take an advance or use their own card for charges and then turn in an expense report. Reports were due within two days after you returned from a trip or weekly if you were TDY somewhere for an extended period of time.

Employees who took advances and didn’t submit their expense report on time had their advance withheld from their paycheck. Needless to say expense reports were submitted timely.

Often wondered how many billions of dollars of fraud and theft would be uncovered if we audited expense reports of even a small number of government employees in DC.


20 posted on 04/25/2014 10:07:45 AM PDT by Grams A (The Sun will rise in the East in the morning and God is still on his throne.)
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To: CedarDave
Gardner, who is paid $136,350 a year

Get a job in government kids...Otherwise you be stuck with dead end incomes for life.

21 posted on 04/25/2014 10:12:22 AM PDT by dragnet2 (Diversion and evasion are tools of deceit)
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