Montgomery Co. School Board Terminates Government-Issued Credit Cards

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Montgomery County Public Schools Board of Education has voted to get rid of its own government-issued credit cards, after a large and embarrassing spending spree by its members. News4 I-Team's Scott MacFarlane reports.

    Montgomery County Public Schools Board of Education has voted to get rid of its own government-issued credit cards, after a large and embarrassing spending spree by its members.

    Last month, News4 I-Team reported the school board's part-time members – who earn about $18,500 per year -- spent thousands of dollars of taxpayer money on pricey meals and hotel rooms.

    Christopher Barclay, a school board member, charged more than 100 meals to taxpayers since 2010.

    During a meeting Monday evening, Barclay apologized for repeatedly using the credit card to purchase dozens of meals at restaurants near district headquarters. Records show he also used the money for a hotel room and room service at the Washington Hilton. 

    "I am very conscious of the toll this has taken on the institution and my colleagues... and for that I am very sorry," Barclay said. 

    Records show multiple board members, including the board of education president, partook in a $500 dinner in Ocean City, funded by taxpayers.

    Monday night, the board voted unanimously to immediately cut up their credit cards and cut back on travel expenses.

    "We get to the point where we decided we didn't need credit cards ... the best thing to go ahead with was not to have credit cards for the board," school board president Philip Kauffman said.

    Parents of children in the school district told News4 they were upset.

    "There should be money in the budget for school supplies -- what the teachers need in the classroom -- and the parties and lunches should come later," Rosanne Hurwitz said. 

    State ethics and corruption investigators are looking into the school board's credit card expenses.