Mayor Brown's Travel Records Raise Questions | News

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Mayor Brown's Travel Records Raise Questions

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --  Jet-setting Mayor Alvin Brown has made 11 stops in North and South America since he took office in July.

Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, New York and Brazil are just some of the trips.

Out of the 11, the city has turned over receipts for five trips. But First Coast News found the trip receipts we do have are incomplete. Thursday afternoon, the city says there is a reason for that.

First Coast News found hotel bills missing for Brown's trips to Boston and Houston. The city said they were gifts. 

Brown's spokesperson, Angela Spears said the Urban League paid for Brown's stay in Boston, where Brown was the keynote speaker.  The Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce covered Brown's stay in Houston.

First Coast News found a missing flight for the mayor's stop in Massachusetts; again the city said it was a gift. 

We found no log of how the mayor got around for his trips to L.A., D.C. and Boston or how much you paid for him to eat while on the road.  Brown said there is a reason.

"I tend to pay for my food and normally transportation. I haven't requested any reimbursements for food or transportation. I tend to pick those up on my own."

When we told Brown we found several receipts for taxi fares, Brown replied, "It may be one or two, 99 percent of the time, I think it was Houston, I pick up my own transportation and my food."

We asked Brown about travel records showing how you paid more than $1,100 for him to fly to Los Angeles for a U.S. mayor's meeting, double the price than if he flew coach and bought the ticket two weeks early.

The tickets were purchased just days before Brown left.

While city records show the conference wrapped up on July 23rd, Brown didn't fly home until the next day.  When asked if there was a reason for that, Brown replied, "No, I don't think so. Time difference, I see nothing wrong with that."

When asked if taxpayers covered a bill for an extra night, Brown said, "Nope."

Records also show taxpayers paid for Brown to watch Jacksonville's Artis Gilmore be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Massachusetts.  You paid $162 for a hotel and $279 for a rental car for a one night stay.

It's unclear how much the flight was because the receipt was not given to us. The city told us it was a gift and that Brown flew on a private plane. 

Spears said the records of who owned the plane and payed for the flight are due later this year.

Travel records also show you paid $312 dollars for Brown to travel first class on a train from D.C. to Philadelphia and back, for an afternoon at an economic development meeting.  That amount is double the price than if Brown had chosen to travel on a regular train.

"I'm being very cost effective.  I'm making sure we look at the most inexpensive flight. I'm not gonna waste tax payer money. I'm not gonna do that. I would never do that."

Brown has a travel budget of $70,000 which was approved by the city council.

So far, in the receipts we have received nearly $7,000 has been spent.






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