Cumberland Times-News

Local News

February 23, 2013

Senators question Md. comptroller’s travel expenses

Franchot hits road to hand out awards

ANNAPOLIS — Two state senators are questioning travel expenses incurred by Comptroller Peter Franchot to distribute four kinds of awards at ceremonies around the state. The comptroller responded Friday that he believes the motivation for their inquiries is political rather than fiscal stewardship.

Sen. Nancy King, D-Montgomery, and David Brinkley, R-Frederick, wrote the comptroller Wednesday, expressing increasing concern about a variety of awards created by his office which are “completely unrelated to your role as our chief tax collector.” They wrote the awards appear to have been created since Jan. 1, 2010.

“We see no reason why any of your state duties or responsibilities justifies the taxpayer financed expense of paying for a driver, security, gas, car mileage, or the manufacture and purchase of questionably invented awards,” the senators wrote, asking for a copy of his travel schedule and costs related to the awards.

The senators noted the citizens undoubtedly do great things, but that they accept the awards believing they have been given something endorsed broadly by the state “when it is in reality only something solely manufactured and endorsed by you.”

They added: “To spend state dollars engaging in these kinds of activities gravely troubles us.”

Franchot, a Democrat, re-sponded in a three-page letter, noting that he is a statewide constitutional officer. He also wrote he believes the authority of the office comes with the right and responsibility to visit communities across the state. Franchot noted he believes it’s important to be able to sit down with working taxpayers and have honest conversations about the opportunities and challenges facing the economy.

The comptroller said the awards recognize people who have saved taxpayer dollars, generated much-needed tax revenue or improved quality of life in their communities.

Franchot wrote that the insinuation he can carry out his responsibilities only from Annapolis in hallways, backrooms and at evening receptions “personifies the sense of disconnected arrogance that has alienated far too many people from government.”

The comptroller noted the costs of the awards amounted to just more than $5,000, a fraction of what it costs Maryland taxpayers to house a lawmaker in Annapolis for the 90-day session, at the current daily rates of $101 for lodging, $42 for meals and 57 cents per mile of authorized travel.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • House of cards House of cards

    Sixth-graders James Patalinghug, left, and Nina Cutter build a multilevel tower out of index cards Tuesday afternoon at Washington Middle School. The activity was part of a science, technology, engineering, math, known as STEM, lesson designed to teach students about load distribution, friction and gravity.
     

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • CORY ORNDORFF Green Spring man sentenced to 40 years for toddler’s death

    ROMNEY, W.Va. — Hampshire County Circuit Court Judge H. Charles Carl III sentenced 22-year-old Cory A. Orndorff of Green Spring to 40 years in prison for one count of child abuse resulting in the death of an 18-month-old child Wednesday morning.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Glen Bell, a public information officer 900-acre Bear Den wildfire 70 percent contained

    CENTERVILLE, Pa. — A 900-acre wildfire on Wills Mountain in Bedford County was said Wednesday to be “the largest fire in Pennsylvania this spring season,” according to Cecile Stelter, Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry public information officer.
    The fire that was reportedly situated mostly on state game lands began Saturday at about 2 p.m., with initial firefighting efforts handled by the Cumberland Valley Township Volunteer Fire Department at Centerville.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • System to provide firefighters quick access could be required in new Mineral businesses

    KEYSER, W.Va. — The Mineral County Commission agreed to look into the possibility of implementing an ordinance that would require new commercial businesses to install a KNOX-BOX Rapid Entry System.

    April 23, 2014

  • Puff & Stuff owners agree to settlement over claims they sold synthetic drugs

    CUMBERLAND — Charles and Traci Casey, owners of Puff & Stuff stores in Cumberland and LaVale, have agreed to forfeit $173,988.61, to settle claims that they sold synthetic drugs at their stores.

    April 23, 2014

  • Mall maulers

    Chad Trail, Rick Ryan, Mike Lawrence and Rusty Pyles, Cumberland Street Department employees, work on replacing the concrete strips that run between the bricks on the Downtown Cumberland Mall between Centre and Liberty streets.

    April 23, 2014

  • CHARLES  SEVERANCE W.Va. judge orders Severance extradited to Virginia

    WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) — A man wanted for questioning in relation to three unsolved slayings in Alexandria, Va., in the past decade should be extradited to Virginia on an unrelated weapons charge, a West Virginia judge ruled Wednesday.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Keyser man faces charges in Easter incident

    KEYSER, W.Va. — Mineral County Prosecuting Attorney Jay Courrier is faced with deciding whether to charge a Keyser man with disturbing a religious worship.

    April 23, 2014

  • 43-year-old receives prison time for molesting his niece

    CUMBERLAND — A 43-year-old city man was sentenced Wednesday to a 10-year prison term for the sexual assault of a 5-year-old girl, according to the Office of the State’s Attorney for Allegany County.

    April 23, 2014

  • ISAAC SPONAUGLE Isaac Sponaugle seeking re-election to West Virginia House of Delegates

    FRANKLIN, W.Va. — Del. Isaac Sponaugle of Franklin announced recently that he will seek re-election to the West Virginia House of Delegates for the 55th District. Sponaugle will be seeking his second term as delegate after having been first elected in 2012.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo