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Amid nearly $5,000 worth of alleged improper spending, one credit card charge stands out as ironic: $107 spent at Misconduct Tavern.
That was among trips, dinners, music downloads and other personal expenses that Michelle Reilly, director of administrative services for the Utah League of Cities and Towns, charged on the taxpayer-funded group's credit card, league officials say.
It included $1,849 for a trip to Philadelphia, where the Misconduct Tavern is located, and New York; $515 toward an Ireland-Netherlands trip; $132 to help cover travel in London; and $800 to go to Southern California, according to documents The Salt Lake Tribune obtained through an open-records request.
Reilly also used her company card to pay for a $459 dinner at the upscale Ruth's Chris Steak House in Park City and for $950 in music downloads through iTunes.
She has since reimbursed $4,996 to the league for such charges, said Ken Bullock, its executive director. The league is funded by cities and towns in Utah to offer training and handle lobbying for them.
Reilly could not be reached for comment.
Bullock said Reilly recently retired after working 31 years at a job that has an annual salary of about $85,000, adding that she was not forced out because of the credit-card expenses.
He said Monday the league has not yet pursued criminal charges nor civil action against her. Kaysville Mayor Steve Hiatt, the just-elected president of the league, said its board will discuss whether to refer the matter to law enforcement at a meeting Friday.
"We have to look at that seriously," he said. "No doubt the individual who had the lapse in judgment served well over the years and did a lot of good things. But years of good acts, unfortunately, can't take the place of more recent poor judgment."
He adds the league has informed the office of State Auditor John Dougall about the situation.
A special audit ordered by the league looked at Reilly's credit-card expenses only for the past year, not previous years. Hiatt said that decision was made when the board didn't know whether any inappropriate spending had occurred and other employees who raised concerns about Reilly thought most misspending took place only in the past year. He adds the board will also discuss whether to expand that audit to previous years.
Bullock and Hiatt said another employee alerted board members about what Bullock calls "charges not within the scope of the purposes of the league," and it then launched a probe by using an outside auditor.
Initially, Bullock confirmed the misspending to The Tribune and estimated the amount involved, but declined to provide details. The newspaper filed a request for the credit-card records. So far, the league provided just a summary.
Among the charges:
• 41 separate charges to iTunes over 12 months with charges made during every month but one ranging from $48 to 99 cents.
• Some expensive restaurant and entertainment bills, including $167 at Village Whiskey in Philadelphia and $139 at Irish House in Ireland.
• $95 at the Living Colours T-shirt shop in Amsterdam.
• Hotel charges including $559 at the Hotel Erwin on California's Venice Beach and $733 at the Philadelphia Sheraton.
• $27 for access to an airport lounge during a trip to Ireland.
• $118 to the Barnes Foundation, an art museum in Philadelphia.
• $753 in airfare or other charges to Delta, Aer Lingus and KLM airlines.