Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Elected official used school district credit card for personal purchases |

ABC7:  Elected official used school district credit card for personal purchases |

ROCKVILLE, Md. (WJLA) - A Montgomery County Board of Education member who made personal purchases with taxpayer dollars vows he'll never do it again.
Current member and former board president, Chris Barclay, used his school district American Express card to buy meals, rent cars, and stay at hotels. Expense reports obtained by ABC7 show the 53-year-old made 14 unauthorized purchases between Jan. 2012 and Feb. 2014. All combined, the charges siphoned $1450.89 from school district coffers.

Barclay spent $906 on, $210 at a Lancaster Pa. Ramada Inn, $73 at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and hundreds more at stores and restaurants like CVS, Safeway, 7-Eleven, Armand's Chicago Pizzeria, and Popeyes. Barclay claimed it was an honest mistake all 14 times, but records show he then took months, and in one case more than a year, to pay back his debts -- interest-free.

"How was it caught," ABC7's Kevin Lewis asked Barclay during a sit-down interview.
"I can't go through line-by-line. I don't know all of them to say this one was this way, or that one was that way. I'm sorry, I just can't do that," Barclay said.

Ironically enough, the longtime Takoma Park resident, who's currently campaigning for the hotly contested District 5 Montgomery County Council seat, sits on MCPS' Fiscal Management Committee.

"I mistakenly used the board credit card and anytime it was brought to my attention, I paid it back," Barclay, who earns $25,000 a year as a BOE member added.
"Was it ever intentional?" Lewis asked Barclay.

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  1. This guy appears to be saying he can't tell the difference between an MCPS credit card and his own personal credit card when he is in the checkout line.

    And he simultaneously is trying to sell the MoCo voters that he is the right person for a County Council seat that makes $5 Billion decisions every year.

    Sorry, I guess I was born on a different planet.

    Bob Astrove

  2. $1,450? Seriously? You're making this much noise about $1,450?

    Nice to see you haven't gotten any more connected to reality, Janis.

    1. And your "interests" are reality? Right.

      If you actually watched or read this story you would know this was an investigation done by an ABC7 - WJLA reporter. The Parents' Coalition made Christopher Barclay and Patricia O'Neill's credit card records public. What reporters decide to do with them is not up to us.

      If you would like to peruse Mr. Barclay's records you can find a whole lot more than is in this report, like his 2 hotel stays in Washington, D.C., including room service, all charged to the MCPS Operating Budget. But it doesn't look like that would be in your line of "interests." For those that are interested, here are the documents we made public:

    2. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Nice ear for satire. Too bad your ear for irony is just as poor. All I did was ask a question, Janis. Just like you do.

      I did look at the records. If Barclay can't come up with a business purpose for the DC hotel stays, yeah, it's a minor violation, and he should make restitution (something he's apparently had trouble with), and voters should take it into account in the District 5 election (I'm not in District 5 and I have no idea who I'd vote for if I were).

      It's still trivial stuff in terms of its impact, and you're crowing like you broke the Watergate story.

    3. No, a period at the end of a sentence is a statement not a question.

      Again, we do not run WJLA. Nice thought, but it's just not in our budget. We posted a Press Release weeks ago. The Press Release has sat on our blog without mention. WJLA picked up the story and did the research that they presented.

      You are free to consider the actions of a Board of Education President and member of the BOE Fiscal Management Committee "trivial."

    4. If he "sits on MCPS' Fiscal Management Committee," then he of ALL people should be held to the highest standard regarding financial transactions.

      In other words, it's not the $1450; it's that it happened at all.


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