Thursday, July 28, 2016
Mississippi taxpayers paid more than $3,200 for a deputy superintendent in the Department of Education to attend a convention last fall at Florida’s Walt Disney World, according to records obtained by Mississippi Watchdog.
John Q. Porter, the interim chief information officer for MDE, went to the Gartner Symposium IT Expo held at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa in October and billed taxpayers for more than $1,890 in lodging at the five-star hotel. His airfare cost $984.20 and his meals added another $336.
All told, Porter has racked up more than $10,260 in travel expenses this fiscal year, which ends July 1.
In the third quarter alone, taxpayers paid more than $8,000 for Porter to attend conferences in Arizona, Florida, Wisconsin, Washington, D.C., Colorado, Texas and Illinois. The department as a whole has spent more than $1.8 million on travel in fiscal 2016.
Porter charged taxpayers more than $2,700 for a February trip to Phoenix for the National Association of School Superintendents’ annual education conference.