in Houston, Texas
Express-News uncovers the bill on San Antonio officials’ trip to Israel to study clean energy
Friday, Jul 22, 2011, 01:29PM CST
By Kevin Lee
Israeli flag

Three San Antonio officials spent public money to pay for airfare and accommodations on a five-day trip to Israel to learn about that country’s clean energy and biomedical industries, the San Antonio Express-News reports.

The city of San Antonio bore trip costs for Deputy City Manager Pat DiGiovanni. The San Antonio Water System paid for its CEO Robert Puente while CPS Energy footed the bill for Executive Vice-President and Chief Sustainability Officer Cris Eugster.

The trips for each official cost $3,700 for their tour packages and between $2,013 and $2,400 in airfare.

Mayor Julian Castro had his trip and accommodations paid for by the Jewish Federation of San Antonio, and Castro dipped into his campaign coffers to pay for chief of staff, Robbie Greenblum.

DiGiovanni’s girlfriend and Puente and Greenblum’s wives, who went along on the trip, paid for their own expenses, the newspaper said in its Thursday report.

Public officials can get their travel paid for through a variety of channels, from campaign funds and gifts from private individuals to the public dime.

Texas Watchdog has reported recently on state Rep. and Houston schools vendor Boris Miles, who has offered free trips to Costa Rica to trustees -- and to school officials across Texas -- and said he sees nothing wrong with it.

Texas Watchdog has also written on publicly-funded trips to Maui, disclosure problems that can keep the nature of official travel murky, and the poor policies that lead to high taxpayer bills for travel.
 
***
Contact Kevin Lee at 713-228-3733 or kevin@texaswatchdog.org.

Keep up with all the latest news from Texas Watchdog. Fan our page on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Scribd, and fan us on YouTube. Join our network on de.licio.us, and put our RSS feeds in your newsreader. We're also on MySpace, Digg, FriendFeed, and tumblr.

Photo of the flag of Israel by flickr user Templar1307, used via a Creative Commons license.
Comments
Be the first to post a comment.
Tweets
Karen Townsend | 7 years 9 months
"Patrick F. Kennedy is a career foreign service officer" - http://t.co/GOrCe0IS
Peter Corbett ✈ | 7 years 9 months
I'm at McCarran International Airport (LAS) w/ @almacy http://t.co/KvmId07i
KERA Public Media | 7 years 9 months
TONIGHT at 7pm on KERA TV: Presidential Debate: Learn more at PBS NewsHour. http://t.co/Z9kYdun8
PBS MediaShift | 7 years 9 months
Tech Snafus Make Bill O'Reilly/Jon Stewart 'Rumble' More of a Stumble http://t.co/4OfeBlrG (@kegill | @pbsmediashift) #rumble2012
Will Sullivan | 7 years 9 months
Great addition, been burned too much by bad subs. "Google Play Announces Free Trials For In-App Subscription Services" http://t.co/TOLgRVak
TxDOT | 7 years 9 months
I-35W/North Tarrant Express #constantcontact http://t.co/QDzrQumu
© 2019 TEXAS WATCHDOG and USELABS. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use and Privacy Statement