|Brown at State of County Address|
As part of a Right-to-Know request filed with Northampton County, I sought Brown's expense reports for 2015 and 2016. I am still awaiting some records, and told the County to take its time as I wade through the 500 pages produced. They include Brown's expense reports from 2015 to 3/25/17. During that time, he has been reimbursed $4,378.48.
Here's what I can tell you about Brown's expense reports:
1) In his first two year in office, Brown billed 151 trips. He billed for for 75 trips in 2015, mostly for travel to different functions here in the Lehigh Valley. But in 2016, he only went on 38 trips. That's about half as many as in 2015 or 2014. Why? It's because in 2016, he was too busy running for state auditor general to have much time for the county. Instead of running the county, he was trying to unseat incumbent state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale. His absence created a vacuum.
2) Brown billed us $644.46 for six round trips to Philly in his unsuccessful effort to defend his termination of Ass't County Solicitor Jill Mancini without first affording her due process of law. Mancini was awarded $94,232 for the due process violation, along with $217,452 in attorney fees. The decision was affirmed by the Third Circuit, which tacked on an another $31,433.15 in attorney fees. I see no reason why taxpayers should reimburse Brown for a mess he created.
3) During his tenure, Brown has had three overnight stays at hotels, all in connection with County Comm'r Assn of Pa (CCAP) conferences. On November 22, 2015, he stayed at the Hersey Hotel for a room rate of $254.19, even though the Hampton Inn only charged Public Works Director Stan Rugis $130.67. In March 2016, he spent two nights at the Harrisburg Hilton for a CCAP conference, at a room rental rate of $317.48 for both nights. In November 2016, he was back at Hotel Hershey, which dropped its rate to $204.24. Brown was unable to state at the April 20 Council meeting whether the County even attempts to get discounted rates like the state and federal government.
4) Brown never charges for meals, even when he has meetings at restaurants. So either he is paying his own way, which is to his credit, or he is dieting so he can look as svelte as i do.