The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is reporting this morning that $409,000 was spent by Pennsylvania’s student loan agency on a 19-month unsuccessful legal effort to keep the public from finding out how much its board members were spending to meet with each other at luxury resorts on the public dime.
The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency lost a 19-month legal battle in February and was forced to release records showing that its board, composed mostly of state lawmakers, spent $860,000 on expenses such as facials, pedicures, culinary classes, fly fishing, expensive wine, falconry lessons and a $491 limo ride to shopping outlets.
Rather Enron-ish, isn’t it?
Since Pennsylvania has a very weak open records law, it’s a miracle the lawsuit for the records was successful in the end.
It’s disturbing to think that these out-of-control board members could have behaved so disgracefully and with such disdain for fiscal responsibility and come so close to a successful cover-up.
As it is, it’s the taxpayers who will pay the legal bill of $409,000 for the unsuccessful attempt to avoid handing over the expense account records, in addition to the $860,000 that the taxpayers already spent on falconry lessons, limousine rides and so on.
See also Pennsylvania Progressive.