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Trotwood mayor repays money state says was ‘illegally’ spent

Published: Wednesday, January 22, 2020 @ 4:32 PM

Trotwood Mayor Mary A. McDonald
Trotwood Mayor Mary A. McDonald

Trotwood Mayor Mary McDonald was ordered by State Auditor Keith Faber to repay money illegally spent on lodging, food and conference registration, according to a state audit released this week.

The finding for recovery against McDonald for $1,803 requires her to repay the money to Trotwood’s general fund. She completed the reimbursement on Jan. 9, according to the audit.

“There were mistakes found by the auditor that I had no idea existed,” McDonald said in an emailed statement. “Once found they were addressed and appropriate actions were taken and I took care of it.”

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RELATED: Mayor McDonald says she followed rules with per diem payments, opponent says ‘it’s double dipping.’

The audit found that McDonald:

  • Stayed an extra day in a hotel after the Michigan Leadership Conference in March 2018, costing the city $105 for her room and $55 for food that was deemed to not be a proper public purpose.
  • At a 2018 National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials conference McDonald upgraded her hotel room and had additional guests stay with her at a cost of $255, and spent $96 for pizza, neither of which was a proper use of public purpose.
  • Booked a conference and room costing $417 in April 2018 and a conference costing $875 in May 2018 but did not attend or cancel in time for a refund. Both of those expenditures violated the city’s travel policy

The auditor recommended that the city make expenditures that are for a public purpose and comply with its travel policies, both of which the city agreed to, according to a management letter accompanying the audit.

The audit covering the period from Jan. 1, 2018 to Dec. 31, 2018 did not include any other findings against the city or officials.

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