Proposed measure to end double dipping

Posted at: 01/06/2013 7:59 PM
Updated at: 01/07/2013 12:12 PM
By: Gadi Schwartz, 4OYS and Staff

KOB's 4 On Your Side Team caught one state lawmaker in September ripping off tax payers while taking trips out of state, and now another lawmaker is introducing a measure aimed at making sure that doesn't happen again.

Former Rep. Ray Begaye (D-Shiprock) double billed tax payers for a trip that didn't cost him a cent.

Begaye said he drove his personal vehicle to an out of state conference and collected money for mileage, but receipts proved that he took a rental car which was paid by the conference. The conference also covered his food and hotel stays, but New Mexico taxpayers continued to foot the bill too.

Now one state lawmaker is introducing a measure to make sure that that kind double dipping doesn't happen again.

"It became clear thanks to your story that some elected officials were abusing mileage and per diem statute so this fixes the problem," Rep. Nate Gentry (R-Albuquerque) said.

As for any charges against Begaye. The state Attorney General's Office decided not to prosecute the case stating there was not enough evidence to show Begaye did anything wrong.

KOB 4 has requested the office's investigative report under the state's public records law, but the office has refused to turn it over.