NYC Taxpayers Funding De Blasio’s Personal Travel

NEW YORK (AP) -

Contrary to what his office asserted last week, that public money did not pay for the mayor’s non-government trips outside the city, taxpayers are footing the bill for most of Bill de Blasio’s personal travel, according to the Wall Street Journal.

De Blasio, a Democrat who previously served as public advocate, billed as the city’s top government watchdog, has taken several recent weekend trips, including to Massachusetts and Connecticut. And on a family vacation to Italy, they used a taxpayer-funded, chauffeured Mercedes-Benz.

While not required by law, it is considered improper and other elected officials traveling with police protection usually reimburse their personal expenses.

Mayoral spokeswoman Marti Adams said that de Blasio would not pay the city back.

The mayor also does not pay for subway rides while conducting official business, although Adams said de Blasio pays when he takes the subway for personal reasons.

Betsy Gotbaum, de Blasio’s predecessor as public advocate, urged him to “pay for anything that isn’t work-related,” along with all of his subway rides, no matter the purpose.

“He is an example, and I think he makes enough to pay,” she said. “It’s better for his image and the city’s image if he pays. People watching, seeing the cops swipe him through — it’s not a great image.”