RUN OF THE ROAD ON TAXPAYER'S DIME
By DAVID SEIFMAN, NY Post
Top city elected officials can use their government cars to hightail it to the Hamptons - or anywhere else their hearts desire - without having to reimburse taxpayers, under a controversial decision issued [Friday] by an ethics panel.
After a year of study, the Conflicts of Interest Board decided it didn't make much sense to ask the 15 elected officials provided vehicles by the city to spend time calculating their personal usage.
They were given free rein to drive anywhere within the five boroughs, for any reason, without restriction. Officials with police protection were given even wider latitude - they could also travel outside the city for personal business without having to write a check to cover the cost.
Government watchdog Gene Russianoff called the decision a mistake.
"I have the same skepticism the public has," he said, referring to the sight of city officials doing as they please with their cars outside the city limits.