Hon. Alyce G. Clarke, Chairman
Mississippi House of Representatives
New Capitol, Room 119A
Jackson, Mississippi 39215
Dear Chairman Clarke:
As you may know, recent events and subsequent news reports have highlighted to the public, and to members of the Management Committee, the possibility that certain travel advances were approved outside the usual Management Committee procedures outlined in the Rules of the House of Representatives. As members of the House Management Committee, we are respectfully requesting that the Ethics Committee conduct a thorough internal review of these travel advances and/or expenditures, and we further request that a report be issued to the Management Committee based upon your findings.
Our primary concern (and we believe the main concern of the public) is that any such advances made to House members be approved pursuant to the established procedures and for the official purposes stated in our Rules. We believe that an internal review and report by your Committee will help to restore public confidence in House expense approval procedures, and may provide additional guidelines and safeguards for the future. We respectfully ask that your initial review include examination of any and all documents related to the request, review, and approval of travel advance and reimbursement expenses by House members outside usual Management Committee approval procedures for the period from January ___, 2008 to the present.
Upon completion of your initial review, we would ask that an examination be made into whether any such expenses were incurred without Management Committee approval during previous years.
We submit that these steps will accomplish much to help restore the public’s confidence in the use of public funds for members’ travel expenses.
We appreciate very much the good work of your Committee, and we thank you in advance for your assistance and leadership in this very important matter.
Rep. Rita Martinson
Rep. Michael Janus
Members of the Management Committee
cc: Hon. Billy Nicholson, Vice Chairman – Ethics Committee