SH Editorial: Mississippi Legislature should slash all state travel budgets by 50 percent

Atipping point in the abuse of Mississippi taxpayers should have been reached last month when the director of the state Department of Rehabilitation Services sent himself and 16 of his employees to a conference in New York City at a cost to taxpayers of about $30,000.

As reported by Geoff Pender in The Clarion-Ledger, H.S. “Butch” McMillan, DRS executive director, and his staff have a history of frequently flying at taxpayers’ expense.

Although McMillan told Pender he “questioned it myself on the front end,” he approved the trip to New York because his staff “finally ground me down. I wouldn’t do that again, send that many people to one conference. … No, it was definitely an anomaly. We don’t normally do that.”

But Pender examined records showing “17 DRS employees also attended the same conference, in Chicago at similar expense, the year before. And the year before that, 13 DRS employees attended the same conference in Salt Lake City and four went to the association’s annual board meeting in Chicago.” McMillan went on all the trips, according to the travel documents.

Sun Herald
9/21/13