Old safety seats bill taxpayers for personal travel

The former director of the US safety agency that investigates major industrial accidents has charged the government tens of thousands of dollars in travel and office equipment costs, a federal watchdog said in a statement. declare. report public on Thursday.

Katherine Lemos, who served as chair of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigations Commission from 2020 until last July, charged the government nearly $50,000 in airfare and other expenses. to get from her San Diego residence to the safety commission’s headquarters in Washington, DC, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Inspector General concluded. The report said Lemos also billed the government for a trip to Norfolk to attend an aircraft carrier welcome ceremony, adding that the expenses were in violation of federal travel regulations.

Additionally, Lemos, who was nominated by then-President Donald Trump to head the board, spent more than $22,000 redecorating his office at the safety board’s headquarters in Washington – much more than four times the $5,000 limit — according to the inspector general. Among the purchases: $4,340 for chili red leather seats for two couches with matching legroom. The report added documentation to one of the orders, noting that it “appears to be designed to conceal the fact” that the furniture was intended for Lemos’s office.

In response to a request for comment, Lemos provided a June 15 letter from her attorney to the inspector general stating that the agency had ignored alibi and “refused to accept the explanations by Dr. Lemos.”

The inspector general’s report said Lemos, through her counsel, disagreed with the report’s conclusions and “affirmed that she relied on the advice of CSB staff on reimbursements for expenses.” problem.”

Council, investigated incidents ranging from BP The explosion of Plc’s Deepwater Horizon rig in 2010 resulted in a chemical spill that contaminated the drinking water of hundreds of thousands of West Virginians. Suggest to remove of Trump, who said the group’s focus on regulation has “frustrated both regulators and the industry.”


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