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NC Ports Authority dinner for 15 cost about $1,500

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WILMINGTON, NC (AP) -- A spokesman says the NC State Ports Authority will develop new policies for meals and expenses after a steak house dinner for 15 cost more than $1,500 for food.

The StarNews of Wilmington reported the dinner was held in January at Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar on the night before the board's meeting in Charlotte.

Attending the meeting were members of the Ports Authority board from around the state, along with state Transportation Secretary Gene Conti and his wife.

Transportation Department spokesman Ted Vaden says DOT will work with the authority on policies. DOT board members receive a per diem and pay for any difference between that amount and meals.

He says the Ports Authority's previous practice of hosting board meetings was consistent with state laws.

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No surprise there

Nobody should look surprised to find government employees living high on the taxpayers dime.

The issue here is not the

The issue here is not the cost of the dinner, I don't think. It's the per diem that we have to look at. They each get a minimum $46 CASH, per DAY to use for food while they're traveling, and more depending on their location while they're on the road. That's non-taxable as income. So if they don't spend $46 per day on food, they pocket the balance, tax free. This is only for the convenience of the administrative staff, since they don't need to track receipts when they pay per diem. I say that the per diem cash payments to government employees needs to stop, and they should travel on a straight expenses basis.

Actually...

They did pretty good at a hundred bucks a head at Fleming's...
If you want to shoot someone over it, take aim on the person that planned to have the dinner there.

Why not take aim

at the State Transportation Secretary. If anyone should know better and have a grasp on policy it is he. And he had his wife with him.

And why would he bring his wife? Did he pay the entire tab for her that night or is he in the reimbursing mode?

Just like the Secretary of Commerce who was caught in France earlier this year dropping state dollars like flower petals, he needs to go.

Now if they dropped this for food; where did they stay and what was the hotel tab?

Minus Drinks

The $100/person was just for food. The total bill was actually closer to $2,000, but they did re-pay for their alcohol.