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Solo In Chicago

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

I'd Like a 60-Day Status Date and By the Way, What's for Lunch?

I'd be remiss if I didn't at least add my $.02 on our little Supreme Court's "extravagance in eating shall we say." Here's one of the many articles on the controversy. Essentially the IL Auditor General raises concerns that at various judicial conferences the breakfasts are costing $40 per person and lunches $48 per person.

Illinois’ auditor general is again rapping the state Supreme Court for costly food tabs on taxpayers’ dimes — with some meals hitting nearly $50 rather than the recommended $8 per person.

The court far overspent for breakfasts and meals at five conferences for judges, with a combined tab of more than $200,000, according to Auditor General William Holland’s report released Thursday. That includes $78,000 for 1,700 meals at a February 2006 conference in Chicago.

Lunch at one conference ran $48 per person for 958 attendees, with breakfast at the same event costing $40 apiece for more than 800 people.

Travel guidelines limit judges’ reimbursement to $8 for breakfast or lunch when traveling to Chicago and $7 per meal downstate, Holland said. He recommends judges either follow the smaller meal limits or increase the guideline limits.

The Law Bulletin actually had the best piece on the issue (but of course it's password protected). A spokesman for the Supremes said that the meals are part of a larger package...i.e. they're negotiated as part of room rates, conference rooms, ect.

How 'bout meals on your own with just 1 or 2 dinner banquets at the conferences?

Read the full report here, or the summary report digest here.


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