Ophelia Ford racks up over $12,000 in travel fees - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Andrew Douglas

Ophelia Ford racks up over $12,000 in travel fees

NASHVILLE, TN (WMC-TV) - You may have not taken a summer trip. State employees were ordered not to either. But several lawmakers did. To a tune of more than $100,000.

They attended conferences in places like New York, Boca Raton, even the Napa Valley. And you paid for it.

"I think most people consider travel a bit of a luxury. It's something you don't have to do," taxpayer advocate Ben Cunningham said.  

The biggest traveler by far, Senator Ophelia Ford from Memphis.

This summer, just between June and September, taxpayers paid her to fly to five different conferences in Des Moines, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Chicago, and Washington D.C.

At a cost of $12,030 dollars.

"You mean to tell me - that's all I spent? Was $12,000? Oh, whee. Well hallelujah, thank you Lord. For making it so economical. Thank you Lord, that's all I can say, sir," Ford said.

Ford and her fellow traveling lawmakers were paid daily per diems and were reimbursed for hotel and flights.

Ford said lawmakers need to attend these educational conferences, but not necessarily state employees.

"I would think that the state should find funds to educate us lawmaker - and make it mandatory for certain lawmaker to go to. Not state employees, necessarily. But lawmakers," Ford said.

Click here to e-mail Andrew Douglas.

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