Councillor Michael Thompson, Toronto's chair of economic development, is in major hot water after his extravagant travel expenses were exposed to the public. In 2016 and 2017, Thompson recklessly spent $75,338 taxpayer dollars on luxury resorts, airfare and fine dining around the world.
Some of his most outrageous expenses include a stay at the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood for $919 per night, and $2,000 in roaming charges on a single monthly cellphone bill.
Great to see Dr. Lew Pliamm and Alaa Tannous again last week at City Hall. Happy they had the chance to present their innovative medical facility at the Champagne Centre to Economic Development Committee. pic.twitter.com/aOkC6zeYCs— Councillor Thompson (@Thompson_37) May 18, 2018
His yearly travel expenses were higher than any other Toronto city councillor, even Mayor John Tory's. Thompson went way over the city's $32,700 annual travel budget for each councillor. Thompson also claims the maximum daily allowance of $100 every time he travels, even if meals are provided.
Thompson's little Chateau Marmont getaway costed taxpayers $2,923. On that same trip, Mayor Tory stayed a different hotel, which only costed $1,832.
When asked if he made a special request to stay at the Chateau, Thompson fiercely denied it - "Hell no. I have not requested any hotel on any occasion of my travel."
For the media and the public, access to city councillors' travel receipts are nearly impossible to get. But, Thompson claims he has nothing to hide. "If I had them, I'd give them to you. For me there's no secrets," he said.
"My view is anything I do is open to scrutiny because I do it on behalf of not only the office, but part of our focus is to create opportunities for residents in the City of Toronto." Unless we're getting an invite to the Chateau Marmont, we're not exactly sure what these "opportunities" are.
Source: The Star