Donuts, Pizza and Play Time For Unaccountable Toll Authority

by Bennett Cunningham, CBS News,

They say they're busy building new toll roads, but it appears some North Texas Tollway officials have plenty of time to dine out. While gas prices sky rocket, tolls increase, and you count every penny, it appears they're spending your money on expensive dinners, wine and catered lunches.

For the last 5 months, we've been building a database, monitoring how the North Texas Tollway Authority [NTTA] spends your money. We found receipts for thousand-dollar feasts, personalized M&M candies and customized birthday cards. But the one common thread we found is that tollway officials don't like meeting without eating.

Is it a toll booth or a tip jar? Tollway officials are using your money to pay for more than $100,000 in food, entertainment and much more.

Most motorists we spoke to told us things like "that's not what it's supposed to go to," "I don't think it should be spent on that," and "it's supposed to better our roads, not parties."

CBS 11 reviewed credit card receipts dating back to 2006. Here's what NTTA officials did with your money:

$100,000 spent on food--and $40,000 of that was for catering. A lot of that money was spent to feed Tollway board members at monthly meetings. Nearly every meeting was catered with fresh fruit and a full spread for lunch for up to 50 people...

Read the rest of the article here. See the video here.

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