KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners has settled a dispute over dinners amounting to thousands of dollars that four police commanders charged to the city as part of their legislative lobbying for the department.
Under the agreement, the city will return the money the commanders had to reimburse to the department for the dinners, along with $13,500 in legal fees.
The commanders, including former chief Jim Corwin, charged the pricey meals to department credit cards in 2009 and 2010 for dinners, including some in Jefferson City and three meals at an upscale restaurant on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City.
In 2011, the commission ordered the commanders to repay bills for any alcohol charged with meals and any meals that surpassed the department's $46 per diem — a total of $3,450.
Outside consultants conducted a six-month investigation that found the commanders violated no city policies and that the police department lacked internal controls and policies for documenting the business purposes for expenditures. The police board is responsible for department policies.
After the investigation, board members voted to refund the money for the meals to the commanders but refused to pay their attorney fees. After being asked about the stalemate, the board voted in July to approve the settlement.
The total investigation into the commanders' spending cost nearly $60,000, compared with the $23,939 that they spent for legislative-related meals over 3.5 years.
Board member Angela Wasson-Hunt said board members had an obligation to determine if the spending represented a wider problem.
"In the end, it was our fault that we didn't have any policies in place," she said.
The board now has a policy that forbids alcohol purchases and requires itemized receipts and monthly expense reports.
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