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Sto-Rox board member to repay $2,126 for travel expenses

| Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009

A Sto-Rox School Board member said Monday he will reimburse the district for $2,126 in travel expenses after the State Ethics Commission found some write-offs unnecessary for board business.

Ed Maritz said he waived his right to appeal the commission's ruling that the district wrongfully reimbursed him for "personal expenses," according to a copy of the ruling provided by Maritz.

A commission spokeswoman declined to comment, citing its policy of waiting 30 days after a ruling before releasing it publicly.

Although Maritz said the board has a "longstanding practice" of paying for rental cars and hotels the day before and after a convention, he agreed to repay the district for some expenses he incurred on trips in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

"I accept full responsibility for this," he said. "I'm calling on my colleagues to follow my lead."

Board member Jean Mayes said she was one of the people who requested Maritz be investigated because she thought other board members' expenses were "not even close" to his bills.

She disputed Maritz's charge that other board members wrote off similar expenses, saying they "certainly didn't" charge them to the district. Expense reports board members filed with the district were not available yesterday.

Maritz said he was singled out because he questioned what the board was spending on travel after he and most of the rest of the board went to the National School Board Association convention in Chicago in 2006. He said he has not traveled to another out-of-state conference since then.

"We can't ignore that there's a political nature to this," Maritz said.

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