WRAL Investigates

Lawmaker wants commuting workers to use state vehicles

Posted June 2, 2010 5:21 p.m. EDT

— The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday approved a budget amendment that would require state agencies to use vehicles from the State Motor Fleet for employees who rack up high travel expenses.

WRAL Investigates reported last month on two Department of Revenue workers who are paid to commute from their homes in the Charlotte area to the department's office in Raleigh.

John Sadoff, who makes $119,000 annually to head up the tax compliance division, was reimbursed more than $42,000 for mileage, food and lodging costs during the last two years. Alan Woodard, who earns $93,000 as director of examinations, got back nearly $36,000.

Revenue Secretary Ken Lay defended the spending, but lawmakers questioned it, especially in the midst of a tight budget and cutbacks elsewhere.

Rep. Nelson Dollar, R-Wake, proposed the motor fleet requirement as a way to cut costs.

"We don't want to see folks racking up tens of thousands of dollars in travel reimbursements when we have state vehicles sitting there underutilized or unutilized," Dollar said Wednesday.

WRAL ran calculations last month that showed using state motor fleet vehicles instead of personal cars would reduce expenses by thousands of dollars, based on mileage.