Following the revelation from The Boston Herald that former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration secretly transferred nearly $27 million in public money to off-budget accounts funding a $1.35 million trade junket tab, the Herald has now revealed that Patrick and his wife used lavish amounts of funds for their trips around the world and his own trade missions.
The list of Patrick’s expenses includes:
- Almost $17,000 in airfare on a single trade mission to Israel;
- $8,342 bill for flights for a three-day trip to Colombia in 2013, which also boasted a $21,141 hotel bill that was simply charged to a credit card;
- A round-trip flight to Ireland costing $5,751, plus $2,400 more for three days at the five-star Merrion Hotel;
- $12,356 for a five-day trade mission to France, Denmark, and England;
- $1,640 for a one-way flight from Hong Kong to Singapore
The Herald had already revealed that one trust, funded by Massport and the Mass Tech Collaborative, assumed the cost for the $1.4 million trade missions from 2009 to 2014. Due to the nature of the trusts, the funds were not available for oversight of the state legislature or the public.
Alec Loftus, who worked in the Patrick Administration, tried to defend the expenses to the Herald, saying, “Massachusetts greatly benefited from the trade missions … (the state) reaped over 1,000 times return-on-investment in economic activity.”
The Herald stated that the travel expenditures it examined depicted a “tracking system” kept by the trust; no receipts or invoices for flights or hotels were listed. Various trade missions had no records to examine, and there was no delineation in them of spending by the former governor or other state officials.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and other top state officials have requested an investigation into Patrick’s use of public money in secret trusts.