—email from President Schaitberger to GST Kelly—–

General Secretary-Treasurer Kelly,  

It is understood that occasionally an officer or employee may have a missing or lost credit card receipt that requires a note, or it gets reported outside the normal timeframe.  In these cases, the tardy credit card expense or one with a note instead of a receipt is submitted and then goes through the Concur system for approvals by the GP and GST (or by our respective authorized senior staff members on our behalf).   However, you have submitted a Concur expense report titled Misc. CC that arrived in my approvals queue on August 3, 2020 (see attached email notification) that contains, among other issues:  

  • 204 charges on your IAFF credit card from 2019 totaling $43,760 
  • 68 of those charges occurred in September of last year, meaning they were not included in the close out of our FY2018-19 budget year 
  • 9 charges that failed to provide itemized receipts for business meetings (dinners) as required by DOL 

 It is beyond ironic for you to be submitting these 204 expenses this late, including a number without required receipts, given your toxic rhetoric during Executive Board meetings, in the field, and with our affiliate leaders about “fiduciary responsibility,” “transparency,” “financial misreporting,” “fiscal mismanagement” and a number of other terms that you have been leveling at previous GSTs, the Executive Board and me.   The extreme lateness of the expenses in this report for these 204 charges from 2019, not only violates the IAFF policy on submitting expenses (see attached BF-005 Credit Card) it also violates Article VI, Section 2 of the IAFF Constitution and By-Laws, which lines out the duties of the General Secretary-Treasurer and requires that the GST “shall prepare a statement of all his/her expenses not less than once monthly and be prepared to justify any expenditure if requested by the Executive Board.”   There are also a number of other problems, DOL and policy violations with this report, some of which are listed below, as well as specific expenses and issues that caught my attention.   

  • In place of detailed receipts there are attached memos for nine business meetings (dinners) indicating that Corrine Griffin or Ariana Hay have tried to obtain receipts from the restaurants and have had no luck in retrieving the receipts. I can only assume that this is due to a severe delay in attempting to obtain these receipts.  Simply put, an occasional missing receipt is understandable, but nine missing restaurant receipts for business meeting/dinners in a four-month period at the end of 2019, contained in a report that was not submitted for my approval until August 2020, is neither understandable, nor acceptable. And your office is well aware of that fact.  

 In a May 17, 2019 email from Comptroller Ryan Weber to all IAFF Officers, Trustees and employees (see attached), Ryan states that“we have identified three types of receipt submissions that will no longer be accepted in the review process.”  One of those requirements is that for restaurant receipts “DOL requires itemized receipts (i.e. a list of all the food and beverage items), so the summary receipt cannot be accepted.” You not only have no itemized receipt, you have no receipt at all.  

  • Your October 20-25, 2019 Grand Hyatt hotel bill for the October Board meeting has several in-room dining and hotel restaurant charges. Are these personal or business?  If they had a Business Purpose, you need to include that along with the names.  If they are personal, they need to be made non-reimbursable and repaid to the IAFF.  
  • Your October 27, 2019 JW Marriott New Orleans expense is coded as a hotel expense, but it is actually a business meeting receipt (lunch). The Business Purpose is coded as an Executive Board meeting, which of course is also incorrect.  You were attending the NCPERS PSEPBC Conference. 
  • There are a couple of expenses from November 2019 that were for your travel relating to the January Democratic Caucuses in Iowa that should have been coded/budgeted to FIREPAC VIC, because this was a campaign trip on behalf of our member to member Joe Biden program.  These errors should be reviewed for potential FEC reporting requirement violations.   
  • There’s a Nov 7, 2019 dinner receipt in Boston, MA at Oceanaire restaurant for $1,798.00 for 10 guests.  It’s not timely, there are no names listed, nor is the Business Purpose stated.  

 I have pointed out a number of very serious inaccuracies and policy/legal violations in these 204 credit card expenses from 2019 contained in this “Misc, cc” report. Given the current environment we have endured over these last many months and the number of reports, insinuations, and allegations made by you and your office concerning the financial reporting to the Board and legal authorities, your submission is nothing less than astounding.  I am aware that the COO has kicked dozens of reports back to DVPs, senior staff, instructors and leaders on timeliness and coding of their expenses to the correct lines. How is it that the COO approved this report that violates multiple policies/programs/directives/DOL rules from your own office?    I will also note here that the COO filed an expense report in July of this year that also contained out-of-pocket ($80 daily) and credit card expenses for February and March of this year that fell well outside of the 60-day timeframe required by the IAFF 3.2 Business Travel Expenses and Reimbursement Policy (see attached), which states that “All expense reports must be submitted through Concur along with all necessary supporting documentation (e.g., electronic receipts, etc.). Expense reports and related receipts must be submitted no later than 45 days following the week-ending date of the trip or assignment. Should an expense report be submitted after 60 days, the out-of-pocket expense reimbursement that is otherwise payable for each approved day of the trip or assignment may be forfeited.” I did not approve this expense report.  I also find it very telling that the flawed, misinformed Nelson Mullins preliminary “report” along with the “report” of their forensic financial consultant CBIZ didn’t address or was not provided the information of these outstanding unapproved credit card expenses in their respective diatribes.  

Over the course of the past year (at least) you have continuously made allegations, accusations, and insinuations, both publicly and privately, regarding alleged misreporting, mismanagement, and potential financial malfeasance, while seriously disregarding constitutional obligations, DOL requirements and IAFF policy regarding your very own expenses.  This disturbing and destructive hypocrisy is becoming more and more apparent every single day.  Accordingly, I will be sending the expense report noted above back to you unapproved.  I have also cc’d the Budget and Finance Committee and Trustees because decisions will have to be made on the impact these unapproved but already paid charges will  have on the previous budget closeout, the current open audit and in the financials (income/expenses) that have been reported to the Board through this fiscal year.   Harold A. Schaitberger General President International Association of Fire Fighters