AP NEWS

Elected city councilor used public financing for gift cards

November 26, 2019

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A newly elected city councilor in New Mexico has spent public financing on gift cards for her volunteers raising concerns about the use of public campaign funds.

The Santa Fe-New Mexican reported Monday that Santa Fe city councilwoman Jamie Cassutt-Sanchez purchased $220 in gift cards from a local coffee shop to hand out to her volunteers.

Officials say Cassutt-Sanchez then wrote the city a check for $3.93 for the remaining public finance dollars she didn’t spend.

Cassutt-Sanchez says she didn’t hesitate to buy the gift cards with taxpayer money and is open to speaking with people who don’t agree with the purchases.

Officials say city code imposes multiple restrictions on public finance funds, but it is unclear if gift cards fell into any of the prohibited uses.

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Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.santafenewmexican.com