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Wyoming mayor repays grant money used for personal expenses

December 15, 2019 GMT

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A Wyoming mayor reimbursed her city for grant money she used for personal expenses, officials said.

Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr repaid nearly $600 she used from a $100,000 Bloomberg Philanthropies grant, The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports.

Grant money was used to pay for a ticket for Orr’s husband to attend the Governor’s Arts Awards in 2018 and meals on business trips for herself and her husband.

Orr also used grant money to cover some personal expenses during a five-day leadership course at Harvard University, she said.

Orr takes responsibility for her mistakes, “no matter how innocent or inadvertent those mistakes were,” she said.

The grant was meant to be used by October 2018 for a project to connect undeveloped or underused properties with potential investors, officials said.

More than half of the grant remained unspent by the deadline and the mayor’s office used grant funds to pay for other expenditures including city hall Christmas decorations and community meeting meals, officials said.

Following a public records request for an itemized expenditure list by the city council president, the mayor’s office determined about $23,000 of grant money was improperly spent.

The city repaid the amount to Bloomberg Philanthropies, as well as $33,000 of unused grant money, officials said.