ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Attorney Scott Greenwood and his business partner are expected to cost the city half a million dollars for consulting work with the city about the Department of Justice consent decree.
That half a million does not include the kinds of expenses KRQE News 13 uncovered.
In the first three and a half months of their contract with Albuquerque, Greenwood and Thomas Streicher racked up $25,000 in expenses.
Greenwood billed the city for margaritas at Church Street Café and beer at Rudy’s BBQ. There was also a $100 pet fee at one of the hotels, which was then expensed to the city. One of his overnight stays was at The Hotel Andaluz – for more than $300 a night.
“That was the only downtown hotel that was available,” Greenwood told KRQE News 13 in a phone interview.
He also charged the city for a $129 dinner at Hotel Andaluz while he was there. Most of the time, he stayed at the Hyatt, downtown.
However, here’s where it gets really expensive.
Greenwood makes $350 per hour, but he gets half that just for being in his car. He charged the city for driving to and from his home in Scottsdale – four times – at $175 per hour, plus mileage. That cost the city almost $12,000.
Then there’s the $2,900 the City reimbursed him for driving out from Ohio.
We asked the Mayor about it. “He had doctor’s orders not to fly,” Mayor R.J. Berry told KRQE News 13. “The way this process worked – Scott would come in for meetings with the DOJ. After those meetings, he’d go back and work out of his office either in Arizona or Ohio.”
When he could fly, he did it first class because of his medical condition. There was at least one instance, where he charged the city $700 in travel time for a one-hour flight to Phoenix. Those charges got past three layers of city oversight.
“We also have outside counsel that also approves all these invoices and they have approved these expenditures,” said City Council President Ken Sanchez, D-Albuquerque. “One of the things we need to look at – there are definitely some questions regarding some of these expenditures.”
Greenwood says he charged the city for alcohol and the pet fee by accident. He justifies the other expenses.
We asked him why he charged taxpayers for a $53 steak dinner in Scottsdale, after he drove home.
“It’s after eight hours in a vehicle and work that day,” Greenwood said. “It is permitted.”
The $25,000 in expenses from mid-April to July doesn’t include the $200,000 in attorney’s fees Greenwood charged the city during that time.
The City Attorney’s office is going to be asking for another $280,000 to cover their fees since then, and going forward – bringing the total to a half million dollars.
After we brought the alcohol and pet charges to the attention of City Attorney David Tourek, he said he would have Greenwood pay those back.