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Investigations Center On Filner’s Credit Card Use

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Investigations into Mayor Bob Filner's activities centered today on the use of city credit cards on a recent trip to Paris and a swank downtown San Diego hotel.

In a memo to acting Chief Operating Officer Walk Ekard that was obtained by City News Service, Councilman Kevin Faulconer said he would hold a hearing on city credit card policies at a Sept. 9 meeting of the City Council's Audit Committee, which he chairs.

Faulconer asked Ekard to provide to the committee by Aug. 28 all credit card invoices and paperwork for the mayor's trip to France. He also requested certain financial and human resources managers to appear at the committee meeting.

The mayor said he went to Paris in June at the behest of the Organization of Iranian-American Communities, a group with which he was involved while a congressman. Last month, he said he would return $9,800 to the group because it wasn't properly registered as a nonprofit with the Internal Revenue Service.

While the city didn't pick up the cost of Filner's trip, members of his security detail racked up a bill estimated to be around $22,000 in public funds.

Also, U-T San Diego and 10News reported that investigators have zeroed in on city credit card expenditures at The Westgate Hotel, located across the street from the City Administration Building.

The news outlets reported that the mayor's security staff told investigators that he's taken different women to the hotel.

Credit card statements obtained under the California Public Records Act showed a total of $511.06 of charges in eight transactions between Jan. 21 and May 12.

The charges ranged from $29 to $111, U-T San Diego reported.

The newspaper published city credit card and expense statements, which included airline and hotel charges for a working trip to Mexico City, $585 to the State Bar of California, and meals at the Indigo Cafe.

The charges also include $128.94 for a blender, $78.51 to Yum Yum Chinese restaurant in Calexico and subscriptions to U-T San Diego, the San Diego Daily Transcript and Los Angeles Times.

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