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Posted at 08:42 PM ET, 03/13/2009

Fenty Travel Expenses: $25,000 from UAE, $11,300 from China

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's trips to the United Arab Emirates and China cost $25,000 and $11,300, respectively, and were paid for by government entities in each country, according to a memo from Attorney General Peter J. Nickles.

Fenty (D) traveled to Beijing and Shanghai for the Summer Olympics last year, and he spent a week in Dubai last month. Though Fenty took his family on the trips and referred to them as private vacations, he has said he met with government officials in both countries.

The mayor had announced the trip to China in advance, but he revealed he was in the United Arab Emirates only after he returned. He has not previously disclosed that the Chinese government paid for his trip to the Olympics, but he has acknowledged said the UAE government funded his trip to Dubai.

Fenty has said he paid for his wife and twin sons to accompany him on the trips. No taxpayer dollars were used, Nickles said in the memo, which was distributed tonight to three news outlets, including the Washington Post.

The "acceptance of both donations (both allowing the Mayor to perform formal and official governmental functions) were found by the Office of the Attorney General to be legally sufficient and in compliance with applicable law," Nickles wrote.

Of the cost of Fenty's China trip, $3,800 was paid the Beijing municipal government, $5,000 from the Shanghai municipal government, and $2,500 from the Chinese People's Association for Friendship. The expenses covered food, hotel, incidental, and transportation expenses, Nickles wrote.

UAE Ambassador, Yousef al-Otaiba, contributed the $25,000 to cover food, hotel, incidental, and transportation expenses in Dubai.

Both trips will be reported to the Office of Partnerships and Grants, Nickles said.

Read the full memo from Nickles after the jump.

From: Attorney General Peter Nickles


Re: Mayor Adrian Fenty's Travel to The United Arab Emirates and China


In August of 2008 the Mayor visited China during the Olympic Games, making stops in Beijing and in Shanghai. In addition to engaging in activities in his personal capacity, he performed his official duties and formal governmental functions while in China, including meeting with local government officials and furthering the District's Sister City relationship with China's capital.

The value of the Mayor's travel and accommodations expenses was donated to the District government by the municipal governments of Beijing and Shanghai and by a Chinese government entity, the Chinese People's Association for Friendship. The donation was valued at $11,300, including $3,800 from the Beijing municipal government, $5,000 from the Shanghai municipal government, and $2,500 from the Chinese People's Association for Friendship, and it covered food, hotel, incidental, and transportation expenses related to the Mayor's performance of his official duties.

The donation was provided to the District in-kind, such that all tickets and arrangements were taken care of directly by the donors. No funds were received by the Mayor or the District, and no taxpayer funds were used.

The Mayor was joined on his trip to China by his family. Although the invitation from the Chinese included the Mayor's wife, the donations received from them only covered the cost of the Mayor's official travel and accommodations. The Mayor's family's expenses were paid for privately.

In February 2009 the Mayor visited Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. As with his trip to China, in addition to engaging in activities in his personal capacity, he performed his official duties and formal governmental functions while in Dubai, including, as previously noted, meeting with local government officials and business leaders.

The value of the Mayor's travel and accommodations expenses were donated to the District government by UAE Ambassador, Yousef al-Otaiba. The donation was valued at $25,000, and covered food, hotel, incidental, and transportation expenses related to the performance of the Mayor's official duties.

As with the China trip, the donation was provided to the District in-kind, such that all tickets and arrangements were taken care of directly by the donor. No funds were received by the Mayor or the District and, as before, no taxpayer funds were used.

The Mayor was joined on his Dubai trip by his family. Again, as with the China trip, the donation only covered the cost of the Mayor's travel and accommodations. The Mayor's family's expenses were paid for privately.

Reporting Procedure

The documentation for both the Mayor's China and UAE trips will be publicly reported through the District's donations process in full compliance with the law. Those reports are posted quarterly on a fiscal year basis. These two donations will appear in the next report compiled by the District's Office of Partnerships and Grants Services, which is scheduled to be posted on the OPGS' Website shortly after the close of the second quarter of the fiscal year, March 31, 2009.

Prior to 2009, District international travel donations were handled through the Office of the Secretary and publicly reported by the end of January of the year following the trip through the U.S. State Department. In early 2009, in an effort to increase transparency and to better streamline our donation acceptances, and following discussions with the State Department, the District has begun to report international travel donations through its internal authorized donations reporting procedures--with the Mayor's trip to Dubai being the first such trip handled by the OPGS. Because the Mayor's trip to China was processed through the Secretary's Office the documentation is different than that for the Mayor's UAE trip. Nonetheless, the acceptance of both donations (both allowing the Mayor to perform formal and official governmental functions) were found by the Office of the Attorney General to be legally sufficient and in compliance with applicable law.

By David A Nakamura  |  08:42 PM ET, 03/13/2009

Categories:  Mayor Fenty

 
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