If your governor had a secret travel fund worth tens of millions of dollars used to jet set to Japan, Israel and the United Arab Emirates, wouldn't you want to know about it?
That's the question put to Massachusetts residents this week after revelations former Gov. Deval Patrick used off-the-record bookkeeping to conceal more than $37.5 million driven to a secret fund to pay for trips to promote Massachusetts abroad.
Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature have begun their probe of the former Democratic governor turned hedge fund manager for Bain Capital, once headed up by his fellow former Gov. Mitt Romney.
As uncovered by the Boston Herald on Friday, the former governor reportedly enjoyed dozens of trade missions abroad at public expense but without legislative approval. His administration is purported to have shoveled as much as $27 million into off-budget accounts from the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, Massport and the Mass Tech Collaborative, all quasi-independent agencies.
Both Massport, the state's port authority, and Mass Tech Collaborative, the venture seeking to bring Israeli tech firms to Massachusetts, paid $1.75 million for Patrick's trade trips.
This amount includes $535,558 for hotels, $332,193 for airfare, $305,976 for limos and more than $175,000 on other expenses.