A top University of New Mexico official is in the hot seat after he spent taxpayer money on a Bigfoot conference.
Executive Director Dr. Christopher Dyer organized a two-day Bigfoot event, followed by an expedition that cost more than $7,000 for taxpayers, according to KRQE-TV.
The conference was hosted on campus. KRQE reported that the college paid for the expedition. However, no student or faculty participated in it.
"It was the largest and most well-attended event in the history of this campus," Dyer said.
The University footed the bill for advertising, guest speaker meals, airfare and per diem. Self-professed Bigfoot expert Dr. Jeff Meldrum was paid a $1,000 honorarium plus expenses. The other guest speaker, Rob Kryder, was paid a $500 honorarium plus expenses.
After the conference, Dyer and some of his companions went to the desert searching for Bigfoot. Dyer said he and his companions did not spot Bigfoot, but they did see habitat.
"I'd have to say it was pretty much a blown waste of money because we did not find evidence because of the snow. It was just impossible to get around out there. So in that case, yeah would we spend money on that again? Absolutely not," Dyer said.
"Dr. Dyer needs to be much more thoughtful about how he undertakes these activities," the University’s President Robert Frank said. "The type of expedition that just took place was not appropriate and will not occur in that manner again."
Dyer used discretionary funds for field work, he said, "people use monies from the taxpayers to do research. For Bigfoot or whatever."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.