Stacy Phelps ate out a lot on GEAR UP’s dime. So suggest the exhibits attached to Attorney General Marty Jackley’s notice filed this week in State v. Phelps, one of three felony cases he’s prosecuting in the Mid-Central/GEAR UP scandal.
Consider Exhibit 2, which shows aggregate totals spent at dozens of restaurants and stores by Phelps using money from his American Indian Institute for Innovation, the corporate entity Phelps and Mid-Central business manager Scott Westerhuis appear to have set up to conceal their use of public dollars for personal use. Here’s that exhibit in edited one-page form:
Squint at the maddeningly fine print showing just the restaurant expenses (left column, plus lighter pasted block at bottom right), and you’ll see $87,647.15 in dining expenses accumulated in 812 visits over four years (October 2011 through September 2015). Phelps spent $108 every other day taking people out to eat or ordering take-out for staff and GEAR UP students.
Even if we strike the four largest line-item expenses for what appear to be food for students at the GEAR UP summer program (Dave and Busters, Golden Corral, Little Caesar’s, and Subway), we are still have over $45,500 spent on 712 dinings out. That’s an average of $64 dollars spent on 49% of the days in the period covered by the listed expenses.
The expense summaries submitted to the court by A.G. Jackley do not indicate how many of those dining out on AIII/GEAR UP dollars were current or former state officials.