Three Democratic elected officials in Virginia spent more than $60,000 of taxpayer money on a trip to Africa that included five-star luxury hotel rooms and business class tickets.
Three county supervisors in Loudoun County, Va., including board chair Phyllis Randall, traveled to Africa in June to sign a sister city agreement with the mayor of Tema, Ghana. Receipts and travel documents obtained by ABC affiliate 7News reveal a lavish set of expenses from Randall, supervisors Sylvia Glass and Koran Saines, and two staffers. The group spent most of their time sightseeing, according to the itinerary.
In an interview with Randall, 7News asked the board chair why the officials and staffers flew business class, drawing a contrast to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, who says he usually flies economy on commercial flights.
When asked about the comparison, Randall told 7News, "Pete Buttigieg is not the chief elected official of the federal government. I am the chief elected official of the county."
The report comes after Randall was found to be associated with members of a controversial Facebook group, "Loudoun Love Warriors." Members of the group doxxed and threatened Loudoun County parents who spoke at school board meetings, according to 7News. The county sheriff’s office opened an investigation into the group in May. Randall has condemned the group’s behavior.
On top of the $7,300 spent per business class ticket, taxpayers paid Saines's $200 overweight bag fee and a room upgrade for Randall that doubled the cost of her hotel stay. Randall confessed the county "shouldn’t have paid for" the upgrade and said she would "write a check" to cover the difference.