Six weeks ago, two Capital Metro board members decided they wanted to attend workshops and seminars at a national transportation conference, so they asked the taxpayer-funded agency to cover their estimated $3,000 cost for registration and hotel rooms at a Hyatt Regency over the four-day event.
The catch: The conference was in Austin. The Hyatt, on Lady Bird Lake, is a half-hour commute from board member Norm Chafetz’s Williamson County home, and about seven miles from Beverly Silas’ house in Northeast Austin.
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Tony Plohetski is a member of the Statesman’s investigative team focusing on government accountability. He has recently reported on an unusual arrangement in which county constables serve warrants for out-of-county towns and a system in Travis County courts in which defense lawyers routinely get suspects released from jail on personal bond without prosecutor input.