The office of Gov. Susana Martinez defended her chief of staff Friday after news that he used a state credit card for thousands of dollars in personal spending, saying that although it was “poor practice,” there was clearly “no ill intent involved” because he later reimbursed the payments.
In a direct violation of state policy and procedures, which prohibit the use of state-issued cards for personal purchases, the chief of staff, Keith Gardner, used his card for more than $5,000 in payments for hotels, tires, a cellphone and accessories, a necktie, heartburn medication, car fresheners, a coin display case, a copy of Popular Science magazine and more. Some of his purchases were tax-free because they were charged on his government card.
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