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VIENNA Air Force probes credit card use



Published: Sat, July 21, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The public affairs officer said the base commander will be willing to talk after the probe.

By STEPHEN SIFF

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

VIENNA -- The Air Force is investigating the use of government credit cards by civilian employees at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station.

"There is an investigation into allegations of misuse of government purchase cards," said Lt. Brent Davis, public affairs officer for the 910 Airlift Wing.

The investigation, focusing on credit cards issued to many civilian employees, has been conducted by the base's own security force, Davis said.

Special investigation: Two officers from the Air Force Office of Special Investigation also have been on the base.

"OSI is deciding whether they want to get involved," Davis said. He would not comment on the scope of the investigation or the amount of money that might be involved.

"It is an ongoing investigation," he said.

Gen. Michael Gjede, base commander, declined to be interviewed about the investigation, which Davis said has been under way three weeks.

"That is all he knows," Davis said. "After the investigation, the general will be willing to talk about it."

Cards issued: The credit cards under scrutiny were issued to many base employees, with job descriptions ranging from truck driver to auto mechanic.

The cards are primarily in the hands of full-time civilian workers, not Air Force reservists, he said.

"Each department on base needs to make purchases occasionally," Davis said. "That is the purpose of the cards -- to buy equipment and supplies they need."

A former cardholder said that most cards had a daily spending limit of $2,500 and a monthly limit of $10,000. Some held by supervisors had $5,000 daily and $25,000 monthly spending limits, he said.




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