City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

July 24, 2012
Sacramento officials begin to react to credit card scandal

City officials are beginning to react to the news that a mayoral aide resigned last week after it was revealed she allegedly racked up $9,000 in personal charges on her city-issued credit card. But questions remain on how the charges were made - and how they went unnoticed - in the first place.

City Auditor Jorge Oseguera said today that his office is expected to begin an audit of every city-issued credit card in September. That audit has been planned since February. While Oseguera did not know how many employees are granted credit cards, he said the cards are "used significantly throughout the city."

Meanwhile, City Manager John Shirey's office said he has "conferred with the Police Chief so that the matter can be reviewed for any possible criminal wrong doing."

Shirey's office has also begun auditing the credit card usage of Lisa Serna-Mayorga, a former City Council operations manager and, later, the director of constituent affairs for Mayor Kevin Johnson. Oseguera said he has not been asked to join that audit.

Serna-Mayorga resigned last week after it was revealed she made thousands of dollars in personal purchases on her city credit card, sources have told The Bee. Those charges included a trip to Disneyland, gasoline and groceries, according to the sources.

It is still unclear who - if anyone - approved Serna-Mayorga's credit card expenses. The charges in question were revealed during a review of her credit card at the end of the 2011/12 fiscal year in June, sources said.

Johnson and Serna-Mayorga have been close for many years. She has served on the board of St. HOPE Public Schools - the non-profit founded by Johnson that operates charter schools in Oak Park - worked on Johnson's 2008 mayoral campaign and was one of the mayor's first hires when he was elected.

"Lisa is somebody I love dearly," the mayor said today. "She has been a tremendous friend and supporter."

The mayor said Serna-Mayorga is "someone who feels very badly about a decision." Serna-Mayorga has reimbursed the city $9,000, according to sources.

Johnson said he was confident this incident was isolated.

"I don't fear this is a trend with city employees," he said, adding, "I think most people feel it's relatively contained."

The mayor added the city is "looking to make sure that safeguards (to avoid credit card abuse) are put into place."

About Comments

Reader comments on Sacbee.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.



About City Beat

Ryan Lillis has covered the city of Sacramento, its 108 neighborhoods and its politicians since 2008. Prior to that, he covered crime at The Bee. A native of upstate New York, Lillis has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact reporter Ryan Lillis at rlillis@sacbee.com

Poll

Does the Kings' poor performance of late impact the arena work?

FOLLOW US | Get more from sacbee.com | Follow us on Twitter | Become a fan on Facebook | Get news in your inbox | View our mobile versions | e-edition: Print edition online | What our bloggers are saying

Ryan Lillis on Twitter

Follow "Ryan_Lillis" on Twitter

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Sacramento City Resources

City Web Sites

How to contact city officials