City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

October 18, 2012
City credit card scandal expands to second former Mayor Johnson aide

The city's ongoing credit card probe has expanded to involve a second former aide to Mayor Kevin Johnson, The Bee has learned.

Keith Hart, whom Johnson hired as the chief service officer in 2010, is the subject of a police department inquiry over the use of his city-issued credit card, Officer Doug Morse told The Bee today.

Hart's credit card use came into question during an examination of the credit card accounts for members of the City Council, the mayor and the staffers in those offices.

"We did come up with two people and we're just looking at those people to see if there was any criminal wrongdoing," Morse said. The other person is Lisa Serna-Mayorga, whose credit card use when she was the council operations manager is under criminal investigation.

Morse said the examination of the city council and mayor offices found "nothing criminal in nature except for those two." City Manager John Shirey said the credit card records for Hart and Serna-Mayorga will be submitted to the District Attorney's office for review.

Morse would not say what purchases by Hart were questionable.

The city released today hundreds of transactions by the city council and mayoral offices in response to a Public Records Act submitted by The Bee. Transactions made by Hart and Serna-Mayorga were not included in the records released by the city.

Attempts to reach Hart have so far been unsuccessful.

Joaquin McPeek, a mayoral spokesman, said, "We fully support the Sacramento Police Department's continued investigation of this issue. If there is any wrongdoing found, we support whatever actions will be taken to correct the situation."

Johnson hired Hart as the chief service officer in May 2010. Hart's job was funded by a $200,000 grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. He left the position earlier this year and is now a consultant.

Serna-Mayorga resigned from the city in July after it was revealed she had allegedly used her city credit card to make personal purchases. Serna-Mayorga reimbursed the city $9,000 for those charges, which allegedly included a trip to Disneyland and groceries, sources told The Bee.

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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.

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