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Kenney unable to provide proof of her claims of employee expense fraud


June 12, 2014
OSSIPEE — After a month filled with promises from Carroll County Commissioner Asha Kenney that she had proof that employees were stealing from the county, it turns out she has no proof other than her word.

Kenney made an allegation at a county commissioner's meeting last month that employees were carpooling to conferences and then returning to the county complex and all passengers submitting individual mileage reimbursement requests.

N.H. Rep. Mark McConkey asked her to provide the supporting documents to back up her claim and this reporter filed a written right-to-know request asking for the same. Kenney requested an extension so she could have more time to gather the proof. That extension expired June 10 and by late afternoon Kenney responded with the following email message:

"It is my statement that I saw a van with several county employees returning from a seminar attended and paid for by the county, what I saw does not fall under Right to Know unless I had taken a picture. Secondly, Right to Know does not require that I create documents and since I did not know all the people on the vans names I would have had to create an evidence trail of some unknowns that is not required under Right to Know. This is my answer on all 91-A requests for my proof of employees who charge for mileage.

"I am further entering a request that the policy be written to prevent any future abuse of mileage. Further a proposed policy that as many seminars and workshops as possible will be held here at the county complex to save time traveling and mileage. A further policy should be adopted that no employee may go to any seminars, schools or workshops without first submitting the pamphlet of what it will educationally do to improve the employees work. The employee must receive a majority of the commissioner's approval to attend at county expense any educational seminars," wrote Kenney.

It is unclear if the policy proposed by Kenney will also apply to county commissioners. Her fellow commissioner, David Babson, questioned her at the June 10 meeting about an expense form she submitted seeking reimbursement for her recent trip to a conference. Babson said witnesses verified that Kenney drove to Whitefield to a conference organized by the county's insurer, Primex. Babson said Kenney drove to the conference, ate lunch, listen to a portion of the keynote address, and then left without attending any of the offered courses. She then submitted a reimbursement request for about $100.

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