Mayor's office Visa card incurs $766 in interest charges

Account deemed "delinquent" on four monthly statements

June 07, 2013|By Scott Calvert, The Baltimore Sun


A Visa credit card issued to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s office has accumulated more than $760 in finance charge since late 2011, thanks to monthly balances that have exceeded $13,000. Four monthly statements over that span list the account as “delinquent.”

Ryan O’Doherty, a spokesman for Rawlings-Blake, said Friday that part of the problem may be an administrative delay after payments are sent to the Finance Department. City Hall staff members are looking into the situation, he said.

“We’re continuing to investigate to find out how we can speed up the process to ensure that payments are timely and the city doesn’t incur any finance charges," he said.

The $766 in finance charges appear in credit card records provided by the city in response to a Public Information Act request.

The Visa card was issued by Baltimore credit union MECU with an 8.25 percent interest rate, to the Mayor & City Council, with the billing address listed as the mayor’s office at City Hall.

The 13 monthly finance charges range from $51 to more than $90. Statements for two months weren’t included in the records.

The Visa account was last delinquent in October. “Please bring your account current or call to make arrangements today,” the statement advised.

The most recent statement in the documents was from March. Purchases included $250 at the Rockfish Raw Bar and Grill in Annapolis; $77.68 at Giant Food; $600 at Culinary Innovations catering and $342.36 at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington.

Even after a payment of $6,826, the card had an outstanding balance of $8,213.

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