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DURHAM’S TRAVELS: Economic Development Office Making Changes

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Changes are being made at Iowa’s Economic Development Authority following a series of stories on the Director’s travel expenses.

Channel 13 first told you how Debi Durham racked up more than $73,000 in travel expenses during fiscal year 2012.  We showed you the first class plane tickets, the five star hotels and the itinerary for the European trip that ended with a visit to her son in Barcelona.

Durham has declined our requests for a formal interview, but in an interview with the Sioux City Journal, Durham says Iowans can expect even higher travel costs in the future.

The article also says Durham won’t stop piggybacking short pleasure visits onto longer work trips.

While Durham isn’t changing her behavior, Iowa’s Economic Development Authority is making some changes. A spokesperson says from now on, travel agents will make it a practice to denote any free upgrades and when the director is traveling with a project manager, staff preparing travel documents will be clearer about the functions of the trip being undertaken by each person.

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