Mayor Rahm Emanuel is putting the City of Chicago on a credit card diet following a series of investigations by FOX Chicago News and the Better Government Association into the use and abuse of credit cards at the city's sister agencies.
On Monday, the mayor ordered that the number of credit cards be cut from more than 500 to 30. He also abolished all petty cash accounts and put new rules in place about how credit cards can be used.
The City Comptroller said there will be just 30 credit cards issued by Chicago, not 500, and there will be tight controls on how the cards are used.
"You can't go out to dinners at fancy restaurants, you can't order flowers. You can't pay your parking and speeding tickets," said Comptroller Amer Ahmad.
But even as the city acts, FOX Chicago News and the BGA have found more credit card concerns at another agency-- the RTA.
According to documents obtained by FOX Chicago News and the bga, a credit card assigned to one RTA manager was used in 2009 to pay for her daughter's tuition at Mother McCauley High School.
The manager told her own bosses that she did this by mistake, because the RTA card looked a lot like her own personal credit card. The manager reimbursed the RTA for the tuition, but then just months ago used the card again for a child's ACT test.
So RTA Executive Director Joe Costello decided to pull about a dozen cards from his staff.
"Inadvertent mistakes happen, but they don't happen if you don't have cards," Costello said.