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A chauffeured ride to a funeral

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Local,Virginia,Transportation,Liz Essley

The board running the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has been criticized on numerous fronts for its lavish travel spending, but that didn't stop one board member from billing the agency nearly $2,500 to attend a funeral.

Bob Brown, a federal appointee to the board that oversees the $6 billion Dulles Rail project, billed the authority just over $1,200 for an unrestricted coach-class ticket to fly from his Cleveland home to Philadelphia and more than $700 for the chauffeured sedan he used when he landed to attend the funeral of Charles Snelling, a former authority chairman who killed himself and his Alzheimers-stricken wife in March.

Brown also billed the authority for a hotel room, airport parking, a taxi and breakfast.

Brown said he needed a chauffeur because he doesn't see well at night and didn't want to drive himself and risk the funeral stretching past sunset. He bought a more expensive unrestricted ticket, he said, so he wouldn't lose money if he canceled the trip.

Another board member, H.R. Crawford, also hired a driver to go to Snelling's funeral, but he didn't bill the authority for it and has no plans to do so.

lessley@washingtonexaminer.com

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