Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Manitoba Politician Promises to Repay Big Cellphone Bill Racked Up in Mexico

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Manitoba Politician Promises to Repay Big Cellphone Bill Racked Up in Mexico

Article excerpt

Manitoba politician has $5K cellphone bill

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WINNIPEG - A Manitoba politician is planning to repay a $5,000 cellphone bill he racked up while on a tropical vacation.

Rob Altemeyer, a longtime legislature member for the Opposition New Democrats, submitted a monthly expense claim in February that included $5,000.72 for wireless service. The figure is contained in documents filed with the Members' Allowances Office, the legislature group that oversees politicians' work-related spending.

His bills the two prior months were under $60 each.

The NDP rejected interview requests Tuesday, but a caucus spokeswoman said Altemeyer inadvertently racked up high roaming charges while on vacation in Mexico. She said he filed his expense claim with the expectation he would have to repay much of it.

"Rob had already committed to covering the full bill, other than the normal allowable monthly business expenses, after negotiations with the provider to reduce the bill are complete," Rachel Morgan wrote in an email.

"He had already arranged with Member's Allowances to cover it, with the exception of the normal allowable monthly businesses expenses. Taxpayers won't be on the hook for the extra fees."

There was no word on when Altemeyer's attempt to knock down the price might be complete.

Altemeyer has represented the Wolseley constituency in Winnipeg since 2003. …

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