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City of Phoenix puts local transportation company under audit after CEO steps down

PHOENIX — The city of Phoenix officials will be putting Valley Metro employees under a microscope by auditing every travel and employee expense from 2010 through 2015.

This move comes after Valley Metro CEO Stephen Banta announced he will step down from his position in January after a Phoenix newspaper discovered his misuse of company funds.

“(He purchased) very expensive meals, purchasing liquor on the credit card and paying for it out of that money which is against policy and many trips in first class,” Phoenix City Councilwoman Thelda Williams said. “I just want to make sure everything is on the up and up and accounted for.”

Williams, who chairs the light rail board, requested the city manager’s office for the audit. She said it is their responsibility to ensure taxpayer dollars are not being spent frivolously.

“The good news of having this brought to light is the fact that we are going to correct this and their money will be spent appropriately and where it’s needed and as promised,” Williams said.

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