MDA questioning expenses Maryland company paid for travel

Officials at the Mississippi Development Authority are questioning more than a dozen travel expenses from the Maryland-based company hired to manage a Hurricane Katrina grant program.

Some expenses charged by Reznick Group of Bethesda, Maryland, are getting more attention than others such as -- airfare for employees' significant others, limousine rental agency services and last-minute plane tickets topping $1400.

Some of the company's travel expenses have drawn criticism from the watchdog group Public Citizen and prompted a congressional request for an investigation.

A Mississippi Development Authority agency spokeswoman, Melissa Medley, did not specify which expenses are being scrutinized.

Last month, a Jackson newspaper asked the Mississippi Development Authority to look at the public records.

Reznick Group, one of the largest public accounting and consulting firms in the nation, is responsible for processing Mississippians' grant applications, verifying whether they are eligible for awards of up to 150-thousand-dollars and reporting and tracking the grants.