On Wednesday, Comptroller Joan M. Pratt publicly questioned the frequent travel of the head of Baltimore's water system as she and others raised concerns that Rudy Chow is needed here to focus on issues of crumbling infrastructure and erroneous bills.
The Sun requested documents to determine just how much Chow had traveled in the past year, and determined that he had spent 35 days attending conferences, many of them out of state.
Chow has been reimbursed about $8,500 for travel expenses, records show. The city also paid at least $4,000 in registration fees for the various conferences, which can range from about $200 to about $1,000. Some of Chow's travel was paid for by outside entities, city officials said.
Here's the city's accounting of Chow's travels since last August:
•From Aug. 26 to Aug. 30, 2012, Chow was a participant in the American Public Works Association Congress & Exposition in Anaheim, Calif.
•From Sept. 30 to Oct. 5, 2012, Chow gave a presentation at the Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference in New Orleans.
•On March 4, Chow was a participant at the Maryland Association of Counties Symposium in Annapolis.
•On March 15, Chow was the keynote speaker at the Water and Wastewater Industry Student Career Fair in Baltimore.
•On March 15, Chow served as a member of a committee at the Bio-Solids Symposium in Sparks.
•On April 16, Chow was a participant in the National Infrastructure Summit in Washington.
•From April 30 to May 4, Chow traveled to Tampa, Fla., for the Customer Service Week conference to learn about a new water-billing system.
•On May 10, Chow gave a presentation to the Water and Waste Operators Association of Maryland, Delaware and District of Columbia in Washington.
•From June 8 to June 15, Chow gave a presentation to the Water Environment Federation Collection Systems conference in Sacramento, Calif. (This trip was paid for by the Water Environment Federation.)
•From June 12 to June 14, Chow was a participant, on behalf of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, at the Clinton Global Initiative in Chicago.
•From Aug. 25 to Aug. 28, Chow gave a presentation at the American Public Works Association Congress & Exposition in Chicago.
•From Oct. 5 to Oct. 9, Chow plans to travel to Chicago and give a presentation at the Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition. (This trip was approved Wednesday.)