The former general manager of Glendale Water & Power, who resigned abruptly last month after city officials started investigating his double-billing for an industry conference, is calling the issue a mistake.
Former General Manager Glenn Steiger on Monday acknowledged that he double-billed the city for expenses related to a conference he attended on behalf of another organization, but said his decision to resign May 23, a day after city officials inquired about the receipts, was coincidental.
At the time, Steiger called the double-billing allegations, “just a rumor.”
But after city officials responded to a public records request for the billing information, on Monday, he called it all a mistake.
“Mistakes are made with expenses all the time. This is one of those times,” Steiger said.
City officials, along with Steiger, have maintained that the resignation was for personal reasons.
On Monday, Steiger said he plans to move to Arizona due to a “strong family need.”
The billing issue centered on a March conference Steiger attended in Monterey as president of the Southern California Public Power Authority.
Upon his return, Steiger asked the city and the joint powers authority to pay for his travel expenses, including three nights at a hotel, gas mileage and parking, according to expenditure records.
Steiger said the city at first denied some of his reimbursement requests, so he submitted them to the Southern California Public Power Authority.
However, he says he also unwittingly submitted other expenses already covered by his city-issued credit card.
The Southern California Public Power Authority reimbursed Steiger for $1,164.02 for lodging and gas mileage in April.
The city had already paid for the $750 conference fee, hotel room, meals and some parking expenses through the city-issued credit card.
Steiger said he didn't intend to double-bill the two agencies, but he was not given the chance to explain his mistake to city officials before he resigned.
“I didn't realize I had turned the whole thing into [the Southern California Public Power Authority],” he said.
After resigning, Steiger had to leave his post at the authority.
While he plans to move to Arizona, he said he doesn't know what he will pursue professionally.
“I'm still looking,” he said. “I'm still trying to decide what I want to do.”
Public Works Director Steve Zurn is currently serving as interim general manager for Glendale Water & Power.