Agency watchdog slams ex-HHS chief Price on costly travel

WASHINGTON (AP) — An agency watchdog says the government wasted at least $341,000 on travel by ousted Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, including on charter flights without considering cheaper scheduled airlines.

The HHS inspector general’s office released its long-awaited report Friday, also chastising the department for flouting federal travel rules.

Price previously apologized, and repaid nearly $60,000. Authorities should seek full recovery, the report said.

The inspector general estimated taxpayers spent a total of nearly $1.2 million on Price’s travel during his seven months in office.

Costly travel by top officials became a running story as the Trump administration took power.

Price was forced out in the fall of 2017 after his travel drew the ire of President Donald Trump, who was also upset over the GOP failure to repeal “Obamacare.”