Cosmetic surgery costs lower than reported

November 2nd, 2010
Cosmetic surgery costs lower than reported

The Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority claims that the amount spent on cosmetic surgery by city employees at the taxpayer’s expense was lower than the $8.9 million quoted recently.

Jeanette M. Mongold, executive director of the board, sent an email to members stating that the amount involved was nearer $6 million, though this is still a dramatic increase on the $923,000 spent in 2004.

In her email, Mongold stated; “I want to assure each of you that the information released to the media was not issued from our office, nor did we share any report or financial data with any individuals on the district’s board. Any information the district’s board members received appears to have been provided from the district’s offices.”

“There is a discrepancy between the balances released to the media [of $8 million] and the final balances that we have received from the insurance consultant of $6 million. We are comfortable with $6 million being the actual amount spent in the 2009 calendar year,” she added.

The information was first brought to the public’s attention by Board of Education member Christopher Jacobs, who became interested in the expenses involved after finding out an analyst, Bryce Link, was working on a report about cosmetic surgery usage under the city employee healthcare scheme.

“I said, ‘Can I see it?’ ” Jacobs said. “There was a spread sheet he did. He e-mailed it to me. I don’t want to get Bryce in trouble. I talked to Bryce about it. [The information] was provided to me. The executive director didn’t do it — Bryce did.”

According to Jacobs, the number provided by Link showed $6.4 million spent on cosmetic surgery in 2009, not the $8 million originally mentioned in some reports.

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