A-18434, JUNE 8, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 790

A-18434: Jun 8, 1927

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TRAVELING EXPENSES - WITNESS SICK IN HOSPITAL AN EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT SUBPOENAED TO ATTEND COURT IN ANOTHER CITY AS A WITNESS FOR THE GOVERNMENT IS IN A TRAVEL STATUS AS DISTINGUISHED FROM BEING ASSIGNED TO PERFORM DUTY THEREAT. NOTWITHSTANDING HE WAS SICK IN THE HOSPITAL DURING A PART OF THE PERIOD OF SUCH ATTENDANCE. WHEREIN WAS DISALLOWED HIS CLAIM FOR $23 AS REIMBURSEMENT OF SUBSISTENCE AND OTHER EXPENSES INCURRED WHILE A PATIENT IN THE UTICA HOMEOPATHIC HOSPITAL. I DID NOT RETURN TO BUFFALO BECAUSE I WAS ORDERED BY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEO BREEDS TO REMAIN IN UTICA. I THEREFORE WENT TO THE HOSPITAL WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT ANY TIME THAT I WAS REQUIRED. WAS OVER $5.00 PER DAY.

A-18434, JUNE 8, 1927, 6 COMP. GEN. 790

TRAVELING EXPENSES - WITNESS SICK IN HOSPITAL AN EMPLOYEE OF THE GOVERNMENT SUBPOENAED TO ATTEND COURT IN ANOTHER CITY AS A WITNESS FOR THE GOVERNMENT IS IN A TRAVEL STATUS AS DISTINGUISHED FROM BEING ASSIGNED TO PERFORM DUTY THEREAT, AND HE MAY BE REIMBURSED HIS TRAVEL EXPENSES NOT IN EXCESS OF THE PRESCRIBED AMOUNT, NOTWITHSTANDING HE WAS SICK IN THE HOSPITAL DURING A PART OF THE PERIOD OF SUCH ATTENDANCE.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, JUNE 8, 1927:

LOUIS N. KELLY REQUESTED APRIL 21, 1927, REVIEW OF SETTLEMENT NO. 0181235, DATED APRIL 15, 1927, WHEREIN WAS DISALLOWED HIS CLAIM FOR $23 AS REIMBURSEMENT OF SUBSISTENCE AND OTHER EXPENSES INCURRED WHILE A PATIENT IN THE UTICA HOMEOPATHIC HOSPITAL, UTICA, N.Y., DECEMBER 15 TO 19, 1926.

IN HIS REQUEST FOR REVIEW THE CLAIMANT STATES:

WHILE ATTENDING COURT AT UTICA, N.Y., I TOOK SICK ON DEC. 15, 1926, AND WENT TO THE HOSPITAL. I DID NOT RETURN TO BUFFALO BECAUSE I WAS ORDERED BY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEO BREEDS TO REMAIN IN UTICA, BECAUSE I WOULD BE REQUIRED ON SOME CASES WHEREIN I MADE THE PURCHASE OF EVIDENCE,AT ANY DAY. I THEREFORE WENT TO THE HOSPITAL WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT ANY TIME THAT I WAS REQUIRED, HE WOULD PHONE ME AT THE HOSPITAL, AND I WOULD BE THERE WITHIN A FEW MINUTES.

MY SUBSISTENCE WHILE IN UTICA, WAS OVER $5.00 PER DAY, AND WHILE IN THE HOSPITAL, IT ONLY COST $4.50 PER DAY, SO IT WAS CHEAPER FOR ME, AND ALSO A SAVE TO THE GOVERNMENT TO STAY IN HOSPITAL, ESPECIALLY WHILE I WAS SICK. I STAYED IN THE HOSPITAL, NOT BECAUSE I WAS SICK, BUT BECAUSE DOCTOR KENNEDY WANTED TO TAKE A THOROUGH DIAGNOSIS OF MY CASE AT THE LABORATORY AT THE HOSPITAL, AND SEEING THAT IT WAS CHEAPER TO STAY THERE, AND THAT IT DID NOT INTERFERE WITH MY ATTENDING FEDERAL COURT, I REMAINED IN THE HOSPITAL.

I WAS CALLED TO U.S. COURT ON DEC. 19, TO IDENTIFY A DEFENDANT, WHICH I DID. I WENT TO COURT AT 4 P.M. AND STAYED THERE UNTIL COURT ADJOURNED. WAS TOLD BY DIST. ATTORNEY BREEDS TO BE AT COURT AT 9 A.M. THE FOLLOWING DAY, DEC. 20TH, BECAUSE ONE OF MY CASES WAS TO COME UP THE FIRST THING IN THE MORNING, WHICH I DID AND THE CASE WAS DISPOSED OF.

COURT WAS ADJOURNED ON DEC. 21, OR RATHER, I WAS EXCUSED FROM COURT ON THE 21ST, AND I RETURNED TO BUFFALO IMMEDIATELY. I COULD NOT HAVE DONE ANY MORE WORK IF I HAD STAYED AT THE COURTHOUSE ALL DAY, AND ON EACH DAY, THAN I HAD DONE, AND WHILE I WAS IN UTICA, N.Y., AND REQUIRED THERE, IT WAS NECESSARY FOR ME TO EAT AND SLEEP. IT REALLY DID NOT MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE WHETHER THIS WAS DONE IN THE HOSPITAL, OR IN A HOTEL, AND SINCE IT WAS CHEAPER IN THE HOSPITAL, I CONSIDER THIS A JUST CLAIM.

THE ASSISTANT UNITED STATES ATTORNEY REPORTS THAT MR. KELLY WAS UNDER SUBPOENA AND A NECESSARY AND MATERIAL WITNESS, AND THERE WAS AN ARRANGEMENT WITH HIM WHEN NEEDED TO TESTIFY THAT HE WOULD BE CALLED AT THE HOSPITAL.

THE EMPLOYEE MUST BE UNDERSTOOD AS IN A TRAVEL STATUS FOR THE PURPOSE OF TESTIFYING AS A WITNESS AS DISTINGUISHED FROM BEING ASSIGNED TO PERFORMA DUTY AT UTICA IN WHICH, IF ILLNESS PREVENTED HIS PERFORMING THAT DUTY, TRAVEL EXPENSES WOULD NOT BE PAYABLE DURING THE PERIOD OF SUCH INCAPACITY. HE WAS, UNDER THE FACTS REPORTED, APPARENTLY READY TO TESTIFY WHEN CALLED AND WAS HELD AT UTICA AS A WITNESS FOR THAT PURPOSE. THE GOING INTO HOSPITAL AND THE EXPENSES THERE ARE NOT SHOWN TO HAVE IN ANY WAY AFFECTED HIS STATUS TO TESTIFY AS A WITNESS. THIS FURTHER APPEARS FROM THE FACT THAT HE WAS HELD AT UTICA INSTEAD OF BEING PERMITTED TO RETURN HOME BECAUSE OF ILLNESS. THE HOSPITAL EXPENSES ARE TO BE UNDERSTOOD SOLELY AS A BASIS OF ALLOWING TRAVEL EXPENSES NOT IN EXCESS OF THE PRESCRIBED AMOUNT AND ARE NOT PAYABLE IN THE SENSE OF PAYING HOSPITAL EXPENSES.

ON REVIEW THE AMOUNT OF $23 FOR THE PERIOD FROM DECEMBER 15 TO DECEMBER 20, 1926, IS HEREBY ALLOWED.