The federal Transportation Department’s Oversight Committee has opened an investigation into Indiana’s South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg for “a disturbing pattern in the mayor’s travel practices and safety failures.”
The committee noted “a pattern of Mayor Buttigieg failing to adhere to basic safety standards when traveling on airplanes and helicopters”, citing several incidents in which the mayor was found engaging in inappropriate and careless behavior. In October of this year, Buttigieg was issued a warning for failing to wear a seatbelt during a charter plane flight over Chicago, and a separate incident in which a police escort was called to ensure Buttigieg’s safety following a helicopter flight.
While the Committee did not provide details regarding the scope of the investigation or any expected penalties, they did make it clear that the investigation would include interviews with present and former personnel associated with the Mayor’s office, and that they were “alarmed” by the Mayor’s pattern of behaviors. A Department spokesperson said “We take these matters very seriously, and will not shy away from holding elected officials accountable.”