Chicago Death Due to Credit Card Abuse, Says Coroner

Business credit card use has returned to the spotlight in Chicago, where officials say a school board official accused of improper spending committed suicide. Police reported that Chicago Board of Education President Michael Scott died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Monday. Members of Scott's family have criticized the city's coroner for speculating that Scott killed himself after public criticism of unusual charges on his city-issued credit card.

Scott charged $3,000 in expenses on his government credit card for travel and lodging on a trip to Copenhagen. Scott and his wife stayed at a four-star hotel during his visit to lobby for Chicago's Olympic bid. Critics of the city's government claim that taxpayers shouldn't have to bear the cost of lavish expenses.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley told reporters that the costs of the trip were appropriate under the conditions of Scott's government expense account. Lenders including Chase, Discover Card, and American Express have all recently launched expense tracking solutions that allow companies to more closely monitor credit card spending on corporate and government accounts.