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Questionable State Plane Spending

June 30th, 2009 by flanews

Three of the states top elected officials have racked up 51-thousand dollars in questionable travel expenses. Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, Attorney General Bill McCollum and Lieutenant Governor Jeff Kottkamp are under fire for their use of the state planes. As Whitney Ray tells us, Sink has flown family members on the state planes, and McCollum has ordered empty planes from Tallahassee to pick him up near Orlando for state business.

No one has used the state planes this week. Both planes are undergoing maintenance in Tallahassee.

Its a Tuesday in Tallahassee and three of the states top elected officials arent at the capitol. The Attorney General, The Chief Financial Officer and the Governor are all in South Florida raising campaign money. The only elected officials in the capitol Tuesday were the ones not running for office.

Their absence raises questions about the use of state planes. CFO Alex Sink has asked her office to review her travel expenses. She also reimbursed the state for flying family members. Republican Party contributor Jose Lorenzo filed an ethics complaint against Sink.

Some of the stops had no state work purpose whatsoever. It really concerned me, said Lorenzo.

Sink has called for all state plane use to be listed on the internet. No one from Sinks office would talk on camera about her travel expenses.

Attorney General Bill McCollum is also catching heat for his travel. Spokeswoman Sandi Copes says money McCollum spent ordering empty planes to pick him up near Orlando is justified.

Its tough to travel throughout Florida. There are only a few flights in and out of Tallahassee, so thats why he makes sure when he needs the state plane he uses it effectively and again he only uses the state plane for official state work, said Copes.

Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp was the first to catch heat over his use of the planes. Kottkamp cut the state a 10,000 dollar reimbursement check to make amends.

Posted in State Budget, State News, Transportation | 2 Comments »

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