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Taxpayers pay for Sanford trip to family estate

Gov. office: Doesn't count as travel from home to work

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Gov. Mark Sanford was reimbursed $131 for a trip to and from his family estate in Beaufort, according to a report in The State Thursday. The trip on Dec. 31 was due to a press conference in Columbia regarding the governor's bitter fight with the Employment Security Commission over jobs data.

The law prevents employees from getting reimbursed for trips between work and home. The governor's office told the City Paper on Thursday that the check the governor received for his mileages was in line with IRS regulations because Sanford's legal residence is on Sullivan's Island.

Sanford spokesman Ben Fox says the governor used his personal car for state business and was properly reimbursed. He did not know whether there were other trips the governor was reimbursed for between Beaufort and Columbia. The governor typically has a state law enforcement vehicle, making reimbursement unnecessary, Fox says.

The governor has been under intense scrutiny after his high-profile disappearance from the state in June, when he lied about visiting the Appalachian Trail so that he could spend nearly a week with his Argentinian mistress. His office released extensive of travel documents showing he didn't spend tax dollars on that trip. But the Associated Press has discovered other cases of opulent plane trips and hotel stays, as well as personal use of the state plane, which has prompted calls for a state ethics investigation.

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