AP: NJ gov reimburses state for helicopter flights

June 2, 2011 12:04:15 PM PDT
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the State Republican Committee are reimbursing the state for the governor's personal use of a state police helicopter, which includes two trips to watch his oldest son's baseball games, a spokeswoman for Christie said Thursday. Christie has paid $2,251 to the state to cover the cost of all trips, said Maria Comella, his spokeswoman.

The state GOP paid $1,232 to cover a helicopter trip Christie and his wife made to Princeton on Tuesday, flying 75 miles from a game in Montvale for a meeting with a group of top GOP campaign contributors from Iowa, Comella said.

"As the chief of State Police said yesterday, the air travel didn't cost taxpayers any additional dollars and fell under the protection unit's normal security responsibilities," Comella said. "But the governor understands the sensitivity about this kind of thing and believes he owes it to the public to ensure that this is not a distraction."

"We have some big, important reform measures that the governor is committed to getting done and that's where everyone's focus needs to be," she told The Associated Press.

On Wednesday, a spokesman for the first-term GOP governor said the helicopter use was appropriate and that Christie doesn't reimburse the state for security and travel.

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