Christie, GOP to repay N.J. for copter use

June 2, 2011 at 9:34 PM
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TRENTON, N.J., June 2 (UPI) -- Gov. Chris Christie and the state GOP will reimburse the state for his use of a State Police helicopter to fly to his son's baseball games, officials said.

The issue arose Tuesday, when Christie used the helicopter for a second time to go to watch his son play baseball, and then flew from Montvale, at the state's northern border, to meet at the governor's mansion in Princeton with a group of Iowa businessmen urging him to run for president, The (Newark) Star-Ledger reported.

Republican State Committee spokesman Rick Gorka said Thursday the committee has paid $1,232.29 for the flight from the Tuesday baseball game to Princeton, the newspaper said.

"The check has already been delivered," Gorka said.

Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak said the governor will reimburse the state $1,232.30, and will pay $919.20 for a May 28 flight to see his son play baseball, a flight that had not been previously made public.

"Though the superintendent of the State Police noted (Wednesday) the travel does not cost taxpayers additional dollars, 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," Drewniak said in a statement issued to the Star-Ledger.

Christie arrived by helicopter at the Tuesday game in Morris Township at about 4:30 p.m. EDT, and then got into a state vehicle that carried him about 100 yards to the baseball field. His office had said Wednesday he would not repay the state for the cost of the flight.

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