WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., used $33,700 from her Senate account to pay for 43 campaign flights, an internal investigation has found.
The three-term senator came under fire earlier this month from the Louisiana Republican Party, which accused her of not having a permanent address in the state she serves. The party also suspected she illegally used taxpayer money to fund her campaign travel.
Landrieu previously admitted two campaign trips were paid for out of her Senate account in error and paid them back or corrected the mistake in bookkeeping.
Her office ordered a review of all her flights and found 163 campaign events over the course of 43 trips were paid for using Senate office money. The trips date back to 2002.
Landrieu issued a release saying she reported the findings to the Senate Ethics Committee and fully repaid the Treasury for the "mistakes."
"The review I ordered last month found these mistakes stemming from sloppy book keeping. I take full responsibility. They should have never happened, and I apologize for this," she said. "A new system has been established that has been successfully used by a number of senate offices to provide a safeguard from this happening in the future."
Landrieu's challenger, U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., said that's not enough.
"Given Sen. Landrieu's own admission of faulty oversight, how do taxpayers know that problems did not exist prior to 2002?" said Cassidy spokesman John Cummins.