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Crist orders IG to check into Peterman's travel

Gov. Charlie Crist has asked his inspector general, Melinda Miguel, to look into Wednesday's Herald/Times report that Juvenile Justice Secretary Frank Peterman has racked up $44,000 in travel expenses in less than two years.

That total includes nearly $20,000 in airplane trips between Tallahassee and Tampa. Peterman owns a house in St. Petersburg, and his wife and four children still live there.

Crist, who appointed Peterman to the DJJ post in February 2008, told reporters of his desire to have his in-house troubleshooter look into Peterman's travel. But he did not pass judgment.

"Hopefully, there's not more," Crist said. "You know, I like to go to St. Pete sometimes, too. But I pay for it."

Peterman, 47, is a former Democratic state legislator who said his travel allows him to interact more frequently with his staff and the agency's clients.

-- Steve Bousquet