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IG inquiry into Peterman turns up more details

Florida juvenile justice chief Frank Peterman's extensive travel at taxpayer expense includes thousands of dollars in extra charges because of missed flights as well as $2,300 in airport parking costs called "excessive" in an ongoing state review.

The inspector general's investigation was ordered by Gov. Charlie Crist after a Times/Herald report in November showed that Peterman spent $44,000 on travel over 21 months, about half of it for flights between Tallahassee and Tampa. The inquiry, expected to be completed next week, also shows:

• Peterman, who maintains a second office in St. Petersburg with a secretary, approved $26,000 in renovations to the office shortly after he took over the Department of Juvenile Justice in February 2008.

• Even though his family home is in St. Petersburg, he charged the state $785 for five hotel nights and a rental car at two Tampa conferences, and has paid to park cars in Tampa and Tallahassee for round-trip flights.

• On at least 18 occasions, he has changed flight times at an average cost to the state of $100 each. Shamika Baker, Peterman's executive assistant, says he overslept and missed some flights, but he says she's "misinformed." (Story here)

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