July 20, 2009

Kottkamp, frequent flier, honors space launch

Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp, who knows a thing or two about flying high and logging the air miles, will be at the Challenger Learning Center in Tallahassee to recognize the 40th anniversary of the Apollo II launch, when Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, and Michael Collins launched from NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral.

He'll no doubt be asked about his expected announcement of entering the Attorney General race, which comes as he faces an ethics complaint over his use of the state plane. Here's the proclamation he'll read: Download 2009.7.20 Apollo 11 Anniversary

June 30, 2009

Auditors say they can't investigate plane misuse by gov & cabinet

Bill mccollum close Alex Sink close Top Florida officials misused state resources to travel between the capital and their homes, costing taxpayers at least $51,000 and raising potential IRS violations, according to state investigators' findings that were removed from a final auditor's report.

Meanwhile, Tallahassee lawyer Jose Blas Lorenzo Jr. also filed an ethics complaint Monday accusing Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink of ''abusive, unauthorized use of state aircraft'' following reports by the Herald/Times and other news outlets.

Sink, along with Attorney General Bill McCollum and Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp, spent $51,000 of taxpayer money from July 1, 2008, through Feb. 15, 2009, commuting to their homes or taking ''unnecessary legs during business trips,'' according to the Department of Management Services' March 3 audit. Sink spent the most -- $27,200 -- while McCollum spent $12,600 and Kottkamp spent $9,900, according to auditors. 

But those details, as well as recommendations and conclusions, were left out of the final report. "We did not have any manpower to further investigate that," said Cathy Schroeder, DMS spokeswoman. 

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