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Paterson To Payback Taxpayers For $23,000 Inaugural Trip

by on March 2, 2009

This week, following an earlier report about his expensive taxpayer-funded trip to the the Inauguration, Governor Paterson decided to save a tiny bit of face by paying back state taxpayers for the cost of the trip, which is now said to be over $23,000.

Errol Cockfield, the governor’s spokesman, said the governor had revisited his earlier decision to charge the state and will dip into his campaign account to pay all costs for the trip. He was unsure if the governor still considers the event state business.

The reversal came after the Times Union inquired about Paterson’s return trip to Washington, D.C., the weekend of Feb. 21 when the governor, three aides, Michelle Paige Paterson and her top aide attended the National Governors Association conference. In January, Paterson and his wife and five aides traveled to the same city for the presidential inauguration. For the NGA trip, Paterson’s campaign picked up the more modest tab immediately; commercial flights were used and hotel rooms cost $279. Rooms used for the earlier trip had cost upwards of $1,200. Paterson has used the state plane and charged taxpayers for similar conferences before. 

While it is good that he will pay us back, this seems to me to be too little too late. Given other Instances of Paterson being reckless with taxpayer dollars despite the fiscal situation,  we can be safe in guessing that Paterson is probably taking advantage of us in ways we don’t even know yet.

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