Saturday July 20th, 2024 5:10AM

Report says Perdue used state helicopter for family use

By The Associated Press
<p>Gov. Sonny Perdue is facing new questions that he has made improper use of a state aircraft for personal use only two months after the State Ethics Commission dismissed a similar complaint.</p><p>An Atlanta TV station reported Thursday that Perdue used a state helicopter to take his son to a football game north of Atlanta on what was logged as a trip to south Georgia.</p><p>WSB-TV reported Perdue dropped his son, Jim, at a game in Cumming in September. According to the report, the helicopter landed at the Georgia State Patrol headquarters in Cumming but only the son got off.</p><p>The trip to Cumming does not appear in state records, the station reported.</p><p>Perdues office says the trip was part of an official trip to south Georgia and that the 70-mile detour north of the Gov.s Mansion was part of the trip home.</p><p>On Nov. 12, the State Ethics Commission voted 2-1 to dismiss a complaint against Perdue charging that he improperly used state aircraft on political trips and then improperly reimbursed the state from campaign funds.</p><p>Ethics activist George Anderson filed the complaint heard by the commission.</p><p>The complaint centered on two trips, including one when as governor-elect Perdue stopped at a political victory celebration when en route to a football game at Georgia Southern. Perdue also was questioned about a quail-hunting trip to Nashville, Ga., at the end of his second week in office.</p><p>Perdue reimbursed the state $2,940 for those two trips.</p><p>Sonny Perdue has gotten himself into quite a mess. He has misused state resources, he has engaged in a coverup, said Bobby Kahn, interim chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia. And in these difficult economic times its simply the wrong message to send. Failing to put iformation on the logs is a felony. Youve got guile, youve got arrogance and you may have a felony here.</p><p>There also were concerns that Perdue, an aviation enthusiast, had taken the controls of a state helicopter during a flight.</p><p>In August, Inspector General James Sehorn said there should be written guidelines for official flights taken by the governor, and his office should evaluate each flight to ensure that taxpayers are reimbursed when necessary.</p>
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