Siegelman Spending

Charge card records show that expenses billed to ex-Gov. Don Siegelman's contingency fund included trips by former First Lady Lori Siegelman in the final 14 months of the administration.

In mid-October, Lori Siegelman flew to Buffalo, New York, took a shuttle bus to Canada and spent more than a week at the Queen's Landing Inn. Those expenses showed up on an American Express Card issued her by the governor's office.

She also billed the state for trips to New Orleans; Monterey, California; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Boston and for an airline ticket to Milwaukee.

Governors have leeway when spending the funds, though state law requires that the money be used for a public purpose. A spokesman for the former governor said all the charges were for public purposes.

Spokesman Mike Kanarick also said any charges deemed improper by state auditors would be promptly paid back.

The bills were provided to the register by Gov. Bob Riley's office, responding to the newspaper's public records request.


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