PHOENIX -- An Arizona lawmaker who fueled accusations of double-dipping after filing for nearly $20,000 in reimbursements for driving costs submitted a new report this week, requesting about half as much.
State Sen. Don Shooter said "sloppy" record-keeping led to several reimbursements being inputted twice in a campaign finance report, the Arizona Capitol Times reported.
The revised report contains payments for mileage but no records of payments for fuel.
The Yuma Republican said the errors were made by a volunteer and a campaign treasurer. Both staffers had been working separately and didn't know the other had already entered the amounts, Shooter said.
``A casual inspection would have turned up those errors. We also erred on the expense side in similar fashion,'' Shooter said.
According to the initial report, Shooter paid himself $19,164 in transportation fees from his campaign. The new report shows the figure as $10,046.
The reports raised criticism because Shooter was asking for reimbursements while receiving a travel allowance from the state. The senator said that whenever there is a question about whether a trip is related to state or campaign business, he puts the cost onto his campaign.
``There are some legislators who can personally afford to absorb these expenses personally, but I cannot,'' Shooter said. ``Accordingly, my campaign pays those costs, as it legally can and should.''
His original campaign finance report indicated he spent $38,000 of $43,000 raised last year. Most of the money went to pay for travel, which cost about $17,000 in 2013. According to state records, he received $8,000 in reimbursements from the state for traveling back and forth to the Capitol last year. About $3,900 of those payments were made for travel during the legislative session.
The mileage he has accumulated is consistent with previous years, Shooter said. According to the senator, Legislative District 13 is bigger than most. It stretches from Yuma to Wickenburg.
Since being elected in 2012, Shooter said he has ``driven two cars into the ground.''
Information from: Arizona Capitol Times, http://www.arizonacapitoltimes.com
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