New York's new Gov. spent campaign funds on personal items

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Washington, Mar 22 : New York's new Governor David A Paterson had spent thousands of dollars in campaign funds on personal items like hotel stays, men's suits, home furnishings and bar tabs, according to a media report.

According to the New York Daily News, Paterson had reimbursed his campaign for most of the expenses within about a month, but Paterson reimbursed two expenses only after revelations about his involvement in extramarital affairs surfaced.

One of the Paterson aides said that Paterson's earlier explanation was misstated, and had changed the story about why his campaign paid one of his former girlfriends 500 dollars.

"There's nothing out of the ordinary in those reports," declared Henry Berger, a lawyer who says he reviewed expenses listed in 30 to 40 Paterson campaign finance reports dating back to 1999.

Paterson dramatically altered his explanation for a July 2002 campaign payment of 500 dollars to his "girlfriend" Lila Kirton.

Earlier this week, the governor had said that the campaign had reimbursed Kirton for attending a campaign event, even though the item was listed as a "professional" expense.

Clarifying this statement, Paterson's aides said he'd misspoken, and that she was paid for helping redo a campaign database.

"With two [hotel bill] exceptions, we have found that all of the itemizations we examined seem to be proper," said one of Paterson's aides.

Paterson had said that he might have "inadvertently" used his campaign credit card when his personal card was not working.

ANI

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