St. Petersburg Times Online: News of Florida
TampaBay.com
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
  • State may privatize personnel operation
  • Ex-House speaker fined for violation of lobbying rules
  • President Bush to visit Florida
  • UF defends minority efforts
  • Crist recalls Washington plane trip as contribution

  • From the state wire

  • Hurricane Jeanne appears on track to hit Florida's east coast
  • Rumor mill working overtime after Florida hurricanes
  • Developments associated with Hurricanes Ivan and Jeanne
  • Four killed in Panhandle plane crash were on Ivan charity mission
  • Hurricane Frances caused estimated $4.4 billion in insured damage
  • Disabled want more handicapped-accessible voting machines
  • USF forces administrators to resign over test score changes
  • Man's death at Universal Studios ruled accidental
  • State child welfare workers in Miami fail to do background checks
  • Hurricane Jeanne heads toward southeast U.S. coast
  • Hurricane Jeanne spurs more anxiety for storm-weary Floridians
  • Mistrial declared in case where teen was target of racial "joke"
  • Panhandle utility wants sewer plant moved to higher ground
  • State employee arrested on theft, bribery charges
  • Homestead house fire kills four children, one adult
  • Pierson leader tries to cut off relief to local fern cutters
  • Florida's high court rules Terri's law unconstitutional
  • Jacksonville students punished for putting stripper pole in dorm
  • FEMA handling nearly 600,000 applications for help
  • Man who killed wife, niece, self also killed mother in 1971
  • Producer sues city over lead ball fired by Miami police
  • Tourism suffers across Florida after pummeling by hurricanes
  • Key dates in the life of Terri Schiavo
  • An excerpt from the unanimous ruling in the Schiavo case
  • Four confirmed dead after small plane crash in Panhandle
  • Correction: Disney-Cruise Line story
  • tampabay.com

    printer version

    Crist recalls Washington plane trip as contribution

    He was prepared to report the trip as a personal gift before remembering it as an "in-kind service.''

    By LUCY MORGAN

    © St. Petersburg Times,
    published September 7, 2001


    TALLAHASSEE -- Education Commissioner Charlie Crist says he has now discovered that the free airplane trip he took to Washington this year is considered a donation to the Florida Republican Party.

    Crist was prepared to file an amended report with state ethics officials after he learned that the trip from Tallahassee to Washington might be considered a personal gift from Republican fundraiser Al Hoffman.

    At the time Crist said he viewed the trip as a gift to the state, but when questions were raised about it recently, he contacted state ethics officials and was told he should consider it as a reportable gift.

    On Thursday, Crist said he was reminded that Hoffman actually declared the trip as an "in-kind" contribution to the party earlier this year.

    "I guess I forgot," Crist said.

    In a letter to the state party on March 14, Hoffman said the Jan. 23 ride was "an in-kind service" to Crist and the party reported it as a donation. That means the plane ride was a political contribution duly reported and not a gift to Crist. Contributions or expenditures made to a political party are exempt from the state gifts law, which requires public officials to report certain gifts.

    On Wednesday, Crist prepared a belated report declaring the trip a $520 gift from Hoffman but said his lawyers told him he does not have to file the report because Hoffman and the party have already disclosed it.

    Crist said he asked Hoffman for the ride because he wanted to make it on time for a White House education conference and needed to remain in Tallahassee for a Cabinet meeting. He could not get a commercial flight at the necessary hour and would not have arrived on time if he took a slower state airplane.

    "It's not an issue anymore," Crist said. The trip was the first of three Crist has taken to a series of White House education conferences called by President George Bush.

    Crist, elected to the state's top education post in 2000, is currently a candidate for state attorney general.

    Back to State news
    Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
     
    Special Links
    Lucy Morgan


    From the Times state desk