Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Corbett defends donor-paid vacation

Gov. Corbett today defended a donor-paid vacation to Newport and other trips worth more than $2,300.

Corbett defends donor-paid vacation

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett discusses his record and future plans with reporters in his Capitol office. (Amy Worden / Staff)

Gov. Corbett today defended a donor-paid vacation to Newport and other trips worth more than $2,300.

"I did not violate policy," said Corbett at a heated news conference in the Capitol. "We followed the law."

In a late ethics filing Corbett disclosed that he had taken trips paid for by John D. Moran Jr., president of Moran Industries, a warehouse and trucking company in central Pennsylvania that provides services to the natural gas drilling industry.

The ethics filing, first reported by by StateImpact Pennsylvania radio, shows a five-day trip to Rhode Island with his wife Susan valued at $1,423.

Corbett said today the trip was to Newport and that they stayed on Moran's private boat. It also reported trips on Moran's private plane and helicopter worth $902 to events in Williamsport and Pittsburgh on Sept. 30, 2011.

The filing was made last month in an amendment to Corbett's 2011 financial interest statement submitted in March. 

The ethics filing was made belatedly after a clerical error was discovered, Corbett said.

Corbett named Moran to his privatization commission and Moran accompanied him on a six-day trade mission earlier this year to France and Germany.

He also appointed his wife, Ann, to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Corbett said he and his wife and the Morans have been friends for four or five years.

He denied Moran had any special access to him. "Mr. Moran and his wife are friends," he said. " I have a lot of friends at home. I have friends in Philadelphia."

On its website, Moran Industries says it has a facility in state-sponsored tax-free business development zone and state documents report that it received a loan of nearly $2.2 million from the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority before Corbett became governor.

The Morans gave Corbett's campaign more than $100,000 since 2009, according to state campaign finance filings.


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Commonwealth Confidential gives you regularly updated coverage of the state legislature, the governor and the workings of the state bureaucracy. It is written by Angela Couloumbis in the Inquirer's Harrisburg bureau, based in the statehouse, and by the newspaper's far-flung campaign reporters.

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