New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the State Republican Committee are reimbursing the state for personal use of a state police helicopter, which included two trips to watch his oldest son's baseball games, a spokesman for the governor said Thursday.
Spokeswoman Maria Comella says Christie has paid $2,151 to the state to cover the cost of all the trips, the Washington Post reported. The state Republican Party also tossed in another $919 to cover the cost of flying 75 miles back to the governor's mansion in Princeton.
The governor relented to reimburse the state for taking a $12.5 million state police chopper to his son's high school baseball game came after his spokesman, Michael Drewniak, insisted that the use of the helicopter was appropriate. The payback also follows the Democrats' announcement that they would convene hearings into Coptergate.
Christie has flown on state helicopters 35 times since taking office last year, state police Superintendent Rick Fuentes said after the scandal broke. But Fuentes insisted that Christie didn't do anything wrong, saying that the flight didn't cost taxpayers extra as pilots need flight time, anyway.
It is important to understand that state police helicopters fly daily homeland security missions and use flight time for training purposes, Fuentes said.
Christie took office in January 2010.