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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rivera demands Kottkamp travel records



Rep. David Rivera wants a state agency to explain why Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp used its aircraft so often, a politically bold move that follows Rivera's suggestion that the "irrelevant" job be eliminated to save money.

The Miami Republican said today he is sending a letter to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles that seeks information about Kottkamp's use of a state plane (background here) and puts the agency head on notice that she may be called to discuss the issue at a public hearing.

"Considering the economic hardships confronting Florida residents ... it's important that our taxpayers be confident that the government is acting in a fiscally responsible and frugal manner," Rivera, one of two budget chiefs in the House, said in an interview after confirming he was sending a letter to DHSMV director Electra Bustle.

Rivera asked for the information in writing and told Bustle to be "prepared to discuss it in a public hearing." He asked for records related to all officials not connected with the agency or the Florida Highway Patrol, whose plane Kottkamp used.

Said Rep. Marcelo Llorente, the Miami Republican who is the other budget chief: "It's curious timing in light of the lieutenant governor's support of my (state) Senate candidacy. I guess I'll just leave it at that."

Still, he defended Kottkamp's travel. "The lieutenant governor is an invaluable asset to the governor.  He is fulfilling his role accordingly. Clearly the governor cannot be in all places at all times."

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 7:29pm]


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