TALLAHASSEE — State Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink is the top fundraiser in the governor's race, but her financial report released Friday suggests she's in damage control over her use of state airplanes.
The report shows her campaign recently made an unusual $17,000 payment to her own agency for 20 airplane trips to different cities where she had state business -- and campaign events.
''We did this in an abundance of caution,'' said Sink's chief spokeswoman, Kyra Jennings, adding that the CFO is going "above and beyond the requirements of the law.''
Sink, a Democrat who has raised $1.3 million in the April through June quarter, instantly came under fire from her Republican rival, Attorney General Bill McCollum, who has raised slightly more than $1 million since his campaign began in May.
Sink clearly appeared to violate state statutes that require officials to use state aircraft only for official business, said Shannon Gravitte, a McCollum spokeswoman.
''No amount of reimbursing can excuse illegal use of a state plane,'' she said.
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