Note: In today's print edition of the Georgetown Times, the word "not" was inadvertently left out of the first sentence of this story making the headline in the print edition incorrect. We apologize for the error and the correct version is what follows:
S.C. House District 103 Representative Carl Anderson says he not will reimburse the state for his use of a state-owned airplane to attend an event at the church he pastors.
Anderson used the plane on March 14 to fly from Columbia to Georgetown to attend the groundbreaking of Greater St. Stephen AME which is rebuilding on Highmarket Street. Fire destroyed the church last year.
The cost for the round trip flight, according to documents from the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission, was $935.
Last week, Anderson’s opponent, Tom Winslow who is running as a petition candidate, said Anderson should pay taxpayers back for that flight.
“With better planning and financial responsibility Carl could have simply made the three-hour drive like most of us do,” Winslow said.
Anderson was given an opportunity to respond to Winslow in the same article that ran in the Georgetown Times on October 26.
However, he did not issue his response until Wednesday.
He said Winslow’s remarks are “cheap yellow politics” and the plane is meant to be used for state business.
“I do not apologize for using the plane,” he said, adding the groundbreaking had to take place March 14 because of the tight schedule of the bishop of the AME church.
He said the House was involved in budget debates and votes so it was important that he stay in Columbia as long as possible that day.
He said a House staff member is the person who suggested he take the plane.
Anderson said he has attended numerous ground-breaking and ribbon-cutting ceremonies during his eight years in the House.
“I would have made the same decision regardless of whether the ceremony was at any other church or any public or private facility. My responsibility is to represent my constituents in Columbia and to represent and support them in my district,” Anderson said. “When these two responsibilities overlap, I believe it is state business and therefore proper to use the most expedient means available to be able to fill both responsibilities. Shame on my opponent.”
By Scott Harper
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