Peter Kinder
10:32 am
Tue April 5, 2011

Kinder to reimburse state for hotel costs

Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder is firing back at accusations by Democrats that he’s using taxpayer money to fund an “extravagant lifestyle.”

The Post-Dispatch reported Sunday that the Republican Lt. Governor had charged taxpayers $35,050 for hotel stays in the St. Louis area over the past five years, while attending political and sporting events, parties, and a wedding.

Kinder acknowledges going to several “after-hours” events, but says he conducted state business during each and every trip in question.

“I have an executive assistant who copiously goes over (these things): ‘Was this official?  Was this (for a) campaign?’" Kinder told reporters.  "The (former) State Auditor (Susan Montee), who is today State Chairwoman of the Democratic Party, has been through all, ALL, of the invoices, and raised no concerns about any of them.”

 Despite that assertion, Kinder also announced that he’ll reimburse the state for his hotel costs.

“We’re voluntarily making this payment, that is not required by law," Kinder said.  "I do not want the slightest taint or suspicion to attach to my name and my public service.”

Kinder says for all future St. Louis trips he’ll stay at a Richmond Heights condominium paid for by campaign donations.  He is expected to run for governor next year, but has made no official announcement yet.