Longtime state Rep. Joe Driver, a staunch anti-spending conservative, has admitted years of billing both the state of Texas and his own campaign fund for thousands of dollars for the same travel expenses.
The Associated Press reported Monday that Driver, R-Garland, has double billed for $17,431.55 for travel expenses going back to 2005, according to its examination of Driver's travel expense records. He has also received from the state thousands of dollars in mileage reimbursements for his vehicles, at the same time billing his own campaign for more than $100,000 since 2000.
When approached by an Associated Press reporter with the findings of their investigation, Driver, a member of the House Appropriations Committee and a member since 1993, said he had thought the double-billing was all right. When explained to him, Driver said, "Now you're scaring the heck out of me. It pretty well screws my week."
In a written statement late Monday night, Driver said he had consulted House "ethics specialists" and determined that he had made errors in his campaign reports but denied ever misusing state tax dollars.
"Not one tax dollar was misspent due to my mistake on this and any mistakes that were made are being corrected immediately," Driver said.
Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or firstname.lastname@example.org.