After national criticism, Whitmer’s campaign to pay for Florida flight

By Scott McClallen | The Center Square, May 28, 2021

(The Center Square) – Months after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer flew on a secret trip to Florida, Michiganders are starting to find answers.

Whitmer’s campaign committee will pay for her March Florida flight to visit her father after she initially attempted to use a nonprofit to charter the flight through a separate company.

The flight sparked an Federal Aviation Agency investigation, because the jet company was not authorized to operate charter flights.

Whitmer will also pay travel costs for her daughters who flew back with her, Christopher Trebilcock, the legal counsel for the Whitmer for Governor candidate committee and Michigan Transition 2019, wrote to House Oversight Chairman Steve Johnson, R-Wayland.

Whitmer’s campaign will pay PVS Chemicals of Detroit for the $27,521 cost Florida flight as well as the $22,670 cost of private travel by plane to President Joe Biden’s inauguration in January.

The change in payments follows the conservative Michigan Rising Action filing of a complaint against Whitmer with the Internal Revenue Service, alleging the governor illegally used a nonprofit to fund a personal flight.

Whitmer’s security detail accompanied her to and from Florida March 12 and March 15, a detail previously undisclosed. Previously, her office had said the governor’s trip was “two full days or less.”

On Thursday, PVS Chemicals President David Nicholson said co-chairman James B. Nicholson granted Whitmer’s request to use the plane because of safety concerns, but she’ll be the last politician allowed to fly on their jet.

The company will follow a “newly created policy to deny all requests to fly candidates or government officials.”

“Our highest priority when interacting with any government official, or representative of government, is to follow the highest standards dictated by both ethics and the law,” Nicholson said in a statement. “Over the past few weeks, we took the position that questions about this flight would be best addressed by the governor’s office. We still believe the outstanding questions are the purview of the governor’s office.

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