Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is still untangling herself from controversy over her March flight to Florida to visit her father.
The trip has prompted FAA scrutiny, prompting a change in how the flight will be paid for, the Free Press reported Thursday. Instead of having her nonprofit cover the approximately $28,000 trip — a move announced to quiet concerns she could owe a political favor had the jet ride been free — Whitmer will now use funds from her political campaign.
The issue is that the plane's owner does not have a license to operate charter flights. For unknown reasons, the FAA says the plane owners' license does allow for flights paid for with campaign donations.
The Freep reports additional new information on the trip, gleaned as the legislature's House Oversight Committee takes a closer look:
Whitmer flew to Florida with her Michigan State Police security detail and flew back with both her security and her two daughters, who had already been in Florida visiting their grandfather when Whitmer arrived March 12. The size of the security team was not specified.
On or around March 8, an aide to Whitmer contacted PVS to ask whether PVS had an aircraft that could fly her to Florida. The flight arrangements soon followed.
Whitmer's campaign will also pay the $22,670 cost of a private plane Whitmer used to travel to President Joe Biden's inauguration in January. That plane was operated by Solomon Plumbing Co. of Michigan, (Whitmer campaign attorney Christopher Trebilcock) said.