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How some state lawmakers stuck taxpayers with auto repairs

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Nifty investigative piece by AP’s Don Thompson on lawmakers who took their state-provided cars in for expensive repairs just before the time to keep them was up, and then turned around and bought the same cars for personal use. It happened before California—the only state that provided vehicles to rank-and-file lawmakers for unlimited use—did away with the perk on Dec. 1, 2011.

AP says at least a dozen lawmakers repaired or upgraded their state-provided vehicles on the public dime in the final weeks before turning them in—and before purchasing them fresh from taxpayer-funded repairs. Among them, this Bay Area example:

Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, had a "55 point vehicle inspection" on her 2007 Toyota Prius Hybrid just three days before she was to surrender the vehicle she later bought. The $827 billed to taxpayers that day also included a new water pump, drive belt and update to the vehicle's GPS system.

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