AG Brown used state plane at least three times

Jessica M. Karmasek Aug. 10, 2010, 2:56pm


SACRAMENTO (Legal Newsline) - California Attorney General Jerry Brown sometimes travels in a turboprop airplane operated by his office, despite promoting his use of commercial aircraft and recently saying he would cut back on such "perks."

Records reviewed late last week by The Associated Press show the plane has been used at least nine days over the last year. Brown is also running for governor.

Christine Gasparac, a spokeswoman for the Attorney General's Office, told the AP Brown used the Beechcraft Super King Air 200 just three times since July of last year -- all on official state business.

Those included, she said, a funeral for a California Highway Patrol officer on March 8, a gang takedown and press conference in Salinas on April 22, and a meeting with local sheriffs in Truckee on June 17.

The spokeswoman told the AP all flights included only Department of Justice personnel, except on the Fresno flight, when the state's Highway Patrol Commissioner Joe Farrow accompanied them.

"It's a law enforcement plane, and they only use it for law enforcement purposes," she told the AP.

Brown has promoted his use of Southwest Airlines during his campaign for governor, and in a recent interview he described how he saved the state money when he was governor by eliminating the private jet. He said during the interview that he would look throughout state government to cut costs.

Gasparac said department rules mandate that the least costly method of transportation be used for staff. She told the AP that Brown took commercial flights for state business 27 times.

Brown has repeatedly criticized his GOP opponent for governor, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, for using private planes.

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